In a perfect world, a nation of people could treat unity and cultural diversity as one and use it to their advantage; a Hegelian Synthesis of sorts. But a perfect world has not existed in the three million years humans have inhabited this Earth. The problem with the two nearly juxtaposing ideas is that for them to coexist, it is essential that an individual must not put his or her cultural background over another’s. The unfortunate reality is that in years past, that has happened, and it has proven to be quite destructive.
In terms of main point, Mr. Schlesinger was correct about how “group separatism crystallizes the differences, magnifies tensions, and intensifies hostilities;” but his evidence was rather inept because he made uneducated assumptions. His first piece of evidence didn’t even make sense in that he never mentioned the fact that until somewhat recently, many parts of the United States went by strict racial laws that even inadvertently enabled the killing of African Americans, a whole group of people who had an exotic, yet interesting culture of their own but were limited to almost nothing.
With that in mind, the author still believes that we embraced different cultures well until recently? If anything, the U.S. is better about cultural diversity than ever, even if that is not saying much since there is still a great amount of ignorance regarding its importance in modern society?
A good historical example of a diverse country that faced cultural ignorance can be that of the Third Reich.
Adolf Hitler’s regime took the opportunity to gain power from a country full of desperate, gullible people by using Jews as a scapegoat for the country’s turmoil. What this means is that because someone is different for almost minimal reasons, it is possible that they can be blamed for the problems of an entire country because the ones in power are too prideful to admit that they are the cause of their own problems. A whole group of people was murdered because they were thought by those in denial to have been the cause of Germany’s economic problems.
Secondly, another good historical example of atrocities done in the name of ignorance would be the Spanish Inquisition, an event where Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I commissioned the exile (and eventually genocide) of Jewish and Islamic citizens who did not want to leave their country. This blatant form of intolerance for people of a slightly different culture once again adds to the idea that a disillusioned or ignorant leader is quite dangerous to the wellbeing of a sovereign state and civilization as a whole. A leader of a country who would want to wipe out his or her own people is an abysmal leader, especially considering the fact that the reason it was decided to kill millions upon millions back then was because the individuals on the receiving end were harmlessly different—they lived by a book that was pretty much synonymous with the book that influenced those to kill them. In conclusion, it must be said that unless those who come from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds can set aside supremacy, people can never be unified. The people who happen to be in power at any given time are able to almost control what cultures are brought out and what are not by enforcing lack of compos mentis. To think anything otherwise is ignorance in itself of history. With that in mind, it is quite a risk to let cultural and ethnic supremacy go unnoticed, for it is the real cause of tensions and atrocities; not exclusively the existence of different ethnicities and cultures.