I know, I know, salad isn’t a food we usually associate with Thanksgiving. (Stuffing is not salad. Nor is green bean casserole.) But in my reading this week, I came across a quote disagreeing with the concept of America as a melting pot. Instead, “Everyone keeps their different shapes and forms but still contributes something to the salad.” I like that; it’s both more accurate and a better ideal.
I’m still not going to eat salad on Thanksgiving, but we can give thanks for the great Salad Bowl of America, imperfect though it is.
And whence comes that great quote, you ask? From this great City Room post on a unique new college education program in a Connecticut prison. Selected for their essays and academic potential, these incarcerated students take classes from Wesleyan University professors, using the same syllabi and the same standards of grading as are used on Wesleyan’s campus. The classes are the same, but the students bring a much different perspective: a view from inside a justice system with, among other things, much higher rates of incarceration for Blacks and Latinos than for whites.
Disney’s The Princess and the Frog is coming out soon, featuring their first African American princess, a waitress in 1920s New Orleans, and it’s really great that we’ve come that far . . . but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be very careful looks taken at the movie. Here’s a post looking at the skin and hair colors seen in the trailer, and the biracial American experience.
Also dealing with the biracial experience is Lou Jing, a Chinese singer—the daughter of a Chinese woman and an African American man—who faced criticism for her skin color after appearing on a an “American Idol”-style show. Racialicious shares some pretty horrible expressions of racism that have been lobbed at Lou Jing in online forums.
Meanwhile, today is Unviersal Children’s Day and the twentieth anniversary of the Convention for the Rights of the Child, but the condition of many children is still bleak, particularly in developing nations and among ethnic minorities, such as the Roma in Europe.