To the President,
I heartily accept the idea that the United States is no longer a “melting pot;” and I would like to see that this concept is revised. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe--the United States is a “salad bowl;” and when people are prepared for it, that will be the kind of culture which will be embodied. The United States of America is a country of immigrants where ethnic and cultural diversity are in abundance. The American “mosaic” has slowly but surely developed and with that, differences have become apparent and assimilation has become more and more difficult to attain. It is imperative to the evolution of the American society that immigrants maintain their unique cultural diversity, rather than assimilating into the Anglo-Saxon, American culture. In the famous work Resistance to Civil Government, Henry David Thoreau wrote “A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then...”--emphasizing the idea that cultures must not conform to that of the American but rather stand up and stand out.
Many may say that this concept is inappropriate; they perceive immigrants as outsiders who must conform or ultimately be neglected by the “American Dream.” They are ignorant; they would do better if they only knew. We as a country must learn about new and contrasting cultures, in order to leave our ignorance in the past--ultimately allowing us to truly embrace one another's differences. As a member of an incredibly homogeneous community, I feel it is essential to emphasize my American cultural upbringing, while also embedding many aspects of my Eastern Indian heritage into it. Through this, I have become fully immersed in all aspects of this cultural lifestyle; I have attended weddings, gone to temple with my grandparents, watched an endless number of Bollywood films, and definitely ingested more curry than ever recommended. I certainly would not be the young woman I am today without this unique culture which continues to be a relevant part of my upbringing. I am positive that all individuals feel just as strongly of their heritage as I do, and we must enable ourselves to do so without the judgment of others. We as a country must re-evaluate what it truly means to be “American” and as the president, you must be the greatest advocate for this drastic but necessary change in our country’s cultural mentality. In doing so, this change will play an immense role in unifying our incredibly diverse country. I believe that a greater embracement of cultural diversity in the United States will create more open-minded and accepting individuals who will greatly benefit our country as a whole. As the famous hispanic, Rogelio de la Vega, once said “America is about welcoming immigrants and celebrating differences, to build a richer, more culturally diverse society!” We must learn to accept one another’s ideals and cultures in order to become a whole and unified country who works toward the betterment of our society--and only then can we understand what it truly means to be American.