Changing Equations Between Racism And Multiculturalism In Western Capitalism

By promoting the concept of superiority of the white race, western capitalists not only established the present unipolar world, but also are maintaining that. They have incited western arrogance on one hand and instilled an inferiority complex in the East.

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

Racism is an integral part of western capitalism. In the final analysis, racism has played the key role in establishing the western-dominated unipolar world order. By promoting the concept of superiority of the white race, western capitalists not only established the present unipolar world, but also are maintaining that. They have incited western arrogance on one hand and instilled an inferiority complex in the East. The world is suffering from these two major ailments: western arrogance and eastern inferiority complex. However, as the ground reality of the world is changing, new trends emerged and the old equations have changed. The old unipolar world order is becoming weak and its replacement, multiculturalism and a multipolar world based upon this concept is becoming more acceptable. Economic and political power continues to shift from West to East.

My family worked very hard to convince Americans that its multicultural society is its biggest asset in the emerging multipolar world order. It can guarantee a very respectable and probably a leading place for America in the new world order. We used to celebrate “Diversity Day” every year. Many people joined us from America and Canada, including some well-known leaders of different communities. At first, we got a very good response from both countries. We received congratulations from the American President and the Canadian government started promoting multiculturalism as an official policy. We got good coverage from Punjabi, Indian, and mainstream media.

It is very difficult to change old habits and accept new realities. As the new multicultural reality of America became more evident, many whites started to oppose it. First, the fact came out that in California, the most populated state of America, non-white people have become the majority. Then, it was revealed that more non-white babies are born in America than white babies. Finally it was predicted that before the middle of the century, the non-white people will outnumber white people in America. These facts alarmed many white people and they started feeling insecure about the future. Many of them started looking at the multicultural identity of America as a liability rather than an asset. Comparatively, the Republican party, which mostly represents the white protestant middle class sentiments, started gaining influence and the Democratic party started losing influence. The political equations started shifting to the right. A new Populist party, the Tea Party emerged. Even among Indians, new leaders such as Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, who were associated with the Right wing of the Republican party, started emerging. Even though, these leaders are of minority origin, yet they have associated themselves with a party which is generally perceived by minorities as opposed to their interests. Moreover, if we look at the representation of the blacks in Nikki Haley’s and Bobby Jindal’s governments, then probably we can understand where they stand on the issues important to minorities. However, such feelings towards minorities are not limited to such leaders of Indian origin. Many people of the Indian descent harbor pro-white and anti-minority sentiments.

One reason for people of Indian descent not identifying with other minorities is their different socio-economic status. The Indian people lead in per capita income, college graduation, and home ownership. This is exactly opposite to most of the minorities. Because of this, the Indian people generally do not identify themselves with other minorities. Most of them deny that racial discrimination exists in western countries. However, when they become victims themselves, then they start bitterly complaining about it. Then they realize that a glass ceiling exists for the minorities which only allows them to go so far.

Obama was brought by the Democratic party to counter the growing influence of the Republican party. It felt that by making Obama the President, they can form a united front of all minorities as well as of the liberal whites. However, that did not happen. Obama becoming the President pushed the white community more to the right and Obama was unable to stop the rise of the Republican party. Obama has been able to do very little for minorities. It appears that during Obama’s rule, discrimination against minorities has increased. It was during his administration that the Arizona Immigration Act passed. This was a sharp attack on minorities, particular the Hispanics. The attacks on black people by the police have also seemed to have increased. The killing of Michael Brown, a black young man, by a white Policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, has not only led to violent protests in Ferguson, but also led to protests in many other cities.

In the Congress elections, which were just held, the Republican party won very impressive victories. It is obvious that the rightward shift is continuing in America. It is ironical that we had to stop celebrating Diversity Day when America was being led by a black President and we became victims of racial discrimination. Unfortunately, this is not only our experience, but of many other minorities. Now, President Obama has said that he will work for helping the minorities in the last two years of his rule. Let us hope that he fulfills his promise.

The future of America, other western countries, and the rest of the world depends upon acceptance of multiculturalism and a multipolar world order. Accepting diversity, pluralism, and multiculturalism was the message of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. Therefore, Guru Nanak laid the foundation of a multipolar world. Five hundred years ago, Guru Nanak gave the message of love, tolerance, a peaceful coexistence, social equality, and justice, respecting nature and living in harmony with nature. He gave his message in all major population centers of that time. Very shortly, we are going to know that he also visited Rome and had a dialogue with the Pope and other Christian leaders. The whole world will become aware of the great principles and unparalleled contribution of Guru Nanak.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

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