This morning I read an article by an Asian lady who describes her childhood growing up in Queens, New York. She proceeds to describe how her school in Queens was quite a “diverse” school with Mexicans, Germans, Chinese, Koreans, etc. attending the school, and she was terrified when she toured a school of only fair skinned European descendants. She compares this to her next experience of scanning the sea of “white faces” in the crowd at President Donald Trump’s inauguration and laments how we seem to have begun a “backward” journey. This accounted for her decision to join in the women’s march of 2017. According to her, we seem to have lost our taste for “diversity,” and someone needed to speak up.
The article actually infuriated me, but I decided to think through it logically. Have we lost our taste for diversity? Even more so, has America really lost its diversity? Actually, I’d like to ask another question first. What other country rages on about diversity? My mother is from China. When I visit China, I fail to see diversity in ethnicity and color. A couple white tourists will occasionally stick out from the rest, but other than that, all I see are tan Chinese faces. What about Africa? What about Tanzania? Or Tasmania? You won’t see diversity there. You’ll mostly see dark-skinned Africans. What about Korea? Singapore? No one who lives in those places complains. Yet here in the United States of America, it seems we are willing to rant and rage and march and protest until we actually get our way.
Let’s talk about the melting pot vs the salad bowl ideology for a minute. Many people I know say, “America is the great melting pot.” Is it?
Iowa State Daily Columnist, Jennifer Elshoff, described it best:
“The melting pot theory is based on the belief that America is one large pot of soup. Anyone who comes to the United States assimilates himself or herself to all American belief systems. All cultural aspects are blended together to form a new race or culture of people where each ingredient has sacrificed its original identity. Cultures are thought to now be a “melted” version of themselves that can no longer be easily distinguished.
The salad bowl idea gives the perspective that immigrants bring different tastes into one whole, but each ingredient maintains its original shape and characteristics.”
The melting pot theory describes America as one race of man, with all the immigrants integrated into the American race. The salad bowl theory is the idea that while immigrants, such as my mother, do accept the American laws and ways of life, they retain their individual culture and unique characteristics. We are one nation, and any immigrant who becomes a citizen is an American, but we retain our individuality, while the salad dressing (freedom) brings us all together.
According to our founding forefathers, we are “one nation under God.” Each immigrant who comes here agrees to comply with the American law and follow the standard protocols set here in America, just as if I went to China, I comply with the laws and standard protocols there. We aren’t one big soup of people, one race of man, who all unite under a power. That sounds like socialism or communism.
On the other hand, what if we think about America as one country, one nation, one people, with individual ingredients that all taste different. Together, all these unique characteristics make up one beautiful, lovely nation. We are a people who relish freedom, and we are free to live as our unique, individual selves.
When I drive to my local supermarket, what do I see? Primarily whites? I suppose it depends on what area of the country you live in. I live in an urban area of Nashville. Here, I meet many Mexicans, African-Americans, Chinese, Korean, etc. Our country is filled with immigrants all around the world. Yes, these immigrants do tend to congregate in areas where they can live with other people of their ethnicity, but they immigrate here and settle down all across America.
What’s the problem with the argument that we have a lack of diversity? The problem is, it is not true. My next door neighbor is Caucasian. An African-American family lives behind me. I fail to see the lack of diversity. When I visited Texas this past year, all I saw were Asians, Mexicans and Middle Easterners. I’m half Chinese and half Caucasian, and I felt like a minority.
We allow immigration into our country. The United States of America offers people from every tribe and nation a chance to build a life, free from tyranny and slavery, free to live as you see fit, provided that the laws of our country are followed. Is that really too much to ask? Yet, people stomp their feet and scream. They cry that there is a lack of diversity, that we hate immigration. Is this so? Because if it’s true we hate immigration, then let the gates fly open to immigrants from everywhere. Oh wait, the gates are already open, even to people who wish to illegally immigrate.
So why do people rant on? Is it because they are spoiled and insecure? Is it because they aren’t confident in their own skin and have to find a way to vent their own self-pitiful pent up anger? I’m not sure I can answer that question completely. I think insecurity is a part of it.
I am half Chinese and half white. Technically, I’m a minority, but I’ve never felt like I’m out of place. I have Chinese friends, Korean friends, African-American friends, and Caucasian friends. None of those friends are half anything, or hybrids, as I jokingly call myself. Yet, I have never felt out of place. I have never felt unloved because of my ethnicity. I am individual, living in a unique and beautiful country, a nation created under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I have never felt segregated or pushed out because I am confident in the love of those who surround me and of the God I serve.
Diversity never seemed to be an issue up until the past several years. Liberals push this idea that we have to be diverse. Do we have to? I don’t think we have to do anything. We welcome those who legally walk in our doors, who are ready to embrace their freedom and ready to embrace our system and laws just as we stand ready to embrace another member of our country, but we ought not to bring people to America, just for the sake of being diverse. So what’s the real agenda here? Is the true agenda really diversity, or is it more menacing, such as control? Though I cannot quite answer that question, I don’t believe the agenda is what it claims to be.