published Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Former melting pot

In 1993, the musical artist Prince changed his stage name to a symbol that represented a morphing of the combination of the circle-stick symbols for male and female. Because there was no stated pronunciation or meaning of the symbol, the performer's transition led to his being referred to as "the artist formerly known as Prince."

Many of us learned in American history that the United States enjoyed the reputation of being the world's "melting pot." This metaphor was used to draw our thoughts toward an idea of a land, a nation that offers a unique experience of freedom, opportunity and individuality.

Whether it's due to the politicization of each demographic for the purposes of vote seeking, the emphasis on minority and protected classes for the purpose of government funding, or the loss of American heritage from a civics deficit and a global-versus-American patriotism, the hyphenated individual now chooses not to "melt."

The "melting pot" communicated the notion of equal opportunity regardless of nationality or manner of citizenship. The blending of cultures, world views and experiences made the recipe of the United States a delightful dish that satisfied the hungry, filled the emptiness of the ambitious, and was a salute to a nation formed on the sole desire to honor, protect and govern by the consent of the individual.

Now, "the nation formerly known as the melting pot," is led by a president who's been said to own an "Apology Tour" in his diplomatic efforts and to physically bow before leaders of other nations.

Traits symbolic of "the nation" now emphasize our differences based on culture, nationality, even sexual preferences at the expense of our democratic republic's identity.

From the Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities, "The history of the melting pot theory can be traced back to 1782 when J. Hector de Crevecoeur, a French settler in New York, envisioned the United States not only as a land of opportunity but a society where individuals of all nations melted into a new race of men ... "

At the turn of the 20th century, Jewish humorist and writer Israel Zangill wrote the play, "The Melting Pot" whose hero declares: "America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming ... "

The nameless stew that is characteristic of today's identity politics, the anything-hyphenated American, and the discomfort in being a proud American among some circles needs to be thrown out in this election cycle.

America needs a leader who values the melting pot and honors the national legacy that has paved the way for freedom, prosperity and equal opportunity.

5
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

BH Obama is the very essence of the melting pot.

May 8, 2012 at 12:26 a.m.
conservative said...

Putting Obama and "pot" in the same sentence is not a help but a reminder.

May 8, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.

Your historical perspective is flawed. Cultural identity has always been retained in America, and that is not a bad thing.

But you know who's responsible for making claims like that about an "apology tour" ? You. You are responsible for the divisiveness your spiteful attitude has created.

And you know who's trying to create an artificial nationalism? Oh, that's you again. After all, these hyphenated Americans, they can't be TROO Americans! They're different colors, they speak different languages, they eat different foods, they even worship at different churches!

That bothers you.

Much like it bothered another party of racism and division. Care to remember who?

C'mon, surely you took at least one history class that covered it.

Or you can read a history book?

Or do you know nothing about the Know-Nothing party?? I want to see this side of the paper look up that history, and denounce it.

Surely that won't be hard to do. You value learning from history, right?

May 8, 2012 at 11:22 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.