The United States has Changed from a Melting Pot to a Vast Culture with Varying Racial Backgrounds.
The United States, created by blending or melting many cultures together into one common
man, known as an American. Modern communication and transportation accelerate mass migrations from
one continent . . . to the United States (Schlesinger 21). Ethnic and racial diversity was bound to happen
in the American society. As immigration began to explode, . . . a cult of ethnicity erupted both between
non Anglo whites and among nonwhite minorities. (22).
Until recently, the only country who has made a multiethnic society work, was the United States.
Hector St. John de Crevecoeur said, in America . . . individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of
men. Is this still true?The creation of the U.S. . . . was not to preserve old cultures but to forge a new,
American culture.” (Schlesinger 22).
In the 20th century, the melting pot is not working, and the whole idea is under attack (Evans
76). The United States has changed from a melting pot to a vast culture with varying backgrounds. In
years before, America was a collection of Chinese, Germans, Italians, Scots, Croats, etc., all craving
freedom. Today, even the simple concept of an English-speaking nation is fading off the continent. In the
old days, immigrants were taught in English in the public schools. (76). In America today, children are
taught in German, Italian, Polish, and 108 other languages. Most of these schools are funded by 139
million federal dollars.
Until recently,emigrants in the United States longed for admittance in society’s mainstream.
Now these groups demand separation from society, to be able to preserve and conserve their customs and
languages. The biggest problem with this demand, is whatever accommodation takes place, must be done
and accepted by the receiving society (Chavez 60).
The increasing accommodations directed toward immigrant culture worries many Americans.
Americans fear the special treatment granted to immigrants will effect the unifying force of the country.
Today, the trend is toward multiculturalism, diversity and adapting the newcomer, rather than on the
newcomer adapting himself or herself to . . . a diverse society (61).
Many Americans believe the nation has lost control of its boundaries. Concerned if
immigration continues, the U.S. economy will suffer, and that employment will be scarce. Immigrants . .
.are flooding the welfare rolls and are heavily involved in crime.(Morganthau 18). The increase number of
U. S. immigrants does effect the number of jobs available. The problem is, immigrants are either highly
qualified ( take American jobs) or are less than skilled in any field (increase welfare). The view on
immigration today is one of a drag on the economy, instead of
a lift (18).
In 1995, new immigration laws transfigure the American society. As a result, races group together
to defend their customs. The current immigration problem also increases the racial tension facing America
today. One result of racism in the United States is hate groups and gangs. Both have only one thing in
common–violence! The very use of the term of color – which embraces blacks, . . .Asians, Native
Americans and Hispanics, . . . many whom are ethnically white – implies that these disparate groups are
bonded simply by not being of Northern European descent. (Henry III 73). One example of these hate
groups is the Ku Klux Klan, known for their hatred toward African Americans, Catholics, and Jews.
The growing diversity of the American population makes the popularity of multiculturalism and
Political Correctness explode. The main function of this craze is to raise minority self-esteem. Viewed
by some, the obstacle this creates is not for the better. Multiculturalism helps unite groups and separates
them from the rest of the country. . . .Civil liberties and human rights — is portrayed as the root of all evil .
. . (Schlesinger 3). A positive approach would have Americans stop seeing themselves as members of
primarily one ethnic group, gaining their total identity from that group.White or black, Hispanic or
Asian, they must envision themselves simply as Americans.
Brookhiser, Richard. The Melting Pot is Still Simmering. Time,
1 March 1993, p. 72.
Chavez, Linda, and Cohn-Bendit, Daniel. Multicultural Society: Mosaic or Melting Pot? World
Link, March/April 1992, pp. 60-64.
Evans, Harold. Melting Pot or Salad Bowl? U.S. News & World Report, 31 March 1986, p. 76.
Henry III, William A. The Politics of Separation. Time, Fall 1993, pp. 73-75.
Morganthau, Tom. America: Still a melting Pot? Newsweek,
9 August 1993, pp 16-23.
Schlesinger,Arthur. The Cult of Ethnicity, Good and Bad. Time, Date of issue, pp. 21-23.