Given the racialized nature of World War II it is not the least bit surprising that American liberalism shifted from a primary concern with leveling the economic playing-field, under FDR, to what we might call “racial liberalism” as it emerged and evolved in the post-war era with the rise of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.
It is also not the least bit surprising that the ideal of universal human rights emerged from World War II within two prominent and allied political “communities,” despite the fact that it was betrayed by both. The first is the United Nations, an organization that has continually undermined human rights, as well as free speech, due to its inconvenience for a significant number of influential member states, particularly those associated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The second political community that embraced (and betrayed) this central value is the progressive-left as it came to dominate the Democratic Party, the Labour Party in Britain, and the European Union.
The multicultural ideal confronted ideals of universal human rights (or social justice) just beneath the surface of politics-as-usual. That is, the twin pillars of progressive-left ideology rubbed against one another because they are mutually exclusive. This tension within the movement remained generally unexamined as it played itself out in recent decades, resulting in the near total triumph of multiculturalism over its pain-in-the-neck rival.
For those of you who may wonder how it is that feminists justify the burka (a symbol of Islamic oppression of women) or why so many Gay people favor the Palestinian Authority over Israel (despite the liberal incorporation of Gay lifestyles into Israeli culture) or how it is that Democrats who favor liberalism and freedom of speech also tend to increasingly despise the only country in that entire part of the world that embraces both, this is the reason.
Universal human rights are generally incompatible with multicultural notions because those notions tend to chasten ideals of social justice when they clash with the prerogatives of other cultures to behave as they will without western “imperialist” intrusion.
One cannot stand for multiculturalism, after all, if one condemns the burka or the status of women, Gay people, and all non-Muslims throughout the Arab-Muslim Middle East. To do so, in today’s hyper PC universe, is to display an offensive, “racist,” and unacceptable disregard for the rights of other peoples.
The victory of multiculturalism over ideals of human rights was not inevitable and as late as the 1990s western feminists still stood up for the rights of women under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, but those days are now long gone.
The current western political atmosphere, particularly under the EU and the Obama administration, is increasingly racialized as a consequence of multiculturalism in its embrace of anti-white prejudice. This is so because white people (no matter what their economic standing) are seen as the heralds and bludgeons of western imperialism, colonialism, sexism, homophobia, militarism, and racism as conjured up by professors such as Rashid Khalidi, Noam Chomsky, and the late Columbia University professor, Edward Said.
Furthermore, those of us who come out of the progressive-left and the Democratic Party – and who still hold fast to the ideals of universal human rights – are regularly defamed as “racist” and “imperialist.” If we so much as dare to criticize forms of Islamic jurisprudence that call for stoning women to death, when accused of adultery, or hanging Gay people from cranes, as they do in Iran, then we are considered among Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.”
Needless to say, the people who have thrown the ideal of universal human rights directly into the garbage tend to be the same people who endlessly lambaste Israel for its alleged violation of those very same rights. Israel, of course, has a far better human rights record than any country in that part of the world and the relentlessly malicious focus on the lone, sole Jewish State is an indication of the racial dogmatism at the heart of the progressive movement when it plunges head-long into Jews versus Arabs in the Middle East.
If we happen to be Jewish people who deplore the fact of thirteen-hundred years of Jewish persecution under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule – and who are distressed by the ongoing violent threats toward the various minorities, including Jews, Christians, Yazidis, and others – we are excoriated as apologists for genocide and ethnic-cleansing in our support for Israel.
This is because much of the Left still considers Zionism to be a form of racism, as reported by UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 in 1975, before it was rescinded in 1991.
The great irony, of course, is that outside of political Islam, the progressive-left has emerged as the foremost purveyor of racism in the West, today.
Prominent western-left racism is not the old-timey variety as represented by, say, the Ku Klux Klan or Pacific Northwest skin-headed homunculi. Instead progressive-left and Democratic Party bigotry takes the form of “humanitarian racism” which condescendingly views people “of color” as small children in need of protection from white, male barbarians.
Progressive-left and Democratic Party anti-Jewish racism, by contrast, takes the form of endlessly lambasting Israel, while ignoring the far worse human rights records of countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central and South America. And it displays itself in its acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger progressive-left, Democratic Party coalition.
The Democratic Party price for Jewish admission is a willingness to sit across the table from anti-Semitic anti-Zionists in a spirit of political brotherhood.
This would be something akin to requiring black people to sit across the Democratic Party table from Klansmen for the purpose of defeating Republicans.
African-Americans would never, today, put up with it, yet Jewish Democrats do so on a daily basis.
Some of us, however, are regaining our self-esteem and increasingly willing to stand up and say, “NO.”