The retrospective view of human history shows that it has always been a moving
and mixing of peoples caused by different reasons. For centuries the intervention of
cultures grew reciprocally. As a result of this process people now have mixed cultures
and many intercultural conflicts. The United States is a great example of a pluralistic
society made up of many different cultures and nationalities. It is a nation that is
composed of people who came here from around the world. In the 20th century, after new
immigration laws were enforced, two opposing trends became obvious: the one state
that America is multicultural; the other claims that America is monoculture.
Ishamel Reed, a popular and well-known African American literary figure,
represents and strongly argues in favor of the first tendency. In his article, “America: The
Multinational Society,” written in 1988, he states that the time has come to review the old-fashioned concept of American culture as “Western Civilization” and to give it a new
definition as multicultural. It seems even the tone of Reed’s essay, happy and welcoming,
supports the author’s confidence in his point of view and celebrates “multiculturalism.”
Ishamel Reed describes mixing of cultures in the United States as “a cultural
bouillabaisse”. He confirms that America is mixed up of a lot of different ethnicities, and all of them feel free and comfortable living together, by referring to a number of episodes from everyday life. One of them, the exhibition of African and Afro-American paintings with mythological symbols and images in a local McDonald’s restaurant show the blend of different ethnicities alongside with the blend of the ancient and the modern. In addition, the author gives us some personal examples, such as his traveling to Texas where, sitting in the plane, he heard the taped voice in two languages: English and Spanish. According to Reed, most of the breathtaking conflicts and disagreements between people of different backgrounds are created and encouraged by the media. They do not exist in real life.Many scholars still consider it as Western, which is incorrect,
in Reed’s opinion. He rejects the concept “Western civilization” itself. “Western
civilization, then, becomes another confusing category,” writes Reed. He proves
that Western civilization has never been monolithic because it has a lot of borrowings
from other cultures and even such notable and remarkable people as Beethoven, cubists,
French paintings, and so on, were influenced by other cultures.
To prove his argument, Ishamel Reed tells us of the Puritans. Puritanism is a culture that originated in the North Eastern part of America and, according to the concept
of “Western Civilization,” they are known to be our “founding fathers.” The
representatives of “Western Civilization” idealize these people as honest, hardworking,
faithful, and moral people. Nevertheless, estimating the contributions of the...