America’s Melting Pot of Oppression

Most nations are characterized by ethnic and racial uniformity, as opposed to  diversity. America’s history is different as it was founded on immigrants and has since been described as a melting pot: of blending diverse peoples into one through assimilation, integration, and intermarriage.
Sure we assimilate, blend and integrate, but as the terms describes, to melt it requires a high temperature. High temperatures have the ability to create something that could new and great – like taking solid cheese, artichoke and spinach and transforming it into a dip – or they have the ability to make things explode, burn to a crisp and destroy things all together.
The initial rounds of immigrants that came were Europeans, primarily Caucasians –  including the Spaniards, Brits, Scots and French. As we know from history, they did not create a melting pot with the Natives of the lands they colonized and formed independent colonies rather than working with one another. And other groups of Caucasian immigrants/refugees coming into America – like the Irish and Italians for example – were not welcomed either. And then African Americans were brought as slaves against their will and thought of as “lesser than” purely based on the color of their skin and nothing more. Sure, we are a country of diverse people and backgrounds, but have we really ever been a melting pot that has blended into a tasty dip?  Or are we burning at extremely high temperatures on the inside of a crucible destroying what we are individually as we try to assimilate with the “American way” while respecting our own cultures as well as the differences between one another?
This is where we began our discussion as we ate food crafted specifically for the occasion.The starter was a fried green pea, arugula, mint mac n’ cheese ball with a spiced mint yogurt, followed by a marinated cauliflower steak with spiced lentils, cauliflower puree and pistachio parsley gremolata and ending with a green pea, mint, banana and lemon cake. Inspired by Black History Month, Frederick Douglass and the Muslim ban, we will dig into the discussion at the table, the food and what is represents and end with the recipes.

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