Social Question

GloPro's avatar

Is this really a melting pot?

Asked by GloPro (8394points) May 25th, 2014 from iPhone

Racially sensitive question. Please be courteous

So I’m people watching this weekend in Lake Tahoe. It’s a big tourist weekend. Most of the tourists are of Asian or Indian descent. You just have to trust me on that.

I’m not trying to appear a bigot. The question is… These groups of races seem to stick to themselves and are prevalent in traveling to Tahoe. This suggests to me that America is NOT a melting pot, but rather an acceptance of all races.


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17 Answers

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Noticing patters doesn’t make you a bigot.

People just do what they do.

You are merely the observer.

It’s not your “fault” if individuals choose to self segregate.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@GloPro I think they may be a bit intimidated by other cultures, but if you approach them with respect and in a nice way, they are awesomely friendly.

GloPro's avatar

Maybe I should expound, at the expense of judgement. Indian families don’t have a token white guy. Neither do the Asian families. I contend that coming to the USA to have better opportunity is different than a melting pot. I see that these races and families are very reluctant to accept those different than them. They are not here for the melting pot mentality we boast and are proud of. Are we really a melting pot?????

canidmajor's avatar

I think the concept of “melting pot” applies more to different cultural and ethnic groupings that have integrated over a number of generations,where parents and even grandparents were raised in the US, melding into mixed communities. Even then, however, the cultural traditions and languages and culinary styles carry on…
So I guess in some ways your “acceptance of all races” is, indeed, a more accurate assessment.
Maybe in another hundred years we will truly be a “melting pot”.

Good Q, (with no trace, BTW, of bigotry)

Crazydawg's avatar

Maybe I am wrong but I thought the concept of America being a melting pot was accepting and allowing other races to come to America, visit, immigrate and integrate into our society but at the same time not having to abandon their cultural identity while here in America. I am kinda lost at what your question is getting at.

I also don’t see it a requisite that anyone clearly a non-American has to accept other races. Bigotry is alive and well in America and why we have China Towns, ghettos, Little Italy’s, German towns and Mexican neighborhoods where people can live and associate with like minded folks, Yes we are a melting pot, just be careful where and when you stir that pot.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

No, this is not a melting pot. We had this question in Jr. High School back in 69. I have the same answer today as I did then. America is a mixing bowl.

eno's avatar

Melting Pot a place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole

The key words here are assimilate and cohesive. Since the Asians and the Indians are keeping to themselves and not assimilating/sharing cultures, there is no cohesive whole, and therefore, no melting pot.

Segregated communities, gentrified communities, gated-communities are other examples that we’re not a melting pot. Likewise, in working environments and country clubs.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Well… the phrase is “melting pot,” not “melted pot.” If you throw a bunch of ingredients into the pot and look in right away, you’re still going to be able to discern the ingredients from each other. It takes some heat and a good stir to see homogeneity emerge.

It’s not surprising that people tend to choose to be with others who are like them, for at least some time after immigrating to a new country. If there’s a language barrier, or if they experience obstacles due to racism, that process will take even longer.

JLeslie's avatar

I absolutely think we are a melting pot. A pot of people from all over the world live together pretty much in harmony. When America was first being created we were a unique country open to people from around the world with freedom of religion and no royalty controlling us. That was the ideal we set anyway, of course there were some big hiccups.

People tend to couple up with people who have similar cultural values, and not surprisingly people from the same national background tend to be culturally similar. Usually, we see immigrant groups become Americanized by the third generation. Once they are culturally “American” it is more likely they will marry other “Americans.”

Personally, I see mixed cultural marriage all the time. I am white, Eastern European Jeiwhs American (2nd generation on one side and 3rd on the other) and my husband immigrated here and he is Mexican (his grandparents from Israel, France, and Spain). My neighbors at one house I lived at, the wife was Dominican and the husband Italian. Both of them came here around age 20. My sister dated a German guy for a while, she also lived with a man from the Philipines for a few years, my Mexican BIL is married to a man from Scotland. My neighbor is Lebonese-American and her boyfriend is black, although very light skinned, he might be biracial, not sure. Not that it matters. Another neighbor who moved away a few months ago, she was white and her husband black. I know many many people who are American and one parent is Italian and the other Irish. I think they have the Catholicism in common, and they settled in some of the same parts of the country. I dated guy in high school who was Ecuadorian-American. Many of his relatives married “Americans.” He married a Mexican girl his first marriage and a Greek girl his second marriage. My cousin lived with a Puerto Rican woman for many years. She actually had been married to a white Jewish American before the relationship with my cousin. She converted to Judiasm and raised her daughter Jewish even after they were divorced. My zumba instructor is Filipino and her husband is American. Pretty much I have the United Nations around me, and that includes intermarriages.

Pretty much everyone I mentioned about is an American citizen, but I used America to mean white European American when referring to “mixed” relationships.

Ugh, no one beat me up that something might sound racist, it’s almost. Possible to be PC when discussing this without having to write out really really long explanations for each person. I think what I wrote is easily understood who I am talking about. Hopefully.

Some groups feel it is important to preserve their ethnicity and they encourage their children to marry in the same nationality, or religion, or whatever. It’s tough to do for many generations though.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

no you don’t sound like a bigot, you are stating a fact. This country use to be a melting pot but not anymore. when my grandparents arrived here in 1920 they had one goal, to become American. They would not even let their children (my father and aunt) speak Italian in the house. They learned and spoke English. No welfare, no social services, no nuthin.

My father and aunt both became professionals in their fields. working during the day and college at night.

Today immigrants want to keep with their own, not learn our language, our customs and even fly the flag of their country of origin. These new immigrants (especially the illegal ones) took a great country and ruined it for many of us.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The pot simmers. Things that are dipped into the pot (tourists from abroad) then snatched out don’t count. But second generation Americans, I don’t care where their parents are from, are always well assimilated. There are some stereotypes in my part of the country regarding Chinese drivers. Invariably when an incident arises apparently validating the stereotype, it always involves a geriatric driver born in another land. One of my daughter’s friends is 3rd generation Chinese American. When they were teenagers, and things needed telling that were not for my ears, the 2 of them would jabber away at one another in French so fluent that French natives claimed there was no hint of an American accent. On the other hand, both girls Mandarin skills were abysmal. As it turned out, the friend’s black boyfriend became her boyfriend while tutoring her in Mandarin. It’s the sort of story that defines THIS country, and the dynamism marking its potential.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You hit on the flaw of the “america as melting pot” phenomenon. It may well have been true when the Irish and the Jews from Eastern Europe and the Italians all immigrated in the 1910s and 1920s—those groups were fleeing because they (often) had little choice but to leave, and they saw America as the “promised land”.

But 100 years have passed, and the idealistic concept of melting pot has largely been lost to the concept of “I’m special”. Which, itself, leads to separatism and the desire for distinct identity.

On a more human level, Indians have more in common with Indians, Moslems with moslems, Jews with jews, Blacks with Blacks, and so on. That’ not inherently bad – in fact it is people choosing to hang out with people they relate to.

The melting pot metaphor expired 80 years ago. It’s simply inaccurate to consider it relevant today.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Generally when people talk of “melting pot” it’s because they expect everyone else to melt into their WASP culture (and throw a fit when people dare hold on to their own culture).

Crazydawg's avatar

@Darth_Algar FWIW I don’t think that for a second. I don’t expect you to melt into my way of life. I ‘hope’ we at some point melt together and live our lives in peace. If you are not on board with this principal, leave or be quicker on the draw.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Leave? My family has been here since the mid 1600’s. So no, I will not leave.

Brian1946's avatar



Do you mind if I ask from what country and how your ancestors came here?

Darth_Algar's avatar


My ancestors are from England, and came over during the colonial period.

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