Racial Struggle in America

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Racial Struggle in America

Yes East and West and North and South, the Palm and the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross - how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God. (Rereading America 535)

The myth of the melting pot, similarly to The American Dream [i] , brings a lot of immigrants to America hoping to find equality, freedom and opportunity. The promise of a new race in which individuals of all nations are melted into one, and whose labors would change the world, eludes people all over the globe. The drama of becoming an American requires that immigrants take on a new identity, because they want to become equally members of the community with all the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities that their fellow citizens have. The myth then falls flat on its face, because it lies when it says that all Americans are "created equal." The melting pot ideal has often masked the reality of racial supremacy, constantly reminding us of race [ii] when we feel our differences becoming signs of inferiority, and as inferiors we are treated as subhuman. Thomas Jefferson as third president of the United States (1801-1809) recommended that all emancipated slaves should be sent out of the state to form separate colonies, and to prevent racial conflict as well as intermarriage with whites. While he believed in the "Group Separatism" relation, which in "Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective" George M. Fredrickson explained as a self-governing community, President Ronald Regan declared himself "color blind" in matters of race. Neither a "group separatism," nor a "color-blind" socie...

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...eading America. Eds. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martins, 2001. 598-609.

Cose, Ellis. "Can a New Race Surmount Old Prejudices?"Rereading America. Eds. Gary

Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martins, 2001. 635-646.

Lindholm, William C. "Origins of the Old Order Amish." http://holycrosslivonia.org/amish/origin.htm

[i]American Dream: the notion that anyone can succeed in America only through hard work.

[ii]Race: population distinguished by genetic traits

[iii] politics of identification: Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s term to define our capacity to identify with others regardless of their differences. "A Liberalism of Heart and Spine"

[iv] model minority: Asian Americans were used as model minorities to other minorities to claim that the American Dream is alive.
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