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Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

Culture Is Everything

I recently opined that race, religion and even nationality are insignificant compared to culture. I was asked, “What do you think culture is?”

In a broad sense, to me, culture is how we live. It’s an amalgam of religion, customs, beliefs, practices and whatnot. Culture is way more important that race, religion or nationality in shaping a person’s attitudes.

We mix cultures at our peril. Take immigrants from Russia when the USSR held sway, for example. They were brought up believing (they were propagandized) that America is a terrible place, that capitalism is exploitive, that the police cannot be trusted and that the only way to get rich is to be corrupt, therefore rich people are all corrupt, among other things.

Then they come to America and damn near everyone seems to be richer than they were back in the USSR. They are likely to consider their “rich” neighbors corrupt and decadent. They are unlikely to cooperate with police investigations, etc.

Culture is what we are taught. Take a young child and raise him as a Viking or an Apache warrior and he will be a Viking or Apache warrior, no matter his origin.

There are places where kids are taught in school that America is the Great Satan and it is as much a part of them as what and how to worship a $Deity. Bring them to America and their culture will still inform their actions.

What the evening news loves to call “home grown terrorists” are, to an alarming degree, Muslims who are first generation Americans, born in the USA to Muslim immigrants. Or recent converts to Islam. Their Muslim culture and beliefs affect their actions.

Put a teaspoon of wine into a barrel of sewage and you still have a barrel of sewage. But put a teaspoon of sewage into a barrel of wine and you have a barrel of sewage.

America was once the strongest country in the world both militarily and economically because people who came here from other countries assimilated. With minor variations, we are pretty much an American culture. But if people come here with no intention of assimilating, if they come here for the express purpose of imposing their culture on us, we’re in trouble. It is cultural suicide.

American or “western” culture exists in far-flung places all over the world, having been adopted by people who saw it and liked it, accepting it as part of their own. They are able to pick and choose which parts of American culture to adopt as their own, be it movies, rap music, or wearing their ball caps backwards. The French may balk at words like “email,” “fast food,” “blog,” and “hashtag,” (best to check with their General Commission for Terminology) but American culture exists in France without having been imposed on them.

Contrast that with Islam being forced on Europeans by immigrant Muslims. In England, Belgium and France, there are no-go zones where unassimilated Muslims prohibit entry of non-Muslims. They came to conquer and have established a beachhead. If there are not already, there will be Muslim controlled zones to America soon.

I watched a six-part YouTube series on the rise of radicals in Europe. While acknowledging the rise of what we call “radical” Muslims (devout Muslims who follow the teachings of their prophet), the reporter was much more concerned with what she called European extremists and the “extreme right” in Europe. Nationalist movements are arising all over Europe in response to Muslim jihadists and she finds this alarming, blaming the rise of “radical” Muslims on these nationalist movements. She says the radicalization of Muslim youth is the result of Europe’s failure to assimilate them. But they do not want to be assimilated. They want nothing to do with European values. They follow the Koran and want only Islam and Sharia. She is, IMHO, “blaming the victim” and putting the cart before the horse, as we in American culture sometimes say.

Culture is the whole ball of wax. It is the whole enchilada. Sure, there are subcultures within any given culture, like the “car culture” and gang culture that exist in America. Culture is what our children are taught and experience. It is who we are. Sometimes, a different culture is adopted later in life as well.

When a woman’s head was hacked off in an act of “workplace violence” by one Alton Nolen (who had converted to Islam, adopted the name Jah’Keem Yisrael and posted photos of Osama Bin Laden and other Jihadists to his FaceBook page), one must ask from where he got the idea of beheading the victim. It is not something we teach in American culture. He’d been trying to convert coworkers to Islam in recent weeks and had posted warnings to infidels on his FaceBook page.

He beheaded one woman, killed a second and was then shot by a company official who happened to be carrying his personal firearm.

Because no official connection could be found to ISIS or other extremist groups, it was chalked up to “workplace violence” instead of Islamic terrorism. Whatever it was that he was yelling in Arabic, I’m sure it was something about working conditions or some such.

You probably didn’t see news coverage because it was just workplace violence and there were only two people killed, it having been stopped at two by an armed citizen. (If he’d shot the two victims instead of using a kitchen knife, it may have been more widely reported. Then again, maybe not, given that an armed citizen stopped it. We wouldn’t want to give citizens the idea that they should be defending themselves all willy-nilly.)

Nolen didn’t just stab the first woman to death, he hacked at her neck until she was beheaded. Isn’t there a verse in the Koran (47:4) about “smiting the necks” of infidels? From which culture did Nolen get his ideology?

Culture is all-important. We should choose with care which cultures we allow to dilute our own.

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