I’m not an immigrant or a minority; I’m unfamiliar with that experience. However, I am familiar with American culture. Please resist branding me with the choice terms of “racist,” “xenophobic” or “nativist,” and instead entertain a thoughtful critique of U.S. identity politics and how multiculturalism has become destructive to the American identity.

Multiculturalism is not about respecting or celebrating cultural diversity; instead it’s about criticizing Western civilization. This effort is expedited by Western elites, like Susan Sontag, who consider the white race the “cancer of history.” Multiculturalism champions non-Western cultures and fails to discuss the various shortcomings and the singling out of poorly treated minorities within other cultures, while it continually maligns the West as a greedy, cruel, exploitative, war-mongering criminal responsible for all the world’s imperfections.

More concerning are the politics which form the core of multiculturalism — the idea that membership to a group forms the individual in terms of fixed differences from other groups, commonly called identity politics. This contradicts and rejects the core assumptions and principles of our liberal democracy. Our founding and current government is based on the principle of individual, inalienable rights possessed by each individual no matter what religion or culture they belong to. Inalienable rights supersede factors of race or religion or any other socially constructed group characteristic. Multiculturalism confines the individual to boundaries of their minds (or someone else’s) own creation, often simplistically described in terms of generalizations and stereotypes. The newly defined marginalized groups then demand special “rights” and conditions for that group, special treatment based on the assumption that the group has been historically marginalized and is now entitled to reparations of some form.

The fallout from the multiculturalists’ narrative mischaracterizes the facts of history. Western civilization has transferred more freedom and prosperity to more ordinary people, which is why millions of non-Westerners put their lives on the line traveling to Europe and America. Naturally, immigration is where multiculturalism has its most devastating consequences. Even though Americans have not yet seen consequences as extaordinary as those experienced by Europe, which fell hook, line and sinker for the multiculturalists’ victim status, we too have bought into the multicultural narrative, and it has compromised our country’s culture by tampering with immigration system for political expedience.

The traditional immigration model was based on assimilation. Having physically moved to the country, the immigrant voted with his or her feet for the superiority of America. This required the immigrant to become American. This meant learning American English, U.S. history, political practices and parties and cultural traditions that help identify Americans as American. The immigrant of course had the opportunity to not assimilate, but in the end most did in order take full advantage of the political and economic opportunities their new home offered.

Today, many immigrants are taught to embrace a sense of entitlement and resentment that demands society to acknowledge some grievance and repay them. The effect is to divide, not unify, to turn group against group as each tries to out-victimize the other; this is commonly called class warfare. The essence of being an American has been reduced to being “accepting,” ironically hiding the intolerance and anti-Americanism within the different groups multiculturalism elevates.

The end result is the grotesque and peculiar manifestation we see every day, one that would not be tolerated outside the West. People have risked their lives and those of their families to come to America, some illegally, some openly condemning and berating this country and asserting the superiority of their native lands, which failed to support the immigrant and his family initially. Consequently, the average American is mystified and angered by the lack of appreciation and hypocrisy, not to mention the belittling of their country and its history.

Daily Nexus conservative columnist Ben Parish is American, dammit.