September 08, 2019

Is the US really a Melting Pot?

The US has long been described as a Melting Pot – a crucible of multiple cultures.  But are we?  Are we really a blended mix of cultures that cannot be individually discerned?

No less a mind that the great Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the first to push a similar phrase, the “smelting pot”, in his personal journal while referring to the development of America as a mix of races.  Emerson was a proponent of races mixing, which was a very progressive thought at the time.

Many other leading minds have suggested the same and early in development of the United States, the concept that we are true melting pot of cultures was not only a common phrase, but a badge of honor.

But is the US truly a melting pot – or more importantly, do we want to be a melting pot?

Maybe, just maybe, we are a piecing together of many cultures and beliefs, creating a stunning picture of humanity.  Without question, as nation we need to be connected through a core foundation of beliefs and values – that is how nations grow and succeed.  The US has arguably been one of the most successful nations in history because of that foundation.

However, our success is also directly a result of our ability to embrace different cultures, experiences and beliefs.  We are a country that has been created, expanded and built by people of many cultures, many nations and many beliefs.  After the brutality faced by Native Americans, they have remained an important part of our culture and our nation.  People from Spain, Italy, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Germany, Africa, China and many, many more played essential roles in forming and developing our country from the beginning.  So many more people of different countries and cultures have continued to help our country evolve into the most successful nation in the world today.

The risk to our country is in fighting among all those different cultures internally.  We are easily stronger when we are bound together by are commonalities – while respecting the differences of each individual piece, much like the beauty created in a Mosaic.

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