Melting Pot

Melting Pot
Mr. Bellamy
Jeremy Howard
[Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.]


Jeremy Howard
Mr. Bellamy
English 122: Academic Writing II
4-3-2012



Shortly after birth, most Americans have the ethic/racial group identity of their biological parents placed on their birth certificates. This provides an identity (even though it may be a false one) for children that will usually stay with them throughout their lives and will have a major impact on how they see themselves and how others see them as well. It often restricts their choices of friends and marriage partners, especially in the ?south? where most people are reluctant to let the past be just that. In some instances being categorized may create roadblocks in education, careers, and the neighborhood in which they wish to live.
When I was a little boy, no one ever asked me what race I was. It was a non-issue, and, as a matter of fact I cannot remember being asked verbally, at any time throughout my life what my race was. I hear some people say I?m one-third this, half of that, and a quarter of this. I find that to be totally ridiculous, how can you truly know what really lies within your blood, people go back so far that it is virtually impossible to track your entire blood-line, (unless your family is royalty or the worlds best record keepers). We are all a melting pot of races, cultures, and backgrounds.
In some cases people see a person of darker skin color and automatically assume that this person must be ?black?, or having African American parents, when in fact they could be assuming incorrectly. Some Dominicans have darker skin, for example, David ?Big Papi? Ortiz. Born in the Dominican Republic most people would automatically assume that his origin is African American, simply because of his skin color. Not only is it dangerous to put people in these small categorized boxes it is also wrong. As I stated earlier, we are all comprised of different things, why can?t we simply be called people.
Many Americans of mixed ancestry do not fully identify with the single race/ethnic category that they have been assigned to and do not feel comfortable with it. For instance, when one parent is of European and Chinese descent and the other is African and Native American, what single category would their children fit into? For many Americans with complex ancestries such as this, the answer is that they are multi-ethnic. The number of these multi-racial children in America has doubled during each of the last three decades. We as people are a constantly moving organism. To think that anyone has the exact same genetic makeup as his or her first ancestors is a far stretch of the imagination.
I believe that people have a need to clarify what race or ethnicity we are simply because they long to be different. Simply being different is not good enough. I also believe that it gives people a sense of pride to be able to say these are my ancestors and so, this is who I am. While some people long to keep their heritage alive others are desperately trying to forget theirs. For me to know that my heritage began in a slave house is hurtful, I do not long to see my great, great, great grand father bound and chained, those are stories I could go a lifetime without hearing. But on the other hand, some people have very rich and lush heritages, and they enjoy hearing about their ancestors. I do not have a problem with that, but my problem lies with the people that believe that, either they are a pure race, or believe that each person should be fitted into an ethnic box. It simply isn?t possible.
Most people around the world are identified in terms of ethnic and or racial identity at birth; however, ethnicity is not a static phenomenon. Ethnic groups can change through time in complex ways. Similarly, individual identity in heterogeneous societies today, such as the United States, Canada, and Brazil, can also be flexible-individuals may identify themselves as being members of different ethnic groups or ?races? at different times. Unfortunately, governments are usually the last ones to recognize and respond to the changes. Ethnic /racial group organizations often