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 affect 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 affect 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 the 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.