The Melting Pot Myth Essay

947 words - 4 pages

America for centuries has given a sense of hope to many throughout the world, since it allowed the chance for individuality among its citizens. Immigrants have traveled in masses to this country in order to express their religion freely in the hopes of not being judged or chastised. The newly found inhabitants of America all wanted to live the “American Dream” full of opportunities. This dream brought many people with different ethnicities together, causing them to interact and eventually begin to accept one another. With the many different languages, and cultures pouring into the country, it became more diverse. The idea of a “melting pot”, the mixing of different traditions to become one culture that shows no dominance, is a goal that America has constantly tried to achieve. An ideal which seems achievable is far out of reach for the American population. America will never be able to become a “melting pot” but instead remain a “salad bowl”, a nation that interacts with each other but continues to contain distinguishable parts, because of its diversity.
America has made several strides to become a “melting pot” in the eyes of its people. Beginning with the civil rights movement, which pushed for blacks and whites to be equal. No longer wanting whites to be seen as an inferior race, the term “separate but equal” came about. Although blacks and other minority groups gained the same rights as whites, segregation did not conform to the “melting pot”. After several riots, boycotts, and protest America began to listen to its people and desegregate public schools, restaurants, and other public facilities. The issue of equality moved from different races to gender. Women were seen as an inferior to men being an unheard voice in the background of America. Men were offered the chance to vote while women were not. After several years of fighting for their rights an amendment was passed that allowed women the chance to vote. These steps towards becoming a “melting pot” are evident in the nation’s history but yet it still remains a “salad bowl”.
The attempts to achieve a “melting pot” were a step in the right direction, but the ideal will never be achieved because these different cultures do not want to lose their identities. In order to achieve a true “melting pot” these various ethnicities must assimilate into one, the American culture. The reason for the diversity of our country is because of the masses of immigrants that traveled here in order to freely express what makes them individuals, by expecting them to change into this one culture, we are stripping away their individuality and uniqueness. Just how each person strives to stand out, to be different from the rest is the same thing that these numerous groups are trying to achieve. Not one person is the exact same and neither is one culture. The different religions, customs,...

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