French President Sarkozy says the nations’ efforts to respect everyone’s culturally heritage equally has been a miserable failure:
Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want… a society where communities coexist side by side. If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.
The ideal society is not one where every nationality or race or language is cordoned off into their own city blocks. The resent rash of social unrest in France shows that if the contents of the cultural pot doesn’t melt, it will boil over.
Why? Because tolerance doesn’t foster harmony. Tolerance breeds contempt. And contempt smolders into hatred. When you tolerate someone, you merely put up with them.
It’s like sharing the back seat of the family car with your brother on a long road trip. You can divide the seat into half and agree not to cross that imaginary line, but he can still make faces at you and you can flick boogers at him. Despite efforts to ignore — tolerate — your annoying sibling, it’s not long before open conflict erupts.
Tolerance is humankind’s most fashionable way to seek unity. It’s only our most recent failure. Tolerance isn’t the answer.
What we need is the opposite of tolerance.
We need Love.