Professor Protests Pat (And
Print Friendly and PDF
Stephen Steinberg, a professor at Queens University, and the winner of the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarshiphas written a column to say that the "Melting Pot" is working.

[Robert] Putnam's findings have been seized upon by those on the political right who have been railing against immigrants and immigration policy. Last month, Patrick J. Buchanan wrote a piece for VDARE.Com under the title, "Robert Putnam: Diversity Is Our Destruction." According to Buchanan, prior to 1965 when most immigrants came from Europe, "the Melting Pot worked." However, he insists the situation is different today: "The numbers coming are huge, and they are coming from countries, cultures and civilizations whose peoples have never before been assimilated by any European nation. And they are arriving in an America whose Melting Pot is broken and whose elites lack the vision to see or the moral courage to confront the imminent peril."[The melting pot is NOT broken San Francisco Chronicle, October 9, 2007]

This concept doesn't make Dr. Steinberg happy, [email him] and he attempts to refute it with the aid of

  • a 1945 studyof assimilation
  • a more recent study of New York area Hispanics who are giving their kids American first names like Ashley and Joshua
  • the 1908 play The Melting Pot, which he may have actually read, since he quotes David Quixano's speech at the end accurately.

I don't consider any of this demolishes Pat's thesis that Melting Pot no longer melts. This isn't 1908, when the Immigration Restriction League was working to pass what eventually became the Immigration Act of 1924, leading to a massive pause in immigration.

It isn't 1945, when that pause had been in effect for 20 years. It's 2007, when Mexicans are immigrating in large enough numbers to take over whole towns, and can don't have to learn English to function in society because there is enough of society that speaks Spanish in America that they can work, shop, and send their children to school in Spanish.

I assume the professor just wants the "Melting Pot" to be working, and is "railing" against Pat because he says it isn't.

Anyhow, here's my favorite quote from The Melting Pot, where the protagonist is arguing with his brother about the Melting Pot concept:


A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians—into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.


I should have thought the American was made already—eighty millions of him.

Print Friendly and PDF