Islam vs The Black Church
Reading Mark Steyn's 'America Alone' is an exercise in frustration. He hacks and hacks and won't leave you alone, and the implications of his work are ugly and dangerous and impossible to ignore. It's one of those books where you can only read 20 pages at a sitting and then you want to run out into the streets and pick an intellectual fight.
I have just been under the tear jerking influence of an extraordinary Passion Play done in black under the direction of a crackling minister named Alton Trimble. As well, I have been watching Roots on TV One. I am convinced that there is a vitality to the black family that will persist despite our own dysfunctions and those of our nation. But that doesn't change several important facts about the history of how black politics has contributed to the strength of multiculturalism in America.
Let me say a few things about multiculturalism in America so I can move on to the point. I have written that the best multiculturalism is nothing short of diplomacy, and that's all good. But need to amend this ultimate form and perhaps back off of it to the extent that it subverts nationalism, which I am tending to believe is a price I cannot abide. So for the moment let us conclude that the following is the best that multiculturalism can get.
Class Two - Diversity & Pluralism
Diversity is one step up from PC and makes perfect sense. However it is misapplied as a principle when it's really just a strategy. The value of diversity is that it stands as an indicator of a willingness to make the effort to be inclusive. The best of diversity delivers a kind of robustness, it fortifies an institution by giving disparate groups an interest in its success. But this need be done purposefully with the intention of maintaining that robustness without losing links.
Pluralism is not a consequence of diversity, rather I think it the proper result of a non-chauvinistic secularism in a democratic society. You can have a healthy pluralism without the attempted mutual understanding of diversity. I think they reinforce each other but that they are not the same.
And for my religious conservative Christian defenders and apologists, I don't think we should subvert or disown the free exercise of religion, nor discount the moral rationality of doctrine.
Now to the point. Will the black church defend America given that American Muslims will take the opportunity to demand sharia? That is to say how much black culture and Christianity will resist a spineless multiculturalism that accommodates Islam at every turn?
I say that blackfolks are way too strong and way too deeply ingrained in American life and history to be profoundly persuaded by the visions of Islamists. Despite the fact that blackfolks are comfortable with Muslims among us and that we have strong ties to multicultural politics and we have strong critiques of America, black self-interest cannot and will not be undermined by jihad.
This is a subject I haven't really investigated and there is only one specific episode I can recall there being black commentary. That was the issue of the French laws demanding that Muslim women remove their headscarves in public school. That was a tricky question. I supported Chirac's ban and then I reversed myself. I only considered, in the final analysis, the context of French racism against Algerians. I had not considered the context that Steyn and recent history brings, which is the subversion of the social contract by non-integration and the capitulation of law and tradition brought on by the triumph of multiculturalism over nationalism.
There is no question in my mind that black self-interest is aligned with the American national culture and the American interest. While it is facile today for most black Americans to be against the war they are so primarily because this is "Bush's war" and they are against Bush, but not because they are in trans-cultural sympathy with Islamists. There are black voices who do sympathize with Islamists against the West and America in particular. They are merely political squeaky wheels and like gangsta rappers they are tolerated at a distance. They may delay the final decisions black Americans will make but they will not change our inevitable course, which is patriotic and will stand against creeping Sharia.
Most Americans black or not have yet to recognize how capitulations to Islamic traditions will send waves of conflict through American society if multiculturalism triumphs over nationalism here the way it has in many parts of Europe. But the black church will be a strong conservative force against that multiculturalism and directly against Islam. Stark divisions will arise in black communities as radical Muslims attempt to impress blacks that their cultural ways are superior. Our experience with the Nation of Islam is instructive in that regard. We have already become the transformed nation that swallowed the Negro. We are the new people we had hungered to be, and no sort of Islam is going to change that.
As I watch Roots now 30 years later, I sense the tension in the writing of the about the life of the adult Kunta Kinte as he takes Belle for his bride. Kunta is proud of being an African, Belle rejects being called one despite the fact that Kunta sees her resemblance to his own tribe. She claims three generations of American heritage in opposition. Kunta is a devout Muslim and has spent most of his life trying to escape the plantation, but he chooses family first. It is a deeply symbolic union and it is the beginning of a very deeply felt narrative. All black American men will claim the courage and persistence of Kunta Kinte, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has raised his child to the heavens shortly after their birth. But we also know that it is our bond with the land and the people of America that makes our journey to freedom our own.Islam has nothing to teach free black Americans about their own liberation.