Thursday, January 13, 2005

Melting pot, I think not

There is a general notion that I'm sure you've heard whenever the subject of diversity is brought up about the United States of America being a big melting pot of all races, ethnicities, religions, etc. All of these different cultures and identities go into the pot that is America, and I have a serious problem with that.

By definition, this melting pot would mix together all types of cultures, all types of races, all types of religions into one homogenization of uniformity. Instead of clear-cut black and white, there would be a gray mixture of everything that was thrown into this pot. That doesn't seem right. Where is the individuality? Where are the unique cultures? Where are divisions? Not violent, discriminating divisions between people, rather differences that make everyone unique and place a certain value on each type of culture.

America is not a melting pot. America is a place where you can be an individual and can cherish your own unique culture. This is no melting pot. Instead, I like to think of this country as a tray of assorted deli meats.

Each is unique. Each has it's own texture and taste. And when they come together on a sandwich, they don't lose the qualities that make them individual by melting together with the others. There's pastrami, turkey, ham, salami, corned beef, roast beef, and don't even get me started on all the cheeses.

There are so many different styles, races, religions and cultures that should be able to co-exist in this country and to generalize them by saying that this country is a melting pot is ridiculous. I really hate that metaphor because when you think about, it's not true at all. The fact that America isn't a melting pot is what makes this place great.

In discussing diversity, I seriously think we shouldn't use that metaphor. It just doesn't make sense.

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