OpEdNews Op Eds

Multiculturalism is For Sale: A Photo Journal

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mikhail Lyubansky     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 5/30/09

Author 18834
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)
- Advertisement -
On the surface, multiculturalism seems a little like apple pie: It's American and seemingly everyone wants a piece. No wonder, then, that corporations are trying to sell it to us, one slice at a time.

This past winter holiday, my wife and I took our young kids (ages 2 and 6) to Disney. We brought the grandparents along too and took turns taking the kids to the theme parks and going off by ourselves. It was our first time there since we were kids ourselves. Turns out, this wasn't our fathers' Disney World. In every park, in almost every corner, multiculturalism was for sale "" sometimes as the featured attraction.

Why bother with intercontinental travel? In the Animal Kingdom, the African Safari is just a short walk away.

Gateway to "Africa", Copyright Mikhail Lyubansky

Gateway to "Africa" closeup, Copyright Mikhail Lyubansky

Come for the Safari, stay for the food, and music, and don't forget to pick up a t-shirt on your way out. They're for sale too, you know.

"Green is the new Black" T-shirt, Copyright Mikhail Lyubansky

"One World One Love" T-shirt, Copyright Mikhail Lyubansky
- Advertisement -

It isn't just Animal Kingdom, of course. Indeed, few places sell multiculturalism on Epcot's grand scale. Its World Showcase features rides, restaurants, and shows from China, Mexico, and 9 other nations.

And the park is so inclusive of diversity that its gigantic Christmas Tree is decorated with multilingual "Happy Holidays" signs. Below is the one in Hebrew.

"Happy Holidays" sign, Copyright Mikhail Lyubansky

Is there any better way to celebrate our differences?

Disney is clearly doing something right. During our weeklong visit, I was struck by the diversity of people I saw and languages I heard. And as far as I could tell, visitors from every cultural group enjoyed the parks and their exhibits.
- Advertisement -

Tree of Life, Copyright Mikhail Lyubansky

Count my family and me among the satisfied customers. And why not? It's all undeniably fun "" as long as we understand that what we're buying is a fairy tale.

I know; it's not a very profound idea. After all, this is Disney we're talking about. How can one expect anything but a fantasy in the Magic Kingdom? But the multicultural illusion is unusually subtle. After all, the food, the music, the art, even the safari animals are all real. Even the Chinese acrobats are authentic.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It


Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., is a teaching associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity, Theories of Psychotherapy, and a graduate-level courses on restorative justice. An autobiographical essay of Mikhail's interests in race relations and basketball is available here.

Since 2009, Mikhail has been studying and working with conflict, particularly via Restorative Circles (a restorative practice developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter and associates) and other restorative responses to conflict. Together with Elaine Shpungin, he now supports schools, organizations, and workplaces in developing restorative strategies for engaging conflict, building conflict facilitation skills and evaluating the (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About White Privilege Today

The Color of Blood: Racial Dynamics in Harry Potter (Part 2)

Japan's "civilized" response to the earthquake and tsunami has inspired all the wrong questions

A Few Words In Defense of the N-Word, in the Novels of Mark Twain

On 9-11, patriotism, and the U.S. flag

Race is Sexy. Sex is Racy. Now "Get Lost"