This Great American Melting Pot Never Really Melted The Same Here

As I drove across the huge expanse that is Nevada and Utah and Wyoming from west to east, across states are three 400 miles in width, I found myself thinking about the old Schoolhouse Rock Video, The Great American Melting Pot.. https://youtu.be/gHyAJT-Dgcc

I know the term melting pot has fallen out of favor as we have strived to be more inclusive as a people over the past 40 years, empowering immigrants and decedents of immigrants to retain their cultural identity.

Please watch the full video before jumping to conclusions, admitted that it is a bit dated and likely considered a little out of touch by many who have strived to make America, more inclusive of but when you watch this video you see that it still resonates.

In the end the Polish Grandma is both proud to be American and proud to be Polish. The power this video had on my 8 year old self is still felt today.

Have European-Americans fully melted into one pot? You can argue both sides of that question, but when I think about what is happening right now with Trump supporters I’d say yes, most Americans of European decent have pretty much become more alike.

So as I drive through some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen, I still can’t help but wonder why it’s so hard for people that live in places like this to not want to do more to help people around the rest of the country and the world.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I am speaking to my observations, limited as they are. To a great extent there is a disconnect from what they feel about the human condition and how they vote. Still, I do note a bit more of the rugged individualism at play.

I have to guess that part of it is that people don’t really want to share what they have because they like open space and they like big sky territory with lots and lots of land and not a lot of people and they’re afraid of losing that and I can understand how that could be something that would drive them to want to vote Republican every time.

I can also imagine that the scenes they see in television of what is happening on the border and what is happening in the big cities specially if they’re watching things like Fox News. All they likely see is everything being crowded and crime ridden and overrun by people who don’t look or sound like them.

I can imagine that when people around you look and sound the same it’s really hard to imagine what your world would be like if I all of a sudden there is an influx of people who seem different.

In the video waves of European immigration from the 19th and early 20th centuries are mentioned as contributing to the Great American Melting Pot.

Not mentioned is several other key waves of immigration from Asia and Latin America and the whole topic of Slavery is also not brought up. But still, it makes me think… how does the whole concept of the melting pot translate here in rural America?

As I was going through Wyoming I noticed in several different places like Laramie, Green River and Rock Springs where I stopped for gas and food, there are very few people with dark skin. It was very noticeable that at every gas station, restaurant and hotel I visited I saw just about all white service staff. This is something you just don’t see him in the states to the west of Wyoming.

Key Data Points: Wyoming is both (1) the least populous of all 50 states and (2) has the largest % of GOP supporters, with almost 60% of the population identifying with or leaning towards the Republican Party.

Big Takeaway: Wyoming, as well as Utah, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas are among the least populated states but have very solid GOP support.

As the pecieved divide between the Red Middle and the Blue Coasts widens, the power of these states in the Senate and the Electoral College grows in signficance.

Immigration is not a clear and present challenge in these states, but it remains a hot button issue for voters. That seeming disconnct needs to be better understood and addressed.

As I drive and think, I combine what I see with understand about our need for national strategy of economic growth. One that targets smaller areas in the middle of the country like here in Wyoming and Utah and Colorado and Nevada. Where there is a need attract business and people from different areas but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the people that live here.

It’s going to be a big challenge and it makes me think that again awareness and education have failed to give people what they need to put the big picture in perspective. To see we are all part of one country. Instead we are given a message that we are divided so deeply that people in this part of the US don’t really consider other parts of the US to be US. From their perspective we live in two very different countries.

I think a lot about something that Trump said when he was in London a few days ago. He talked about how that Europe is losing its culture that specially France and Germany because they allowed so many immigrants and they were losing their culture. Now this is a loud dog whistle and clearly an issue about race and Trump speaking from the top of his mind about how he feels that white European culture is under assault the same way that he basically does things in US to help build a narrative that enables white nationalism to feel that it needs to fight for its ability to stay the way it is.

So I guess that is really one of the biggest challenge here in this part of the U.S.… from my perspective and from what I’ve seen them people have listen to and talk to you I’ve been traveling as part of the U.S., is that they just have their conservative and individualistic worldview.

I wonder has it really just come to a point where a lot of the citizens on this version of the U.S., are so used to a culture that they’ve knowm their entire life’s and one that has passed on from generation to generation, and they think that the melting pot shouldn’t change it’s mixtuire to accept new waves of immigrants?

When I look at what the Great American Melting Pot, at least the one I’ve know most of my life, it is definitely not the same. Mine keeps getting better… I like the new mixture as it adds more and more ingredients. For many here though, that’s not what they ordered. They kind like it the way it was presented in 1977.

Let me finish by saying, I offend anyone with my posts, it’s not my primary intenton. In short, I want to understand. My goal is to share my observations and let you make of them what you wish. However, if you are offended, than let’s discuss what it is that I wrote that makes you feel different. Help me better understand what it is to be American.

Outside of Laramie, WY

Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila and the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship. His latest causes include supporting a 3rd Party initiative called the Service America Movement — SAM (joinsam.org), a non-profit providing legal assistance for immigrants known as RAICES and (raicestexas.org) and Immigrant Families Together — an effort to unite immigrant families (www.facebook.com/ImmigrantFamiliesTogether).

At that sweet spot in life where I do what I love, am really good at it and get paid to do it… helping businesses scale using big data & virtual staffing!