Melting Pot? More Like Melting Not.
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Politics and Activism

Melting Pot? More Like Melting Not.

Why American health care seems inclusive, but really isn't.

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Melting Pot? More Like Melting Not.
ThinkProgress

If you think about what is happening in the world today, there are many people moving all over. Whether through immigration, refugees or tourists, there is constantly a flow of people throughout the world. When it comes to accommodating to the needs of these foreign individuals when they are in need of some sort of care, it is important that there is an efficient way to communicate with them.

There is not one universal language that we as humans can understand, but people who speak different languages can communicate with one another through different methods. It is still important that everybody feels comfortable. America has been called a “melting pot” for so long, but I don’t think that term quite fits anymore. We don’t care to want to cater to the needs of other cultures, or be understanding of them. We are often times full of hate towards them. We have this sense of superiority that instills fear into other cultures. I believe that we should be aware of the needs of all walks of life as a whole and be able to cater to their needs, and be welcoming to them, not hateful towards them.

When you have people in this world like Donald Trump saying he wants to ban all Muslims and build a wall on the border with Mexico, it’s going to be hard to build a welcoming country. I don’t know everything about politics, but I do know that this isn’t the right way to represent the so-called “melting pot.” Mexican immigrants are more than that. They are refugees, escaping the persecution and violence in their own country. They are trying to find a better life. We need to represent a more loving, welcoming people because I think that’s what we as Americans are supposed to be.

We can also learn many things from other cultures as well. One example is that we can learn to be more welcoming from those in many African cultures. Just from my experience traveling in Tanzania, I can say that these people were the most welcoming that I have ever met. I was always greeted with a smile and many times a hug. To feel welcomed and very comfortable and safe in a place that I had never been to, as well as encountering an entirely new culture was a very comforting feeling, and I know it does not happen often in the United States. I am currently in Italy studying global health with a group that I am a part of at my university. We met with a doctor from an organization supported by the Catholic Church called Caritas. We toured their health department, and it was a phenomenal experience. Italy currently receives a large number of refugees, and they are doing everything they can to take care of them as they come in. This health department has the words “Medical Center” written in every language on the outside of the building, and inside, all of the doors and signs are visual labels, so that people know where to go for examinations, medications, or even the front desk. They also have over 350 volunteers who help out, ranging from organizing medicine in the warehouse to translating for patients. They are accommodating to the needs of these individuals because they understand that they are not Italian and they need to be provided with an easier way of communicating. These are ways we can learn from other cultures, and I think they can be extremely valuable to us.

I think this is what we are lacking in America. Many times we don’t bother to be a welcoming people, rather our sense of superiority has instead made us want to push them out. Although we have these kinds of services available to people who may be refugees or immigrants who are coming in to seek health care such as translating, we don't bother to show it. We have been known as a “melting pot” for so long, but should we even be considered that anymore? Our health care system appears to be inclusive, but it really isn't.

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