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The Melting Pot – Ethnic Grouping

June 16, 2018

The United States has long been called the melting pot. That is a strange thing call a country. When I hear that I picture a fireplace in a log cabin. There is a roaring flame. A large black iron pot hangs in the the fireplace. It either hangs by its handle or sits on something. I am not sure which. But somehow it is there in the flame. I imagine different foods have been placed in the pot. A piece of meat cut from something that was shot and butchered. Different kinds of vegetables, plants, herbs, and seasonings place in the pot. All being boiled in water. Somehow all these ingredients put together and heated will mix into a stew or soup that will be good to the taste and nourishing to the body. The different substances will be there but will still be separate identifiable parts.

Is this how the country works. Are all the different peoples mixed in the pot but blend in together to become something sustainable?

Or is our county more like an large pot in a steel or iron mill where different materials are mixed together, heated until the all melt and blend together in one molten liquid with no separate identifiable substances. The mixture become one inseparable solution, leaving no way to ascertain what the original ingredients were.

That is a question we need to ask ourselves. Whether we want to continue as a mixture of parts or a solution with the loss of identity of the separate original parts.

At the present time we are like the first pot. We are all in one pot but we are storing around maintaining our original identities. I see ads on television trying to get me to order a kit. I can place a swab in my mouth and send it back and the company will analyze it and tell me where my distant ancestors were from. Then I will know my real identity and who I am and what my heritage is. Of course all my ancestors will not have come from the same place. The percentages will be written out. Thirty per cent from England. Twenty five per cent from France. They can even tell the part of the county or the village in some cases. They do that by comparing genetic clusters. As a population is bound together for years they begin to share the same genetic mutations which are unique from populations in other areas.

it may be that years from now our descendants will be able to find out what parts of the United States their ancestors were from. If that is true then we can never expect to be like the second pot. We will always be like the first pot. Different people with different genetic clusters living in the same pot. Together, but different with different identities and origins.

i have not ordered one of those kits. I have not had my DNA tested to determine where my ancestors were from, what my identity is and what are my origins. The only thing I know is I was born and grew up in North Georgia. I am told I was born in North Georgia. I do not know that of my personal knowledge. That is a legal term meaning things you know because you saw them happen. You were an actual witness to the events and remember the events. I get very confused when asked about my ethnicity. Can I say North Georgian. I usually say American. North Georgia has to many letters. Appalachian would be accurate but I can’t spell that without a spell checker. Georgian is not good. I am not like the South Georgians. They have a different ethnicity down there that I can’t or don’t identify with. So I stay with American.

In summary, I believe we will always be like the first pot. Different pieces living and mixing in the same pot. How we will continue to get along is something we can’t predict. That is up to each succeeding  generation to determine.





From → Observation

  1. I remember learning the phrase “melting pot” when I was in school and it confused the hell out of me. A melting pot? First, I wasn’t sure what one was. At our house, the pots got hot but didn’t melt. So the stuff inside melted? What was the stuff? Not people. Okay, I was a fairly literal-minded kid. “E pluribus unum” made more sense to me once someone translated it.

    From what I’ve read about those DNA swab learn-your-heritage businesses, they sound more accurate than they are. You can send your DNA to two of them and discover that your ancestors came from different places.

  2. Years ago, when I taught a class on bias-free education, I used the term “tossed salad.” I would much prefer we keep our identities in tact while living in our collective big bowl. Then, like your soup, we have made something wonderful. Besides, who wants to be melted?

    Thank you for this post.

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