Cultural Diversity and the Impossibility of a True Melting Pot

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Cultural Diversity and the Impossibility of a True Melting Pot The core standards of America are founded, in principle, on the basis of its diversity and equality among citizens. Begin- ning with its Declaration of Independence, the United States distinguished itself from other modern nation-states by establishing a country of men who were different but equal. Yet, despite the unifying images America projects within and beyond its borders, the idea behind E Pluribus Unum does not resound as one might assume it would. E Pluribus Unum was originally intended to be both a representation of the union of the thirteen colonies and an expression of the United States as a country formed by immigrants of many different backgrounds. Today, just the literal size of America would suggest the existence of a largely varied social atmosphere, even before one considers its influx of immigration from countries all over the world. In a way E Pluribus Unum-"out of many, one-is a contradiction. Many different cultures are represented within American citizenry and within the country's physical borders, and they remain distinctive. The outmoded idea of America as the "melting pot" has been replaced precisely because people are not going to disregard their first cultural traditions to adopt "American" ones. Rather, their differences tend to perpetuate separatist notions and delineate cultural groups as clearly as borders delineate the end of one country from the beginning of another. I believe that there are many advantages to embracing the diversity America has within its borders. Members of different cultures within the borders of one nation can benefit from each other, for example, by learning more about themselves through their varieg... ... middle of paper ... ... I, too, have traveled outside of the United States and have discovered the advantages of being open to cultural differences. My experiences have allowed me to accept people on their own terms more easily than I would have were I not able to break out of my culture, even though only for a short period of time. I wish others could realize that cultural differences run only so deep-Middle Eastern Americans have as much pride for this nation as do Americans of non-Middle Eastern descent. Nevertheless, I remain confident that time will ameliorate problems associated with cultural difference. Notes 1. Name changed to ensure anonymity. 2. Name changed to ensure anonymity. 3. Elizabeth Fernea. Guests of the Sheik (New York: Anchor Books, 1969). 4. Ibid., 6. Bibliography Fernea, Elizabeth. Guests of the Sheik. New York: Anchor Books, 1969.

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