Is An Open Mind A Good Thing
Essay, Research Paper
Is an open mind a good thing?It is fashionable today to have an “open mind” and to subscribe to pluralist theories. It is no longer acceptable to have and defend your own viewpoint. They tell us that every culture and every opinion and every idea has merit in and of itself and that no one has the right to argue that. They tell us that if we impose our own ideas and culture and viewpoints upon others, their cultural contribution to the world will be lost. The only way to keep our cultural diversity, they tell us, is to have an open mind! Be tolerant! Don’t be a bigot. A bigot. That’s what they call you when you have your own opinion and you try to defend it. One used to be considered honorable if they held to their beliefs. Now that type of person is labled a bigot by those who don’t agree with him. The trend today is toward diversity. Everywhere you go, organizations advertise their “diversity”. One excellent example would be universities. Almost any university prides themselves on their cultural and ethinic diversity. They will brag about their percenteges of “minorities” and how many different minorities attend their school. But look again. UNIversities seeking DIversity. What is wrong with this picture? The university used to be a place where students of all backgrounds and experiences came together to be molded into society. Universities are supposed draw people together and give them all a common background, not bring them together so that they can be driven further apart. At universities across the nation and around the world, students are being taught to build ties to their own ethnicity instead of learning how the world can be brought together. This is even occurring at the elementary level. Just look at the recent campaign for a system called “Ebonics.” This proposed curriculum would teach students of African descent the grammar and usage of the dialogue used in many black communities. What this will do is to teach these children that they are to be set apart from the rest of the society. To form a solid nation, all children should be taught the same language. How are we to be a great nation when at our roots our people can’t even talk to each other? It has been said, “birds of a feather flock together.” This indeed is true for people also. Why not then strive to make our society whole instead of dividing it up into small sects and factions which we label “minorites”?Pluralists will tell you that people need to have their own cultural identity in order to function properly in society. For this reason, we have Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and many more. What happened to just plain old “Americans”? It seems that no one wants to be called an American any more. No one wants to identify with American culture. America has just become a location and not a nation. It’s not enough to say you’re an American anymore, you must add on a tag which tells people where your family came from before they reached the United States. Across the nation, you will find communities that have set themselves apart from the rest of their town to form their own section. How many major cities have Asian sections and Black sections and Hispanic sections? How many cities have a “Chinatown” type of district? Why have all these people set themselves apart? America isn’t a melting pot. America is a place to come where there’s enough room to set up your own little country with it’s own culture and not be bothered by anyone else. In a melting pot, we’d all live next door to each other. There would be no ethnic districts. Across the nation, one can hear the pleas for tolerance and open-minded ness! Each wants to do what they want to do and expects the rest of the world to let them do it, no matter what it is. “Have tolerance!” they tell you. “Keep an open mind!” they tell you. “Don’t impress your culture on me!” they tell you. What they are saying is, “I don’t want to accept your culture, so you have to accept mine.” How hypocritical of them! If you don’t let them do as they please, you are labeled a bigot. They will tell you that you reek of prejudice.
Abraham Lincoln one quoted the Bible in saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Once upon a time thirteen English colonies won their freedom in a bloody war and adopted what they called “The Articles of Confederation” to help them govern themselves. But there was a problem with this document. It was too weak. It gave all power to the individual states and the federal government was basically useless. The “United States” were no more united than they were as colonies under British rule. Virginians were Virignians before they were Americans and Rhode Islanders were Rhode Islanders before they were Americans. The people did not identify with one nation. The leaders of the states realized that this could cause a problem, and formed the Constitutional Convention to draft the Constitution that now governs us. The United States under this document finally became one people. Then, one hundred and fifty years later, along come the pluralists to tell us that we have no right to be one people! According to them, we all have to know where we came from before we were known as Americans. All they’ve done is fragment our society into cultural clusters that now refuse to be called simply, Americans, but Native Americans or Asian Americans or African Americans or Hispanic Americans or Korean Americans or any other ethnicity you care to tag onto this country. Each “minority” screams until it is heard and the rest of the nation is forced to follow its wishes. Have we forgotten that we live in a democracy? A democracy–where the MAJORITY rules. This government of the people by the people and for the people can’t please everyone. No one can. You can please some of the people some of the time, and you can even please all of the people some of the time, but the fact is, you will never be able to please ALL of the people ALL of the time. We must remember that the Constitution only guarantees the PURSUIT of happiness–it doesn’t guarantee hapiness. Two hundred years ago, this country was formed with the idea that anyone could come here and make for himself a decent life without oppression. This used to be true, but over time, people have begun to complain and “oppression” has come to mean “anything that I don’t agree with.” And now, behind the mask of “open-mindedness” and “tolerance”, our “minorites” have set out to destroy all other cultures besides their own, labeling them as “oppressive.” This label is applied especially quickly if the majority tells any minority that anything they are doing is wrong. The idea of the absoluteness of truth has been overshadowed by the trendy new “relativity” of truth. This concept basically boils down to, “If I like doing this, you can’t stop me.” What a dangerous weapon we’ve given people by introducing this concept of situational ethics. People now believe that killing another human being may be wrong in one circumstance, but right in another. But if this is true, who are we to judge when it is right or not? Is it okay to kill if it keeps the killer happy? Does anyone deserve to die for someone else’s well being? Do YOU want to die for someone else’s well being? People will tell you that stealing is wrong in one situation but right in another. Now tell me, what if YOU are being stolen from? Is it EVER right?The problem with relative truth is that it erodes at the roots of society. How can we expect to have rules and laws to keep our country orderly if these rules and laws can be broken according to individual preference? Maybe if we were all a little less tolerant and closed our minds just a little, we would see that our problems such as crime and education and the economy would be much easier to solve if we were all working together.