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EDITORIALS

Mike Pompeo is wrong about multiculturalism. What makes America great is its diversity and efforts to evolve.

By The Editorial Advisory Board
A Democrat-controlled House committee announced they would begin contempt proceedings against U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured here in 2019.

Tut tut, Mike Pompeo.

You know, all you had to do after President Trump’s loss in November was to treat your exit from the State Department in a dignified way. That meant acknowledging the change in administrations, and helping the folks from Joe Biden’s team start things off on the right foot.

It wasn’t difficult. But as we’ve said to you time and again over the past year, you seem to have a habit of making ego-driven mistakes, don’t you, Mike?

There were all those expensive dinner parties, the harpist you invited for cocktail hours, the haranguing of journalists who asked you basic questions about your job. So of course you’d do the wrong thing. That means you talked about Trump having a second term after it was clear he lost. And you decided to do a bunch of chest-thumping in your final weeks about your department’s “swagger” — as if that’s something our nation’s diplomats really should aspire to.

And then in your last full day on the job, Jan. 19, you tweeted this: “Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is. They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker.”

Oh, Mike. You really should know better.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, multiculturalism isn’t some liberal buzzword. It’s simply the truth of this country and has been from the beginning. The United States is a glorious tapestry of immigrant traditions, of multiple ethnicities and religions, of people choosing to make this place home.

We are stronger because of our diversity. We are better because we include different kinds of people. And realizing that some members of the United States have been historically discriminated against — and that such discrimination continues to harm communities today — isn’t some wild-eyed, radical idea. It’s a simple fact, available for anyone with eyes to see.

But Mike, we bet you know that. We bet you understand the truth of America, because you’re a smart guy with a high-quality education. We have a suspicion, however, that you’re interested in making a political future for yourself and see attacking diversity as a key to future power. Because if the last few months have taught us nothing, it’s that a large number of largely white folks are eager to man the barricades for reactionary rhetoric.

In another time, Mike, in another age, men of your stature might see this as an opportunity to level with the public. They might want to share some difficult truths, to say that America is indeed multicultural, and that we still must work every day to expunge the sin of racism.

That would take real swagger, Mike. And we’re afraid you’re sorely lacking it now.