Pompeo criticizes multiculturalism, 'all the -isms' as 'not who America is'

'Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo derided "multiculturalism" and other "-isms," tweeting Tuesday that they "distort" the nation's founding.

"Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is," he said. "They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker."

His comments came after a speech last week when he attacked "censorship, wokeness, political correctness."

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"It all points in one direction – authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness," he said. "It’s similar to what we’re seeing at Twitter, and Facebook, and Apple, and on too many university campuses. This is not who we are, as Americans ... It’s time to put woke-ism to sleep."

On Tuesday, Pompeo received a wave of online backlash on Twitter to the point where "multiculturalism" became a trending phrase.

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"Dear @SecPompeo: You described your dad as a proud Italian-American," tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. "You attended the Sons of Italy’s 2019 Ambassadors Ball. You practice multiculturalism yourself. So either you are a hypocrite, or you believe you are stoking divisions by being multicultural."

Some defended Pompeo's comments. Conservatives have generally argued that the idea of multiculturalism isn't just inclusive of people from multiple cultures, it validates their ideas even if they contradict what Americans have traditionally valued. 

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"He's absolutely right," the Daily Wire's Matt Walsh tweeted. "Multiculturalism is a failed experiment and should be abandoned."

"The reason America is in its current state is that we are a collection of people without any shared culture or reference point. We have little in common, we are not assimilated with each other, and we have observed the results. It's not good," he said.