Someone posted this statement on Google+, which sounded to me rather like a justification for apartheid:
Children will be confused as long as they live in multiple cultures incoherent internally and disharmonious in such proximity with each other. Study after study says that the kind of diversity so many people believe strengthens group and makes them more tolerant has the opposite effect. More than that it dangerously undermines our sense of self.
I made a comment to that effect and referred to a post on my blog which gave a fuller explanation, Apartheid wasn’t so bad – historian | Khanya, in this passage in particular:
According to apartheid educationists (or pedagogicians, as they liked to call themselves) it was the “greatest possible injustice” for a child to be taught by someone of a different ethnic or cultural group. Think about that for a moment: “greatest possible”. You could starve a child, whip him, push burning cigarettes into her, lock him in a lightless cellar, make him slave in a mine or factory or farm at starvation wages, keep her as a sex slave, but none of those would be as great an injustice as being taught by a teacher of a different ethnic or cultural group.
But it seems that Google+ separated my comment from the text I was actually commenting on, and attached to to some other text I had not seen before, and which meant nothing to me, dropping the names of a lot of people I had never heard of.
I’m posting this on my blog, where I hope it won’t be messed up by Google*.
But now at the top of my blog I read this:
Tip: Connect to Google+: Increase your readers’ engagement with your content by connecting your Google+ profile and enable publicize for Google+ to share your posts to Google+.
So it looks like they want Google+ to mess up our blogs too, to cause even more miscommunication and misunderstanding!
Thanks but no thanks — when this is the kind of “engagement with my content” it produces:
Do you think it’s fair just to rattle off a brusque and exceptional comment like that, post a link to an article you wrote about an article someone else wrote about apartheid and … well, anyway, if you’d care to answer David or say something more, you’re welcome to. As it stands right now, and pardon my own boldness, your comment more resembles the tactic of some teenage boy trying to stir things up with a bit of pithy trolling.
— I’d rather keep Google+ as far away from my blog as possible!
Postscript – 23 Dec 2013
For more on the substantive issue, see my post on Apartheid and multicultural education.
This post is mainly about the role of Google+ in promoting misunderstanding.
I’ve now left Google+, and no one seems to have noticved except Google itself, which now nags me to join Google+ every time I log in to Gmail.