The Melting Pot

I often find it strange when people think of themselves as Irish, or German, or even Asian when they have been born and raised here in America, and are often third or forth generation Americans. Racial and ethnic segregation have been ingrained in our society to the point where we accept and embrace these stereotypes. Watching shows like the Jersey Shore, where the people are very proud to be, “Italian,” but probably couldn’t even identify where Italy is on a map. Walk into an, “Irish,” pub and try and find someone who is actually Irish. Our insistence in maintaining past traditions and stereotypes is preventing our country from finding its own personal identity. After all, aren’t we supposed to be the great melting pot.

In my opinion, I could care less where your ancestors came from. You never met your ancestors, and neither did I;  you know absolutely nothing about the traditions of, “the old country,” nor should you care. We’re all Americans and we need to start acting like it. Zadie Smith’s novel, White Teeth, deals intimately with the idea of cultural assimilation. However, in almost all cases, the characters get treated with hostility for, “mixing.” People is people, despite where their from or by which name they refer to as god. Samad’s insistence that his children grow up Muslim only serve to alienate him from his family. People care way too much about the past in my opinion, and it often affects their vision of the future. We are destined to be all mixed up in the melting pot which is America, so stop thinking of yourself as a foreigner, its both unbecoming and unpatriotic.

-Robert Jeter

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~ by Robert Jeter on April 19, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Melting Pot”

  1. Agreed.
    One of my pet peeves is when people wear “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirts or other shirts similar to that style.
    Another thing I hate is when people ask me all the time if I’m Irish because I have red hair and pale skin. I usually just tell them probably somewhere way back when, but I’m American.
    -Lynne M.

  2. Woah! America is its own unique place, a melting pot. Where else can you find all these different European, African, and Asian cultures all mixed together? And I beg to differ, about knowing nothing about traditions of the old country. Some traditions can be passed down for generations, which is something to be admired, not mocked. American is the land of the free. We are allowed to be who we want to be. And we can still be proud of our heritage and be proud to be American.

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