In “Antiracism, Multiculturalism, and Interracial Community: Three Educational Values for a Multicultural Society,” reprinted in Gary E Kessler, Voices of Wisdom: A Multicultural Philosophy Reader, Fourth Edition, (Belmont CA: Wadsworth, 2000, pp25-31), Lawrence A. Blum argues that there are a “plurality of values that one would want taught in schools and families,” and are “essential to a program of value education for a multicultural society” (Blum, p25). He supports his argument by identifying the values, which are antiracism, multiculturalism
, an interracial community, and creating persons as individuals. Blum’s purpose is to clear up any predisposed misconceptions readers may have had about multiculturalism in order to perfect the multicultural society, using the readers as advocates. Blum seems to be targeting an audience of educators who may desire the multicultural society, but are unsure of how to attain it. I do agree with Blum’s concept on a plan for educating to develop for a multicultural society; however I do not feel as though he understands that it is a much tougher task than just identifying values, because they must be instilled.
In “Antiracism, Multiculturalism, and Interracial Community: Three Educational Values for a Multicultural Society,” reprinted in Gary E Kessler, Voices of Wisdom: A Multicultural Philosophy Reader, Fourth Edition, (Belmont CA: Wadsworth
, 2000, pp25-31), Lawrence A. Blum argues about values that are “essential to a value education program
in multicultural society,” (Blum, 25). The values identified: antiracism, multiculturalism, a sense of interracial community, and treating persons as individuals, seem very effective as far as creating a multicultural society. However, I think that when reading the article, readers must understand that these values should not only be taught to students, but instilled in them.
The first value given is antiracism. Blum makes sure to distinguish the difference between phrases like “racial integrity” and the likes in order to make readers understand how bad an element racism is. I agree with Blum’s argument that it isn’t enough to be nonracist. Ignoring the fact that someone is being discriminated against is just as bad as being the discriminator. For example, I was in a situation where I was with a group of white girls and one of them said the word “nigger.” When she said it she knew she was wrong and later apologized. However, the rest of the group seemed to have no clue as to what just happened. Although they were not the ones who made the remark, they failed to notice the wrong in what happened. This needs to be prevented by educating everybody on being an antiracist and not just a nonracist.
The other educational values discussed are multiculturalism, interracial community, and treating persons as individuals. All of these values are important because they compliment each other. It is important to learn about the cultures of others in order understand them and to embrace an interracial community and to accept others as individuals. Sometimes, one of the things about being an antiracist is being enlightened. Some things may be taboo in some cultures, but one may not know and offend someone. This is not being a racist, but it is being ignorant and could have been avoided by embracing multiculturalism and diversity. This way we can all live together in an interracial community.
One tricky thing, however, about the last value is that it is important to treat persons as individuals BUT it is important to not forget that they are part of a group. What I mean by this is, you must be sensitive to the individual’s heritage and culture. For example, I may not fit the “black” stereotype, but it is not okay to crack jokes involving black stereotypes around me and say “It’s ok, Dana isn’t like that,” because someone I know may fit that same stereotype, perhaps someone in my family.
Blum’s article is very insightful and might possibly be very powerful if used correctly. It is not enough to educate students on the values of a value education in a multicultural society. Students must have these values instilled in them. They must live by them and exemplify them to others, or else it serv