America a melting pot for all

Country built on diversity, inclusion of others

Aydan Rolph, Co-Entertainment Editor

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Recently, there has been a surge of nationalism (a radical form of patriotism, which often evokes feelings of superiority to people from other countries) in the United States, and in several other places around the world. Patriotism is generally not a bad thing- it can bind people together after great tragedies, and it is the very basis of the military. However, like all things, it can go too far. To quote journalist Sydney J. Harris, “The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility while the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to a war.” To put it in lighter terms, nationalism is a combination of patriotism and prejudice. Patriotism unites, nationalism does not. It is very important to distinguish between the two.

This is a staff full of diverse and educated opinions. Provided that they are based in fact, everyone is entitled to that opinion. However, factually, America has always been, and always will be, a melting pot. America is the land of opportunity, and immigrants and minorities should not be subject to the prejudice of the majority. The combination of cultural and social influences from people all over the world has shaped America, and made it better.

Nationalism has appeared in the course of American history time and time again, thinly veiled as patriotism. In 1790, Congress passed a bill that only granted citizenship to white males, after two years of residence. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which started off as rejecting all immigrants of Chinese descent from coming to America, then expanded to also affect Chinese residents that were already in America. A large portion of Caucasians supported this bill, because they were afraid of Chinese people getting their jobs. The parallels between then and now can not be ignored.

The majority of Americans have ancestors that came to America, full of fear of what may come, yet hopeful for the future, hopeful that their children, grandchildren, and so on, would have a better life than they did themselves. When they came over to this country, they brought their native land’s customs and cultural influences with them. For centuries, America has been known as a “melting pot” because of this, and remains one today. Each person’s unique cultural influences have created what we know as America. These traditions are what make America unique, and should all be embraced.