Humanities Information

The American Melting Pot Myth

Most myths have some element of truth in them. The 'melting pot' that media of all sorts (which includes our propaganda in law and education) tell us became America, is another of the half-truths or superficial observations which deserves a little study if we are to accept the deeper potential meaning in it. John Hope Franklin of Duke University is a respected Black scholar who says some powerful words after pointing out the kind of thing that media managers or manipulators galore have said about the open-minded American with no reason to bring prejudices to this new and exciting land of opportunity. I would point out that it was not so new and historians like himself have participated in a cover-up but let us see what this man has to say about the 'melting pot'.

People do not generally like to find out that they have 'bastards' in their family tree and the woodpiles of America created a lot of 'bastards'. My father used to tell us about the Virginia legislature and legislation proposed that would make anyone with any black blood not able to sit and participate in it. This was the early 1950s not the 1850s. One legislator did the research that most Americans will not even do about their own family. He did not get more than half way through exposing every member of the legislature for their mulatto blood when the others were all in an uproar and clamoring that he must b silenced.

"This was one of the earliest expressions of the notion that the process of Americanization involved the creation of an entirely new mode of life that would replace the ethnic backgrounds of those who were a part of the process. It contained some imprecisions and inaccuracies that would, in time, became {become?} a part of the lore or myth of the vaunted melting pot and would grossly misrepresent the crucial factor of ethnicity in American life. It ignored the tenacity with which the Pennsylvania Dutch held onto their language, religion, and way of life. It over-looked the way in which the Swedes of New Jersey remained Swedes and the manner in which the French Huguenots of New York and Charleston held onto their own past as though it was the source of all light and life. It described a process that in a distant day would gag at the notion that Irish Catholics could be assimilated on the broad lap of Alma Mater or that Asians could be seated on the basis of equality at the table of the Great American Feast." (8)

Needless to say he also addresses the matter of black emancipation and those who were 'already in the country' though I do not think he was referring to the blacks who were here long before Columbus. In fact there was no race that had not been coming to America since before the time of Christ. Genetics is indeed a powerful tool used in court to free innocent victims of our justice system but so far our history is still allowing lies to victimize our cultural perspectives or myths. It is important that we act as if there is no race except the human race.

Author of Diverse Druids, Columnist for The ES Press Magazine, Guest writer for


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