Doug Bedell — November 16, 2015, 10:59 am

Not a Melting Pot? How About a ‘Salad Bowl’ Metaphor?

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Nick Catrantzos on Homeland Security Watch provides a thoughtful, hence appreciated, discussion of how the “melting pot” metaphor for an inclusive society ought, perhaps, to be replaced by the “salad bowl”.

“Instead (of the melting pot), to the extent any kind of nod to assimilation is even considered,” Nick writes, “the preferred metaphor is the salad bowl. This allows theoretical mixing without loss of identity. Instead of blending in a melting pot, people are supposed to remain distinct ‘chunks’ that tumble in the bowl, coated by some light but not too sticky vinaigrette, such as the shared watching of situation comedies and reality TV shows, instead of shared traditions or, heaven forbid, open profession of allegiance to country or national traditions. Mix together minimally but remain distinct. That’s the mantra. It preserves whatever one wants held inviolate in one’s particular ‘chunk’. And this distinctness also proves handy in clutching resentments.”

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