Are We a Melting Pot or Salad Bowl?
Are We a Melting Pot or a Salad Bowl?
Unless an American citizen is a Native American, he or she is part of a great country filled with immigrants. Those who came before us, our ancestors, came here from every corner of this small world. There was a time, and it was not so long ago, when America’s motto was “give us your tired and weak” etc. We embraced immigrants that sought a new life here. That, however, is no longer the case as the problem of illegal immigration, which has rapidly spread across this country, has seen the end our open arms philosophy. One of the problems with the American attitude is that none of us have ever had to experience what immigrants experience every day. Many see us as either a salad bowl where all of our ethnic experiences mix together but at the same time accent each other. Others see us as the proverbial melting pot where our ethnic experiences meld and mix together. As far as the civil rights issues that face our nation, both of these stances help us understand the plight of the immigrant. One thing that many Americans seem to forget is that we are dealing with immigrants; we are dealing with human beings here—human beings who simply want a better life for themselves and their families. Just because many Americans see immigrants as being “different” does not excuse the fact that many of us ignore, and do not recognize, their basic human rights. This country was founded by immigrants. Without the complex mixture of different ethnic groups, America would not be the grand country that it is today. In many ways, our ethnic experiences do mix together and accent each other which are a wonderful thing, but our ethnic experiences melding and mixing together is also a wonderful thing. As long as we recognize the rights and beliefs of those who were not born in this country, but add so much to the American experience and tradition, it does not really matter which stance one...
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