Monday, August 13, 2007

Sali sallies forth

As we noted when he made his "clarification," Rep. Bill Sali's view of the appropriateness of Muslims in Congress really hasn't shifted. He's just tried to couch it in ways that don't seem quite so hateful. And not all that successfully, either.

That became painfully self-evident (via Ridenbaugh Press) this weekend when he continued to pour gasoline on the fire in an interview with the Nampa Press Tribune. As we noted before, Sali has a bone to pick with multiculturalism:
Friday, Sali said multiculturalism is in conflict with the national motto “E Pluribus Unum,” or “out of many, one.” He said multiculturalism would mean “out of the many, the many.”

“The question is, is multiculturalism good or not?” Sali said. “I don’t think the Founding Fathers were multicultural. Multiculturalism is the antithesis of (the motto).” Sali said the United States was founded on principles derived primarily from the Scriptures. And he said drifting away from those principles could put the country in danger.

“If we’re going to move away from those principles ... we better consider the blessings of God that have been bestowed on this country and the protective hand of God that’s been over this country,” Sali said.

Actually, E Pluribus Unum is in fact a clear expression of multiculturalism, which is predicated on the idea that our democratic institutions and the values around them are what bind together all Americans from their many diverse walks of life. Simultaneously, it celebrates those differences as part of what makes us great.

More to the point: It's true, in fact, that the system devised by the Founding Fathers was, at its inception, the opposite of multiculturalism. They created a system of rule by white male Christians -- white-supremacist rule, if you will. The country, on the other hand, has been breaking away from that system and replacing it with a multicultural one that is consonant with its democratic and egalitarian values for the better part of a century now.

If Bill Sali is opposed to multiculturalism, he is opposed to citizenship for African Americans, which was not part of the Founders' design. He is opposed to suffrage for women. He's opposed to voting and civil rights for blacks and other minorities. He's opposed to citizenship for Asians and a host of other nonwhites.

Because that's what multiculturalism is about. It is in fact the antithesis of white supremacy. And a good thing, that.

If Bill Sali wants to end multiculturalism, he ought to tell us what he would replace it with. Oh wait -- I guess he has:
... In response to his concerns about the Hindu prayer offered in the Senate in July, Sali said it is Christianity that drives many good causes in the United States. “Christian principles work, and they show up in a lot of different areas,” Sali said. “Most of the hospitals in this country have Christian names. If you think Hindu prayer is great, where are the Hindu hospitals in this country? Go down the list. Where are the atheist hospitals in this country? They’re not equal.”

White, male Christian rule: The new Republican ideal.

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