G.K. Chesterton had the advantage of discussing antisemitism before World War II, when any criticism of the Jewish people wouldn’t automatically result in screams about genocide. He made the point (in his book about his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, The New Jerusalem) that when the criticism of a particular people seems to be not only universal in its negativity but universal in what the particular negative traits are, then you have to consider the possibility that there’s something to the critique. In the case of antisemitism, he considered the critique to be a Jewish propensity toward unfair money lending and toward a cosmopolitanism that brought into question national loyalty.
What’s interesting about his consideration is that he proceeds to defend the Jewish people from both criticisms, but not by declaring that they simply aren’t true. Instead, he explains why they might be true and why they might not even be faults. He seems to have been a Zionist well before there was a Zion.
Today, we gentiles (the European types, at least) proudly wear our distaste for antisemitism, but I think our open-mindedness might be just as bad as our forefathers’ narrow-mindedness. That’s because I think we shun antisemitism not because of any newfound respect for Jews. I think on some level we shun antisemitism because what our forefathers used to see as evils, we now see as virtues. By that I mean that modern Western society now considers unfair money lending to be sound business practice and considers cosmopolitanism and lack of loyalty to homeland to be the very definition of good citizenship. The latter explains why Europeans (I mean the European kind of European … the transplanted Muslim kind has its own reasons) has so much disdain for Israel as it asserts its identity as a Jewish state.
Similarly, I think our modern tolerance of black culture has come to have less to do with tolerance and more to do with a newfound fascination with the grandstanding, the aggression, and the baseness that white people once were supposed to ignore as we tried to overcome racism. Personally, I don’t think it’s any black person’s problem that I find black culture to tend toward the showy, the confrontational, and the crude. However, it is my place to critique my own culture’s more recent fascination with what were once considered the negative cultural traits of someone else.
If you want to say multiculturalism is the recognition that there are lots of cultures in the world, and we’re all going to react differently to them depending on what our own culture is, then I’ll agree and say multiculturalism is simply a reality. However, if you want to assert that the Western world needs to not only welcome all the world’s cultures but also make whatever faults we once found in them our own, then I would say your assertion doesn’t even make sense within your own argument. If I’m going to respect someone else’s culture in its place, then I’m also going to assert respect for my culture in my place. But of course, this isn’t what multiculturalism is really about anyway; its lack of internal logic only helps prove the point. It’s about hatred for Western civilization and a hatred for anyone who still feels a connection to Europe or North America as anything other than some sort of global headquarters for the governing classes of both the business and political sides of control.