Why America Should Not be a Melting Pot

I have a problem when I hear people describe the US as a “melting pot” of races. First, it’s not true. Our country has not lived up to that image. Second, I don’t ever want it to be true.

I read an article recently about an African-American woman who was so fair-skinned she could and did pass for a white woman occasionally growing up. For her it meant better jobs, housing, education, and more respect. I’m not criticizing her for this (code switching is very useful), but I think it’s a shame that she had to deny part of her identity in order to be accepted in society. That’s what the melting pot does. It makes you shed part of your cultural and personal identity in order to fit the mold of the white majority. It teaches you that the part of you that is different, that is non-white, is not valued or worth recognition.

Patricia Williams, when she spoke at my school, said that the US has waves of minorities that eventually get pushed to be either white or black. Italians and other Eastern Europeans that immigrated to America were once discriminated against, but are now considered white and enjoy those privileges. They were assimilated because they were able to pass. What happened to the rich culture and traditions of those assimilated? They were abandoned and replaced with other traditions more suited to the majority. For me, that’s a sad thing. Everyone deserves to be valued for their differences and be able to maintain the integrity of their culture, without it being denied or watered down by a desire for better jobs and treatment.

race-white-german-assimilation-cartoonSource

I’m reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison right now and there is a part of the book (CH 10) that I think applies here. The main character gets a job at a Liberty Paint factory where they make the purest white paint in the world. How? They put ten drops of a black chemical into each bucket. They mix it in until it disappears. I don’t want black culture to disappear. I don’t want any ethnic culture to disappear.

When I was growing up, my parents didn’t speak Hindi around me or my sisters. They wanted us to learn English. How I wish they had taught us Hindi too! I know a lot of families that do the same thing. Perhaps if I had learned Hindi, I would feel a stronger connection to that part of my identity. This is an example of culture being watered down, and it was a result of my parents wanting a better life for their children by emphasizing their white identities.

So no, I don’t want America to be a melting pot. If we really desire to be a multicultural nation, we have to accept each culture as different but not deficient and see the value in diversity. We need to become a salad bowl of awesomeness.

My Tinder No-No’s

TINDER

This is the part when I complain about how hard it is to meet people. I know I’m on a college campus surrounded by people my age, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to make it any easier. My track record with guys is literally nonexistent. That’s when my friend told me about an iPhone app called Tinder that allows you to chat with guys that have “liked” your profile.

Oh boy.

I make a profile and quickly get a few matches. Every time I get a notification, I turn into a middle school boy-crazy version of myself. It’s completely trivial but I’m hooked. After a few days of guys not talking to me, I start sending messages myself, most of which are not answered. Gradually, I lose interest and leave the app for a few weeks. Recently, I started using the app again out of idle curiosity and boredom and I realized something important, I don’t like anybody. I don’t think guys know how to market themselves well. Some of the things they show and tell in their profiles make me wonder if they are really trying to meet girls at all. Tinder is all about snap judgments and I have a few cues that tell me immediately to swipe left. Some of these things are specific to me, but some are just plain bad.

I swipe left if you are:
wearing a fraternity shirt or have Greek letters in your profile (You know, just in case we didn’t know you were a d-bag from your pictures.)
in the military (I love you guys, but I don’t want to be an army wife.)
in a boat (because)
with too many SWB (Skinny White Bitches) (I’m not your type.)
with too many bare-chested guys and I can’t tell who I’m looking at (I hope you’re the cute one?)
holding a beer in every photo (Future AA member)
in too many selfies (Self-centered much?)
holding a baby ( I hope it’s not yours…)
playing extreme sports (I won’t be joining you anytime soon.)
holding a gun (Nope.)
holding a fish/are fishing (I just don’t understand fishing culture.)
wearing or waving an US flag (Not super patriotic on this end)
a tattoo enthusiast (One is fine, more than one is excessive)
wearing earrings (Just no.)
wearing a Bieber haircut (NO)
exposing a severe injury/stitches (Seeing your bloody flesh really gets me going.)
mentioning your junk in your profile (SMH)
growing the longest beard in the world (No one wants to kiss that.)
the owner of a weird name (Some of my favorite examples are “Aymen”, “Bo”, and “Shrimp”)

I’m not left with many options after I rule out everyone on that list, which is why I’m convinced I’ll be a spinster. Not that I’m looking for anything serious on Tinder, but it makes me wonder how this whole “fall in love and get married” thing will work out. Usually, the only thing I have in common with guys on Tinder is that we both like the Panthers or Adele. In real life, my opportunities to meet guys have been very few since I have never really been in the “going out” scene. I got my first booty call message on Tinder a few days ago. (For the record, I don’t like cuddling naked…not with you, weirdo.) I’ll probably delete the app soon…as soon as the profiles stop being ridiculous.

Forever alone
Beck

What are your Tinder no-no’s? Let me know in the comments below!