The highway and city streets slick with wet snowfall may have prevented most people from travelling on Thursday evening, but the last day of February held an energized conversation following a presentation given by Dr. Roberto Duchesne at Brunswick Square’s New Brunswick Museum. At just nine participants, the atmosphere was relaxed and Duchesne noted that he half-expected the event to be cancelled due to the weather.
The presentation began after 7 p.m. and concerned the content of Dr. Duchesne’s new book, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Marking the swagger of a true sociologist, he discussed homogenization in Asian nationalities comparing them to the melting pot of the West; Duchesne’s book focuses on the struggle to maintain European cultural identity. Duchesne gave two talks on his book; Thursday’s being the second of these presentations.
“Multiculturalism is a reigning ideology nowadays, you have to believe the idea that all cultures are equal and the West in particular should be a place where all cultures cohabit and all races cohabit,” says Duchesne, “and that idea precludes a notion that the West is unique, that it’s different, that it is special; so Westerners, in a sense, are being asked to let go of the idea that the West was a special place.”
This was the main focus for the presentation at the museum, Thursday. It sparked a heated debate between the Left-leaning audience and the conservative orator. Never backing from conversation, Duchesne prodded the audience with heavy handed subject matter, asking questions to the likes of “How much diversity is too much diversity?” and “When does multiculturalism become dangerous for the host country?” Dr. Janet Burns was in attendance, who, when Duchesne spoke about the strength of homogenized countries and the detriment of immigration, jokingly mentioned the Jewish population in 1939.
“Janet, to her credit, likes to hear what I’m saying,” Duchesne responds, “so I think that’s a good thing on her part, but even though she may agree or disagree she counts as curious, where other professors flat out aren’t even curious, they just don’t talk, they avoid it, they don’t want to hear this stuff.”
That is the point here; Duchesne is not attempting to convert so called “cultural Marxists” to his viewpoint, but rather wants to incite conversation on matters concerning the preservation of Western culture in the same vein as non-Western cultures preserve their cultural identity.
His tactics seemed crass to some attendees. In response to Duchesne noting his own assimilation to life in NB and a long talk entrenched in conversation concerning cultural homogenization and preservation, a local tradesman in attendance states, “If he wants people to take him seriously, he should stop calling himself white and move back to Puerto Rico.”
Those interested in joining the conversation should read Dr. Duchesne’s book, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Students can find it on Amazon for the list price of $62.55.