Is diversity our strength? Of course not. This nonsensical statement is entirely at odds with history and our own experience. This phrase is usually employed as propaganda by politicians to pander to non-white audiences.
In Canada, we have an ongoing example of “diversity”: Quebec vis-a-vis the Rest Of Canada. While we harbour no ill-will towards Quebecers and consider them part of Canada’s “founding stock”, the fact remains that Quebec has always been a source of tension and controversy in our Confederation. Many in Quebec see themselves as a distinct society, and in 1980 and again in 1995, the Quebec government held referendums seeking a mandate to proclaim national sovereignty and become an independent country. In the 1995 referendum, the “No” option carried by the slimmest of margins, 50.58% (See Source #1).
Canada has expended enormous amounts of energy and money on the Quebec problem. This issue has also distorted our national politics. Canada’s entry into World War I and World War II both resulted in crises when the federal government attempted to enforce conscription on Quebecers (#2). In recent federal elections, one political party has repeatedly claimed that Canadians must vote for them to keep Quebec in Canada.
Contrast the above example with the example of Britain in World War II. When Britain was close to defeat in 1940, and the entire British Army was trapped at Dunkirk, in desperation King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on the first day of the evacuation, 26th May 1940 (#3). Millions of people across the British Isles flocked into churches to pray for deliverance. Because the soldiers could not be evacuated using large ships, many ordinary people risked their lives by joining a flotilla of small boats sailing to France to rescue “their boys” from the beaches of Dunkirk. Prime Minister Churchill was subsequently able to galvanize and rally almost the entire population to defend their country, notably with his speech to Parliament on 4th June 1940 (“We shall fight on the beaches”) (#4). This is what can be done when people share the same heritage, traditions, values, religious faith, and love of country.