Multiculturalism applied...

Imagine if you will, that you are a painter. You have been painting for a long time and you very much enjoy it. As you paint, you love having the freedom to express yourself in your work. The subject matter reflects your interests, your past, your tastes, and your hopes and dreams. Now, consider that you are forced by the “National Department of Multiartisanism” to take on a “painting partner”. The details of how you are supposed to cooperate are not told to you, just that you both must be happy with the end results of your joint effort. At first glance you think hey, this is a good idea! My paintings will benefit and be “enriched” by a diversity of viewpoint, but when it comes time to paint, problems begin to surface.

You meet together at the easel and discuss how you and your new partner are going to proceed. You take a moment to look at each other’s past work. You see that while your new partner obviously has some skill, his style is very different than yours. You don’t like it. And while he is looking at your work, he is thinking the same thing. Should you paint the focus and your partner paint the background? Do you simply draw a line down the middle of the canvas and each paint on one side?

As you explore the possibilities for collaboration, you and your painting partner come to understand some important realities. In a letter to Mr. Chandrashekhar Perumparambil, director of the National Department of Multiartisanism, you write:

Dear Mr. Perumparambil,

I’m sorry to tell you, that after having made an attempt to work with a painting partner, I don’t think that the program is a good idea. Painting is a very personal thing, and in order to really express one’s self and create works of true beauty and genius, one must have the freedom of action to do so. In forcing two artists to share the same canvas, the result is that neither artist can really shine. The fact is, while we both agree that the other is quite skilled, we also agree that our styles are so different that forcing us to work on the same canvas not only leads us to produce a product that is not up to the standards of quality that we would have produced independently, but also deprives us of the opportunity and freedom to refine the styles that we each excel in already. So, in closing, it is my hope that for the sake of all the unique styles of painting that bless mankind, this program should be ended.

Sadly, in spite of your good-hearted attempts to maintain a better system that is in the best interests of artists everywhere, you are denounced as a “bigot”. Those who value multiartisanism wail, “What a jerk that guy is! His partner is a good person, and he wants to exclude him!” Of course, your farsightedness and prudence are lost on a people who value the need for “artistic inclusion” above real artistic diversity and progress.