The Myth of the American Melting Pot


The reference of America as the melting pot results from the fact that the country has many of its people coming from everywhere across the world and thus bringing with them different customs, beliefs, and cultures that should be assimilated to one. The purpose of the assimilation of the different cultures and customs is to make America a one nation. However, this is in contrary to the common belief since America is actually not a ‘melting pot’. Most researchers instead argue that America is ‘salad bowl’ owing to the fact that people who come to America decide to hold onto their customs and cultures, thus failing to take on the characteristics of their new society. This implies that the society becomes a mixture of several different things that are easy to differentiate like in a salad. This therefore opens a window of controversy and myth of the common belief of a melting pot.

Myth of the American Melting Pot

Racism is still at its heights in America. Racism takes place on a daily basis and people may fail to notice the vice or they are too oblivious to the fact that they may be too caught up in their personal lives. In some cases, people identify acts of racism and just ignore the act since they are not victims or concern them. Additionally, America is known as the exemplary nation in embracing freedom. Ironically, many minorities feel looked down upon and thus bringing the feeling that their freedom is extremely limited. Therefore, it is more likely that America will never be one for a long time since racism will be constant if people fail to overcome their fears of difference from others.

Furthermore, there is also the multiculturalist view of the myth of the American pot. Multiculturalists argue that minority cultures can suffer their distinctive features through assimilation. For instance, there may be cases of the dominant groups developing certain programs aimed at integrating the minority groups in certain institutions. This will eventually result in the less dominant cultures and immigrants losing their original culture, language, and identity. Additionally, in practice, assimilation is a forced process in America and results in immigrants having severed ties with family and relatives in their countries of origin.


In conclusion, the concept of the melting pot does not reflect its common belief and attracts debate worldwide. America is indeed not one as in terms of culture, customs, and beliefs, and will certainly remain a diversified nation for quite a long time. The myth revolving around the American pot includes the widespread racism, and oppression of the minority through assimilation.