The Loss of the Melting Pot

Posted: April 19, 2007 by April Watkins in Immigration, Issues, Our Government, War on Terror
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Have you noticed that it’s not cool to just be an American?  No, we are all subdivided into groups by race (African American), religion (Jewish American), ethnicity (Arab American) or even sexual preference (Gay American).  No longer do we take pride in that one title that so many fought to gain…that one word … just … American.   

Not only are we overreaching to find our own sense of importance through hereditary or life-style variations, we are sending a message that says just being an American is not important.  No longer are our immigrants striving to “melt together” to be considered part of what it meant to be Americans.  Now, the idea of the “melting pot” even has a negative connotation; being seen as robbing others of their culture, of taking away their heritage.   

This completely ignores the basic concept of the “melting pot.” Melting changes the form of matter.  When one or more things are melted together, they coalesce and become a new thing.  The term “melting pot” used to describe the America where people from all walks of life, from countries near and far, from all traditions of faith, came together in one place that gave them hope.  They melted together to form a new breed of person, the American. 

Instead, we see colonies set up in our own country with little assimilation into the general culture of today’s America.  Often these communities are isolated and insulated, creating animosity between the inhabitants and the surrounding citizenry.  In an attempt at kindness, political correctness has fed this disaster by perpetuating these colonies through government assistance (in mandatory multiple languages) and judicial blinks at foreign customs contrary to our own. 

Without the process of assimilation, we have no cohesive sense of oneness.  The concept of immigration then changes from an asset to a liability to a threat.  The threat of building extensions of former locales … colonies of another motherland growing under the stars and stripes of Old Glory.  That being said, America cannot stagnate.  It should continue to gain from the newly vested immigrants, giving her new and greater strength to face a new world.  We are not the same America as we were during WW1 or WW2, but we should rejoice in the same advantages of uniting together as one America.   Immigrant Americans of years past had hope at a better life, shared in the richness of the blended cultural traditions, yet faced struggles and misunderstandings, and fought against intolerance and bigotry.  But when they looked out over those shining seas toward brewing storms abroad, they looked with one set of eyes and spoke with one voice…that of the Americans.     

These new groups of immigrants do not seem prepared to work together as a unit to create a New American who can meet the challenges of the 21st century at home and around the world.   With ongoing discussions about a comprehensive immigration plan, we need to consider not only our role as host, but the immigrant’s role as a new initiate. 

We must ask ourselves…are they coming to America to be Americans or are they coming to America to silently colonize our land with our tacit consent.  It is our country, our responsibility, and now it’s our watch…and that is Why It Matters.  

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