Posts Tagged ‘ diversity ’

The Case for Stew

By Amanda Bertsch

 

It’s a familiar enough metaphor: America is either the melting pot of unity or the salad bowl of multiculturalism. Last Wednesday’s opinion piece dissected one view of the issue. Others strongly disagree. Yet there seems to be no good choice here.

In the melting pot, Americans have a strong sense of national identity. A shared cultural background unifies the wide country despite other (often political) differences. However, minorities may find themselves forced to assimilate, losing rich cultural histories in favor of a primarily white Christian narrative.

In the salad bowl, these different identities coexist peacefully. The juxtaposition between cultures enriches society. However, some may find themselves struggling to communicate with distinct and disparate areas of culture, so the country feels splintered.

Ironically, this debate about how to achieve national unity has become uniquely polarizing. Republicans tend to align with the melting pot model, while Democrats advocate the salad bowl. Many people in the middle offer some half-remembered explanation from eighth grade civics. Yet the truly impressive fact of this debate is society’s willingness to accept that narrative.

The melting pot vs. salad bowl debate is a false dichotomy. Continue reading

Advertisements
Advertisements