Cultural pluralism is used to refer to a situation where groups that are smaller in a society maintain the unique identities, and the practices and values of their culture are acceptable by the bigger society. A good example of this concept is in Lebanon, a country whose size is around 10 square kilometres yet eighteen different communities live together. A pluralist culture not only involves co-existence of several cultures, but also the integration other group traits into the dominant culture.
A Critical Review of Levingston’s Article
This article appeared in the Washington Post on March 9th, 2010 and its main theme is how the Native Americans have endured the struggle to achieve justice. The article gives the example of the act of the Obama administration paying a legal dispute between the Federal Government and the Native Americans on how the government managed the land trust accounts for the American Indians. The author, Levingston, points out that the American Indians have endured injustice in the form of poor treatment, treaty violations, and racial discrimination. The author notes that the American Indians “have acted patriotically in the name of an America that champions cultural pluralism, minority rights, and international law” (para 1).
The author mentions cultural pluralism and also points out that America stands for the concept yet he does not really define how this is done. The author only mentions on the co-existence of various cultures as the definition of cultural pluralism; however he fails to show how America upholds cultural pluralism using other aspects of the concept. The author fails to point out how traits of minority groups such as the American Indians have been integrated into the culture of other dominant cultures such as the black Americans. Levingston assumes that the harmonious co-existence of communities is all that is needed for cultural pluralism.
One of the examples given by the author on why he believes Native Americans show cultural pluralism is by their participation in the First World War after a call by President Wilson to help in making the world a safe place for democracy to survive. What the author forgets is that most of the Native Americans fought to protect America because they consider it as their home and native land; they also consider other communities as intruders. The Native Americans fought to protect what they believe is theirs not to protect other communities in the spirit of cultural pluralism.
Levingston draws on the concept of cultural pluralism to explain his theme of injustice for the Native Americans. He however fails to show how this concept is seen in America in all aspects. He only draws on one aspect of cultural pluralism to conclude that American Indians practice the concept. The use of this concept in this article is either misplaced or not well explained.
Levingston, S. (2010). “Native Americans enduring struggle for justice.” Washington Post. Retrieved from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-bookworm/2010/03/native_americans_enduring_stru.html