The myths of “racial democracy,”
the “the melting pot,”
and “salad bowl” theories.
Charles Douglas McCormick
University of Oklahoma
The myths of “racial democracy,” the “melting pot,” and “Salad bowl” theories
This paper will examine the theories of the “melting pot” and “salad bowl” and also look at “racial democracy” in Brazil. Secondly, this paper will look at cultural assimilation using these theories. Finally it will look at the myths of these theories and how they have affected the American and world societies. Have Americans really reached either the “melting pot” or “salad bowl” theories of cultural assimilation? Is Brazil really a “racial democracy” or is this also a myth and how does this differ with America?
The United States of America is one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth. In 2009, Michael C. Lemay states, “the United States of America is arguably the most ethnically and racially diverse nation on earth”. Who is an American, I am using the term Americans to be defined as individuals who were native born, naturalized citizens, and individuals who consider themselves Americans from the United States of America. Generally speaking most Americans grow up, in ethnically homogeneous communities (Putnam, 2007) vice the differing theories of “melting pot” or “salad bowl.”
While Americans live and work in communities that are ethnically and culturally diverse the issues of intolerance and prejudice against various ethnic and racial backgrounds has been a plague throughout much of the United States history. Such as the Grandfather clause or Block busting.
The Grandfather Clause is a device used to disenfranchise blacks in the South; only persons who grandfathers voted could vote, thus blacks whose grandfathers were slaves and could not vote were denied registration” and “block busting is a device by which real estate agencies encourage minority members to purchase homes a previously all-white...