Multiculturalism, Bernstein says, began as a humane idea-to eliminate Eurocentric bias and enlarge American pluralism. But now, in his view, it is mostly a code word for groups seeking power through claims of oppressed victim status. This New York Times reporter's forceful, compelling critique of the excesses of the multiculturalist movement is certain to provoke debate and controversy. Bernstein contends that multiculturalists seek to change the mainstream culture to spare newcomers the ordeals of assimilation. He details battles over school curricula and teachers accused of racism, sexism or homophobia; he casts a skeptical eye on ``diversity-training'' workshops in corporations and universities; he attacks the ``ideological multiculturalist'' who advances a radical political agenda and has made ``white male'' almost synonymous with capitalist exploitation and paternalism. Arguing that middle-class bureaucrats, education entrepreneurs and aging ex-``flower-children'' from the 1960s are multiculturalism's most aggressive proponents, Bernstein urges liberals to recapture the moral high ground from ``demagogues of diversity.'' (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1994 Release date: 08/01/1994 Genre: Nonfiction
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