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Poverty in Diversity:

The Media’s Delusional take on Multiculturalism


By Tim Murray—— Bio and Archives--April 11, 2008

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According to the Edmonton Journal’s editorial of April 4/08, “Prosperity in Diversity”, Canadians are just loving the transformation of their cities. Yeah right. Truth be told, Spike Lee could do a movie on what’s happening in my hometown of Vancouver, and no doubt a few other places.

You know the old song. There is a labour shortage. Repeat that undocumented myth often enough and it becomes conventional wisdom and no inventory is taken of our national needs. So instead of training our own people we must reach out to the far corners of the world to solve it. The people we reach out to, naturally, must be people of colour, who will enrich us both culturally and economically because, you guessed it, they will solve the labour shortage that is alleged to exist. Much of it is the famous “they do work our own people won’t do” kind. That is, our own people won’t do it unless they are paid decent wages for it.
 
Now, according to the Edmonton Journal, anyone who doesn’t want their city bulging with people of colour is a bigot who belongs in the past. The rest of us are “celebrating” the new Canada. Celebrating higher density living, traffic jams, more pollution, more sprawl, loss of farmland, loss of wetlands, and species loss. About 70% of species at risk exist at the boundaries of the very cities that the Edmonton Journal is excited to report are bursting with ethnic minority growth. Canadians are exchanging treasured biological diversity for this vaunted “cultural diversity”.
 
One conspicuous feature of cultural diversity is ethnic gang warfare which, to borrow a phrase from the Edmonton Journal, has made “the cities of this country vastly more interesting.’ Multiculturalism has not only enriched our palates with its fine range of ethnic restaurants, it has enriched our crime scene, forcing our phlegmatic and unimaginative home-grown thugs to either shape up or find a new line of work. I know I was enriched, until I fled, along with tens of thousands of other WASPS to the hinterlands in search of respite from the lawlessness that diversity had wrought. But now diversity is following us. Last summer Asian gangs were reported to be hounding the formerly sleepy retirement city of Kelowna, B.C.
 
The Edmonton Journal speaks of “changing realities and changing attitudes.” Interesting. A poll conducted by CTV and the Globe and Mail between August 3-7 of 2005 found that 69% of Canadians opposed multiculturalism and favoured assimilation, and 55% thought immigration levels were too high. They were not asked if they wanted the country’s ethnic composition changed, but of course, they were the ordinary people of Canada and journalists and parliamentarians know better anyway. A democrat would turn the question around: Name a federal government that had a mandate to change the ethnic profile of the nation? I think it is clear the Edmonton Journal does not have its finger on the pulse of public opinion anymore than the social engineers at the CBC. There has been no sea change in attitudes toward “diversity” since August 2005.
 
Why is there such  subterranean discontent with multiculturalism in Canada, and elsewhere? Of course there is resentment with the concept of our own government requiring us to accommodate to the customs and sensibilities of newcomers rather than the reverse. But the perception of there being rampant, disproportionate ethnic crime is a common denominator of much antagonism to the multicultural nature of immigrant populations in Europe, Australia and North America. In the United States 27% of all inmates of federal prisons are illegal aliens and their violent crime statistics are appalling. In the United Kingdom 60% of London’s muggings are committed by blacks and 31% of all street robberies are committed by West Indians. Ethnic crimes don’t happen in Canada because the federal government won’t collect ethnic crime statistics. Therefore Toronto’s Jamaicans are the only Jamaicans in the world who are peaceable. Mayor David Miller’s solution to Jamaican crime that isn’t Jamaican is to ban hand-guns because criminals, who by definition break laws, will obey a law that says you are not to possess a hand gun. If violence persists, I expect the politically correct politicians and the multiculturalists to do what comes natural to them. Ignore the evidence and crack down on white rural Saskatchewan gun owners instead. Whatever they do, they won’t look at the dysfunctional Jamaican family or question Jamaican cultural values. That would violate the 11th Commandment of Canada’s national religion: All cultures are equal.
 
There is something about diversity which is less tangible but more corrosive to society than violence. That is its apparent role as an agency of fragmentation and the loss of a sense of civic duty. Dr. Ernest Healy’s study, in concert with others by Harvard’s Robert Putnam, Irenaus-Eibesfeldt and Pierre van den Berghe would contest the notion of “unity in diversity”. A senior research fellow at the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University, Healy challenges the idea that ethnic diversity leads to a stronger, more cohesive society. In fact, it can hasten a withdrawal from collective life as manifested in Australia by lower rates of volunteerism by even second-generation immigrant residents. “When you create societies from mixed backgrounds it may lead to withdrawal from the civic sphere,” Dr. Healy said, “a feeling of less connectedness.” As one commentator remarked, “Few cultures actually put the nation ahead of their own families. The Civic Culture of Northern Europe and North/East Asia is the exception, not the rule. If the people of the Civic Culture are replaced by people without those values, the Civic Culture ceases to exist.”
 
It is ironic that socialists are typically among the most strident advocates of multicultural immigration policies. For Irenaus Eibi-Eibesfeldt and Pierre van den Berghe have shown that the more ethnically diverse populations are, the more resistant they are to redistributive policies. A Harvard Institute study in 2000 confirmed this conclusion when it found that U.S. states that were more ethnically fragmented than average spent less on social services. Robert Putnam explained why. “The more people who are brought into contact with those of another race or ethnicity, the more they stick to their own, and the less they trust others. Across local areas in the United States, Australia, Sweden, Canada and Britain, greater ethnic diversity is associated with lower social trust and, at least in some areas, lower investment in public goods.”
 
And what of the economic benefits of multicultural immigration? How much prosperity is there in “diversity’? The problem with boastful pro-immigration claims is that they never take account of the enormous costs that migrants incur in social services, costs borne by resident taxpayers. In early April 2008, for example the British Peers economics affairs committee made a mockery of long-standing government claims that foreign workers added 6 billion pounds each year to the wealth of the nation. On the contrary, they concluded that the benefits of immigration to the resident population were close to zero in the long run. And the Lords report never even touched the horrendous environmental impacts of Tony Blair’s demographic onslaught upon water, food production, greenspace, farmland, GHG emissions, pollution and quiet. Britons might ask, what price diversity?
 
In America the price is $152 billion lost each year to American workers in job displacement and wages to immigration, according to Harvard’s Dr. George Borjas. Each immigrant legal or illegal costs American taxpayers $9,000 annually, according to the Manhattan Institute while each unskilled immigrant and his family costs the treasury $22,000 annually according to a 2007 study done by the Heritage Foundation. The Grubel study done for the Fraser Institute reached similar conclusions for Canada. $18 billion more was paid out in services to unskilled presumably third world immigrants than was recovered in taxes from them -annually. So I hope you enjoyed your goat curry, you paid through the nose for it.
 
In summary, multiculturalism is multicultural-schism. And as the British Peers report revealed and various studies have only confirmed, the cost in accommodating this diversity far exceeds any economic benefit we are getting from it. The Edmonton Journal has it dead wrong. If anything, there is “Poverty in Diversity”.
 
Tim Murray
Quadra Island, BC
April 10, 2008


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