America Is No Longer A Melting Pot

Strength through diversity....

What does each American bring to the table?
What does each American bring to the table? | Source

Our "Melting Pot" now holds an American Salad....

A look at our past:

For the recent centuries here in America we termed our nation "a Melting Pot" in which new citizens in a relatively short time became one with the rest of the citizenry in using English as the national language and in adopting all the customs of their new homeland.

Yes, we were proud of our heritage and sought to add to America the best values of the lands we came from, but our desire was to be "real Americans" as soon as possible by attending classes at night, if not by day, and by seeking to understand our new country...the U. S. A. The goal was not only to become citizens as soon as possible, but to blend in, to look and act like the best American examples we could find.

A look at today:

Those goals are still the goals of many new immigrants coming to America, but more than that America itself has discovered that there is strength in diversity.

When terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001, our country quickly identified those behind the attacks and suddenly needed to recruit Americans who had an expertise in the languages and cultures of the attackers. Unlike some countries faced with such a challenge, we had loyal Americans who could meet that need.

It isn't clear when we fully recognized the value of respecting and preserving the strengths immigrants bring to America when they preserve and add their languages and cultural heritages to the fabric which has become our nation's tapestry. It is clear, however, that the concept of "a melting pot" has changed. We are now aware that there is an even greater value in becoming an exemplary "American salad."

Traditional American values are still the lettuce of this "American salad" but we now recognize that other languages and cultures are the real makings of this salad. There is value in having exotic fruits added, along with onions, black olives, tomatoes, green peppers, and jalapeno peppers, a choice of dressings, and flavors which mix and combine to the enjoyment and nourishment of all.

America is the ideal home for the United Nations headquarters and New York City is its ideal location. The city boasts every culture, and its endless variety of ethnic restaurants and entertainment, even ethnic newspapers, radio stations, and TV channels. The new immigrants can be found working in every sector of the society, and the same is true, if to a lesser extent in every major city and town in America.

The doctor from India, the engineer from Portugal, the college professor from Mexico, the farmer from South Africa, and the fisherman from Norway, all bring their skills which make America stronger and more universally appealing as a continuing beacon of freedoms.

If there is a country in the world which recognizes that all men, women, and children share the same divine heritage regardless of their surface differences, it is America, and Americans know that this "American salad" is good for all of us now and in the future of these United States of America.

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© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

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Comments 14 comments

steveso profile image

steveso 4 years ago from Brockport, NY

Excellent Hub. I agree with you completely. Keep up the good work.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I also agree and I think it is a great salad.


NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 years ago from California, United States of America

Good piece and great metaphor. America is definitely a unique place with a unique perspective on freedom and diversity. I like my salads with a variety of ingredients, you get more out of it that way. Also, it is very interesting how things change, and America has definitely gone through immense changes over the past 60-70 years.


win-winresources 4 years ago from Colorado

Hmmm...

America's strength comes from all of us pulling together. This certainly does not mean that immigrants need to give up their heritage. Indeed, for some that heritage reaches back some 5,000-6,000 years and brings with it solid family values, work ethics, and dedication to helping their fellow man. This diverse history enhances and bolsters us as a nation.

What it does, however, mean is that we all adopt several common goals. Goals that help us co-identify with one another and feel a comraderie and even a kinship. Things that force separation, language for example, tears at that unity.

We all have the freedom to live as we wish and practice whatever customs comfort us. Including speaking our grandparents language in our homes. (Heck, most of us even had to take a foreign language in school.) But when speaking as a nation, it needs to be in a unified way.

I much prefer the melting pot to the salad. "Melting", to me, does not mean dissolving or diluting, but joining with to form something stronger.

-DW


jman00001 profile image

jman00001 4 years ago from Texas

Nice article, but I agree with Win.

The new "diversity" approach has major problems that have resulted in the weakening of America relative to the rest of the world. Past examples of England and the UK of the strong Muslim and Asian additions to their country's "salad" and the resulting deterioration of the nation's identity and overall strength and respect in the world are self evident. I Agree that America is more of a salad now. I also agree that America's strength and national patriotism levels have dropped because of that change...

What you saw in 911 was what was left of the GOOD old America ...it is not all gone yet.. but will be soon as we continue our country's dissent into diversity, liberal socialism, and anti white race hatred. ...If you live in a border city to Mexico with an urban low income area, these truths unfortunately are also self evident each and every week.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

A good article and I prefer and appreciate the salad metaphor and the salad reality. I think the melting pot was too often patronizing and presupposed that "certain cultural norms and values" were inherently superior to others, which they are not.

However, I am very concerned about America's lax and foolish attitude toward insisting upon English as our common "public" language. I am first generation American of Polish extraction and to the day they died my grand parents and other relatives spoke fluent Polish at home and amongst themselves.

Shortly after they arrived, they began intensive study of English and before long they became citizens. It would never have occurred to them not to. Learning English did not mean giving up Polish...any more that learning to play the piano means giving up the guitar. It is possible, even a benefit and a gift, two possess two equally valid and modes of expression. It is as true for languages as it is for music.

This is not a paternalistic concern of mine. Poor or negligible command of the English language restricts and hurts the immigrant. . There are educational, societal, and "economic" benefits which are not available to those who are not fluent in English.

Locally and regionally, we need to make learning English (not just for the children) a priority. This does not mean a large, expensive federal program. What we need are local programs sponsored by churches, philanthropic organizations, and county schools.

My apologies for going on a tangent, Demas. This is an excellent hub. Definitely Sharing.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

I love your article and the "American Salad" comparison. I do think it is a better analogy for today than the "melting pot." This is a well written article. We are a much better country bcause of our diversity and your examples are good ones. I do think today's immigrants do need to learn English and become part of our American culture. I understand and respect their individual heritages as my grandparents and other relatives came directly from Italy. I have to agree with phdast7, they learned English and embraced the American culture and eventually became Amercian citizens. Immigrants today seem to want us to learn their languages, and even though I am a Spanish teacher, I don't believe I should be speaking Spanish to the Hispanics living in this country. They should be speaking English. I don't want to see America become small or large pockets of nationalities living apart from the American culture. I want to see us all embrace the American culture, yet respect all the other countries and nationalities represented by the "veggies and fruits on the salad." Thank you for a thought provoking and well written article. Voted up!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

jman00001 - Since your skin is fair (I won't mention the hair color because it may not be natural), it's doubtful you are a Native American--the only people whose forebears were not immigrants to America.

I hate to break this news to you (since you've obviously never given it any thought), but YOUR ancestors were immigrants, and those Native Americans probably weren't happy to see them arrive...especially since their behavior toward the "real" owners of this country left a lot to be desired (stealing their lands, murdering their families with guns, etc. ) They probably felt as though your ancestors were "weakening" their country, adding " a new diversity approach" ...all those WASPs they didn't ask for or want!

How does it feel to be the unwanted immigrant?


jman00001 profile image

jman00001 4 years ago from Texas

Jaye - There is a big difference between what happened during the European colonization of the States of America and this modern “salad versus melting pot” topic. Open armed conflict marked the majority of the conquest of the North American continent. Right or wrong that change was made in the open. Whether American Indian, French or British, their regimes fell based on “external attack”. Finally that conquest made the USA the most powerful, advanced and civilized nation in the world. It did not make it weaker as the people following the bible as well as the Darwinist survival & expansion of the fittest code.

This American “salad” concept was created based on an old supposedly overturn concept of “separate but equal”. That seems to be what is going on, except it was modified slightly to exclude race based scholarships, etc rights from white Caucasians… All this at the behest of many white liberal democrats.. All following the anti-thesis of what grew America –now it is survival and expansion of the weakest, least intelligent (now getting bused to ~good schools & thereby ruining those schools and pushing middle class families to send kids to expensive private schools), least successful ( many habitual food stamp and welfare queens taking great pride in never working or contributing )…

This “America salad” change is one of ~secret attack from within. This “internal attack” for America has been ongoing for years. The losses this country see’s now are political & cultural and mostly are due to laziness, fear and apathy. Racism has been getting worse for the past two decades against white Caucasians. Many of the guilty are whites themselves. I have seen evidence of this in the past during school voting for officers in an auditorium. All non white males Always voted against white male candidates every time. Overheard whispers confirmed what I saw during hand raise based voting. The majority group of white males voted properly for the preferred candidates and effectively split their vote . The result was only 1 white male student being elected to a student government body of 14 positions.. At the time the classes where 80% white male.

I have also seen it during the election of President Obama and the resulting shock & awe and commentary shared by many… Blacks shooting and crying how they can’t believe it finally happened and “ they got one of their own in!”… or by many white college students screaming and elderly saying how it is ”their turn now to lead”.

- Apparently those voter comments are not racist and considered good and heartwarming by our mainstream media.

Based on your photo, you also look Caucasian and probably not of American Indian heritage.

Please remember - you will have to live with yourself, and with the knowledge of what your future Caucasian relatives will know what role you played during this fall of America as a #1 super power that at the time had a strong Christian and Caucasian race leadership.

- By the way, saying our country has (or had) smart, strong, loyal people in it that believe in Christianity and the Bible is not a sin or crime .. and least not yet.


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Good messages. GBY.


Studley 4 years ago

Great comments.. I like jman! Cute hard core conservativism .. Wish we had that kind of passion going in the government


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

I note that the misreading of this Hub by one commenter as some kind of white supremacist text, came between her two Hubs about "Dog Bites" and "sewer gas" from a bathtub. It must have just been a bad day. Any defense of Native Americans is more than welcome and I hope she has written her congressional representatives about the short shrift they are still getting with high unemployment and paternal disregard by Congress and the present/former Bureau of Indian Affairs. We have a forum for writing about those topics, too.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 18 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

My father was the first American born child in a family of several siblings born in Sweden. I believe my mother was the first of her family born in the US. Their parents as immigrants brought some values to the country and learned some American values. I think that is as it should be. I think, however, that those who come with no intent to contribute to the country are not desirable.

We need to have devotion to our values and laws or we will fall apart as a culture.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 18 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

We also need a functioning government that truly functions as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people....not for some segments of the people, not for corporations gaining powers that exclude the majority voice of the people, and not for the "us" versus "them." Taken as a whole, we are all US, and we need to do everything we can to stay that way!

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