An ex-colleague of mine retired about twenty years ago to Marseilles. He loved the climate, the cuisine - and the diversity. He loved the rich tapestry of multiple cultures and ethnicities. A city of communities... like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. Maybe. But if so that was then and this is now. And the past is a foreign country. The city is now estimated to be the most diverse (i.e. the lowest proportion of White people) in France. The diversity has been celebrated in countless articles and TV documentaries, in speeches by politicians, sermons by clerics.
"Despite" this diversity the city has by now become a dystopian hell-hole. Crime is almost out of control, whole swathes of the city are no-go areas for Whites, including the police, while housing is segregated rigidly along ethnic and religious lines. The media coverage has been fascinating. All reports follow the same format. Heads shaking in sadness, they ask how this multiculturalism success story could have gone so wrong. They soon find explanations. The 'vulnerable' (I just love that!) suburbs suffer from lack of integration, domestic violence, poor educational achievement and high unemployment. Why? Well the fault does not lie with the suburbs' inmates. It lies with the state and with, well, others.
The analyses would be comical were they not so dangerous. Non-sequitors and self-contradictions abound. To provide but two example: Police exacerbate the problems because they're a) an intrusive presence or b), nowhere to be seen. Then, exactly as happens in America, Whites moving into vulnerable areas represents gentrification. If they move out it's White flight, and that exacerbates segregation. The presenters plaintively ask 'What does it mean to be French?' Well, not being African or Arab for a start. Because the French don't see them as French and neither do the Africans and Arabs.
As I said in this post about another apparently successful multicultural society consumed by inter-ethnic conflagration. "But the tragedy should be seen primarily as a case study in failed multiculturalism, which as a concept and as a practice is inherently flawed, riven with fractures and fault lines, just waiting for a spark to ignite an inferno. It's nonsense to suggest that multiculturalism can work in perpetuity simply because it worked for a period. Multiculturalism works. Until it stops working. At which point you tremble for what's to come.
People lamenting the demise of multicultural success stories such as Yugoslavia therefore completely miss the point. The remarkable things was not that the country collapsed in an orgy of inter-religious and inter-ethnic slaughter rather that Tito managed to hold together such an inherently combustible concoction for so long. And I remember seeing a Belgian priest tearfully tell an interviewer that Rwanda had been his Order's 'most successful mission'. Until, that is, the unfortunate incident regarding the Tutsi genocide."