America: Changing for Better or Worse?
Since the beginning of the 1900’s, America has been commonly referred to as the world’s "melting pot". The term was coined by Israel Zangwill, an immigrant who came to America from the United Kingdom. Emblazoned on a tablet at the base of the Statue of Liberty, the poem by Emma Lazarus, states, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Although in the past Americans took pride in the label of melting pot, a country of diverse masses, yet today surveys show more than half of the American population no longer supports the continual influx of immigrants. Americans are arguably disassociating from the melting pot characteristic, consequently, the identity of America is not only changing but more importantly America’s national identity is in danger of destabilization with the abandonment of the melting pot attribute.
Starting as far back as the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, the American population grew not from the native tribes, but from the many peoples of various nations who arrived by boat and ship, bringing with them their new ideas about government and freedom. As time went on, journalists from Newsweek magazine stated “the civil-rights revolution changed everything: it gradually made overt expressions of any ethnic prejudice into a cultural taboo” (Morgenthau). The phrase “melting pot” once identified America as a place where people of all races and ethnicities could enter in hopes of creating a