The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.
There are plenty of reasons why multiculturalism is key for building a thriving, forward-thinking society, but I want to bring attention to my favorite, most poignant reason. This is an excerpt from The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang:
(Note, this article discusses a brutal massacre, so keep that in mind when reading ahead.)
Tang’s problem began when he experienced a sudden urge to see a Japanese soldier with his own eyes. All his life he had heard that the Japanese looked like the Chinese, but never having been to Japan, he had been unable to verify this. Here was a golden opportunity to see for himself. Tang tried to suppress his curiosity but finally succumbed to it. He asked his friends to remove the bricks from the doorway to let him out.
Not surprisingly, his friends pleaded with Tang not to go, warning him that the Japanese would kill him if they caught him wandering around outdoors. But Tang was not so easily dissuaded.
Tang was one of the Chinese civilians in Nanking when the Japanese invaded, killing and raping. His story continues, being captured by soldiers in a group of hundreds of other civilians. With a stroke of luck, he manages to avoid death by hiding in a mass grave.
Rather than stay safely inside, he decided it was better to go outside and risk his life. He literally almost died. Reading that story, I couldn’t help but think about how dumb Tang was. Obviously today we recognize similar physical characteristics between people of East Asian descent. It’s not hard to find Japanese people.
We live in a world foreign to Tang, one in which knowledge of other cultures is not exotic but obvious. We can instantly access a massive network of cultures to learn about something we don’t know. We have even created new cultures from scratch using this network.
There are much better arguments to be made, about enriching our lives, creating better societies, and strengthening our economy. But when people complain about multiculturalism, I can’t help but think about Tang. Don’t be like Tang.