It’s fascinating that Joan Wallach Scott claims that France (and it seems as though this is true for European countries as well) learned from its perception of America that recognizing “cultural pluralism” results in things deemed undesirable such as affirmative action, ethnic conflict, and political correctness. This suggests that France believes that toleration of a multiplicity of races inevitably results in the need for affirmative action and ethnic conflict, when in fact the only inevitability is that the recognition/claiming of differences between races results in ethnic conflict and public demand for things such as affirmative action. France’s intolerance of public displays of Islam resulted in exactly what they feared: Islamic revolution.
Bayrou’s solution to his claim that ostentatious displays of religious affiliation had the effect of introducing “difference and discrimination into an educational community” was terribly misguided. Bayrou didn’t attack the base of the problem (likely because of its relative difficulty), which was that the difference and discrimination resulting from religious effects is borne out of the public’s inherent discrimination. Rather than try to ease this discrimination and champion non-discrimination and perhaps even go so far as to make illicit ostentatious acts of racism/discrimination (which the United States has done to some extent), he remedied superficially. His error is quite evident as his argument for the abolition of religious items could easily be used to support the acceptance by the majority of non-Islamic french, as he claimed that “the nation is not simply a collection of citizens with individual rights. It is a community”. The implication is that the members of the society should get along, but Bayrou decided that the means for this to happen weren’t as important as the fact that they did get along. And so rather than encouraging the angered members of the society to learn to life with differences, he decided to rid the country of the difference.
What is another example of a country meandering around the civil rights of a minority? Is there such an example in the United States?
Is it possible for people to live without discrimination? Is such a notion entirely idealistic and unachievable?