The Mosaic Of America's Melting Pot
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Politics and Activism

The Mosaic Of America's Melting Pot

The attitude and vision of American culture, as seen from a millennial.

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The Mosaic Of America's Melting Pot

It was fifth grade when I first heard the expression "America, the Melting Pot," and no one in my class knew what it meant. My teacher broke it down for us.

"'America the Melting Pot' means we’re a country with tons of cultures mixed in. America’s become this big pot where everyone is mixed together to the point where you can’t separate one from the other.”

For whatever reason, that statement gave me a panic attack. It was like my teacher was saying everyone was the same in terms of culture and thought. But instead of thinking equality, my mind went straight to that Twilight Zone episode “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You." That episode centered around a girl who desperately clung to her identity in a future where everyone in that world lost all sense of identity and became just like everyone else. Isn’t that your worst nightmare?

Luckily, my teacher was aware of how bizarre that concept was and followed it up with her opinion. “In my opinion, America’s more like a mosaic. All the different cultures in America are like the colorful tiles that create a beautiful picture.”

I could wrap my mind around that, but I had to wonder what the big picture was. What kind of mosaic has America become?


I already know how other countries stereotype us. I’ve been lucky enough to have a friend from Luxembourg who came here and told me that she thought America was full of big cars, parking lots and fast food chains. I’ve also been lucky enough to have a sister who recommended a wonderfully sardonic anime called, "Hetalia: Axis Powers," in which America is given a body and personality so that everyone can see what an egomaniac, fast-food junkie America is.

I don’t know what’s weirder, knowing this is how the world views America, or being inclined to agree with them.

It’s embarrassing to admit that when I think of America, the first thing that comes to mind is that freaking Carl’s Jr. commercial advertising that hot dog-hamburger-heart attack with the busty bikini-clad woman and the monster trucks in the background. But that’s just our generation’s view, right? It’s definitely not what our forefathers had in mind when they settled in this country.


I guess every generation had their own ideal of what America’s mosaic was in that time. During Manifest Destiny, America was an untamable wilderness pioneers had to overcome. America became a pillar of industry during the First World War and a hero in the Second. We became revolutionaries during the counterculture movement in the 60's.

All I’m really saying is that our generation is built of many different cultures and perspectives, and we have the opportunity to build a wonderful mosaic to be proud of. But I don’t want America’s image to be just a bikini-clad blond eating a hamburger. That’s not the image I want our generation to hold onto.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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