Friday, May 24, 2013

Reply to Alon and the Detractors of the Melting Pot

Here is a comment I wrote in response to a post by my friend Alon Shalev at www.leftcoastvoices.wordpress.com - I highly recommend his blog, and his books - one of which just won an award in YA category of the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Award - see www.elfwriter.com



When I was in grade school, I was taught this idea that democracy was actually a great marketplace – full of different types of people with voracious appetites for ideas and conversation. I was taught that the melting pot that is our American citizenry was just the thing needed to set up the marketplace – to make it hum. I just wrote a blog piece at http://www.onecattwocats.blogspot.com (blatant self-endorsement) about the way the internet and particularly “social” media have manipulated an amazing opportunity to expand the democratic marketplace worldwide into a means of using us for financial gain. Although I realize that the internet has, in certain circumstances become a deafening marketplace for democratic ideals, all in all, I am disappointed in the way things are going here on-line. That idea of a marketplace of ideas coming from the melting pot of our grand American experiment was what impelled me to study journalism in college, and ultimately to practice of law. As the years passed, I became more and more convinced that no one really cared anymore about that marketplace – about the different ideas and experiences that flow from the rich diversity that flavors our American melting pot – flavors that stand out one from the other – that tell us something about our neighbors – that give us an opportunity for exchange of ideas and cultures. How sad it is to read that the concepts of racism and zenophobia, etc. are being boiled about in an effort to melt the pot away.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right - the Internet can be a catalyst for social change and interaction. Yet we are so distracted by commercialism. I never thought of the melting pot as a tool for narrow product branding. Great point.

    Thank you for your feedback ... and the promotion for my books.
    Alon

    http://www.alonshalev.com

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