Beyond a Dream Deferred: Multicultural Education and the by Becky Thompson

By Becky Thompson

Past A Dream Deferred: Multicultural schooling and the Politics of Excellence

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For one truth that is omitted in all these declarations of Western triumphalism is that the images of the people who built America and benefited from it are overwhelmingly and almost exclusively those of European immigrants and their descendants. African-Americans, as even Donald Kagan had to concede, were not voluntary immigrants and were not allowed to take part in the formation of the nation. Indeed, in order to sidestep the obvious contradiction between slavery and "all men are created equal," the Founding Fathers —all white male property owners — defined blacks and slaves as less than full human beings.

S. government were founded on treaties (a Western concept, after all) signed over the course of three centuries — 10 Evelyn Hu-DeHart hundreds of which still remain on the books — they continue to insist on the sovereignty that signing treaties explicitly recognized. 13 During the mid-nineteenth century, America won by force or bought at bargain-basement prices huge chunks of land from Mexico, amounting to half of Mexico's national territory, and incorporated wholesale the vast, settled population of mainly Spanish-speaking mestizos (people of mixed Spanish-Indian heritage).

Upon close examination, charges of overzealous political correctness are but a grab bag of every educational and cultural challenge that dominant Americans find destabilizing, and they have much to do with a growing sense of insecurity about the future. The demise of communism has deprived the United States of a convenient scapegoat for whatever goes wrong domestically and internationally; as the lone superpower, its own economy extremely shaky, the United States has to find new culprits to blame for failures and new ways to flex its muscles.

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