Most Diverse Electorate in History Has Potential to Change the Country — If It Votes

Image via Pew Research Center

The good, the bad, and the ugly of this campaign season has exposed the depth of some of the United States’ racial and ethnic fault lines. But the fault lines themselves are moving. The 2016 electorate will be the most racially and ethnically diverse ever, due largely to U.S.-born Hispanic youth and naturalizations of Asian immigrants.

FBI, Muslim Groups Report Progress in Training Materials

FBI officials say they are willing to consider a proposal from a coalition of Muslim and interfaith groups to establish a committee of experts to review materials used in FBI anti-terrorism training.

The coalition raised the idea during a Feb 8 meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller, who met with the groups to discuss pamphlets, videos and other anti-terrorism training materials that critics say are either Islamophobic or factually incorrect.

"We're open to the idea, but they need to submit a proposal first," said Christopher Allen, an FBI spokesman who was in the meeting.

Groups at the meeting included the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Interfaith Alliance, and the Shoulder-to-Shoulder campaign.

Pete Hoekstra and Cultural IQ: Why It Matters to the Church

Imagine this scenario occurring in your workplace. It’s your company’s annual corporate retreat, and in a misguided attempt to inject humor into the event, your leaders present a skit in which they all pretend to be disabled in some way.

They hobble around with awkward positions, as if paralyzed or unable to use particular limbs; they exaggerate their speech and behavior to grossly characterize those who have communication difficulties, and all these representations are done in a mocking and demeaning way, to garner a few laughs.

No modern-day corporation would do this. And yet, in the context of Christian organizations and churches, similar situations still occur.

We recently witnessed a sermon video in which the pastor of a large, multi-site church in Minnesota brought an Asian man on stage representing a “samurai” and had him sit before the congregation, stone-faced and silent, while the pastor flailed his arms in a cartoonish imitation of karate moves while yelling random Asian-sounding gibberish, then banged a loud gong in an attempt to rattle the “samurai’s focus.”

A Multicultural Battle Cry

"Multiculturalism" is a popular culture term used by certain people of color and white people. Why has this word surfaced at this particular moment? What struggles from below, from people fighting for life and death pursuits gave rise to this word? The terms "black," "feminism," and "imperialism" arose during the 1960s and '70s as a result of the black liberation, feminist, and anti-war movements. But where the hell did "multiculturalism" come from?

I suspect that multiculturalism is the latest model of good ol'-fashioned 1950s and 1960s integration. Like integration, multiculturalism is a battle cry primarily of the black (and other people of color) middle class. It implies a reformist-additive approach to a disequilibrium of the power to self-name and self-determine resources.

Fundamentally, it means having more black police officers, professors, politicians, business persons, etc., along with whites who are already in these positions and the middle-class strata.

Dwight Hopkins was an African-American liberation theologian when this article appeared.

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Sojourners Magazine June 1994
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