Playwright Israel Zangwill Is United States of Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Playwright Israel Zangwill

Is United States of America in the second decade of 21st century a melting pot -- the kind of melting pot that was envisaged by Israel Zangwill close to 104 years ago? The answer is an overwhelming no. Today more than ever there is no one idea of Americanness or American culture that is acceptable across the board. Most of this is attributable to the differences in the immigration patterns as they existed in 1908 and today. In 1908 most of the immigrants were of European background with a European heritage. Over a generation or two, these immigrants groups assimilated and integrated fully into American society as Americans. One notable exception was of course the African-American experience.

Latter half of the 20th century however saw migration from areas that were as diverse as China, Vietnam, the Indian subcontinent and the Arab world. These migrants have brought their own cultures, languages, cuisines and even sport to the American mainland. Today every major city of our nation has a China Town in its heart. Most major metropolises are ethnically divided, even if there isn't a set rule. Most cities tend to have a Hispanic part, an African-American part so and so forth. New migrants from India and Pakistan for example tend to congregate together and form communities such as major Indian communities in Edison and Iselin New Jersey, matched by the Pakistani colony in Jersey City. Therefore it is a fair comment to suggest that the U.S. is today a mosaic of ethnic, national and religious cultures co-existing under a constitutional scheme that accepts and appreciates cultural diversity.

Of all the immigrant cultural groups, the most fascinating challenge posed to American multiculturalism is that of the ethnic superset of…

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