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Melting Pot This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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America is not a melting pot
Individual colors shine through
Black and white
brown and yellow
racism and discrimination
condensed to terms a four-year-old could understand
if we were melted together
we wouldn’t even have labels

we’re more of a salad
parts of different wholes
divided and torn from each other
side by side
vaguely aware of others
slathered over with a dressing
of artificial Americanism
to make us seem like a more perfect union

Can we make the deep hues of bellow?
Or the beauty of blite?
These are colors you’ve never heard of
because you’re too used to the words
that your parents taught you to refer to people –
but not even that
in reality you speak of the melanin contents of their skin
like it’s the contents of their hearts
and you affirm your personal prejudices
based on if I’m
black or white
brown or yellow
or any other color in the rainbow of the population
like the rainbow salad you ordered from the American restaurant down the street

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

HaHaAthena said...
Jan. 30 at 8:56 pm
They tell us early in elementary school about discrimination against "blacks" and about the civil rights movement, and instruct us to respect every individual no matter his or her race or skin color, but in pointing out skin color and mentioning people's races society implies it does matter. Why not banish the concept instead? Why must we try so hard with putting positive, "respectful" associations with race when it could just be some neutral concept, just like how Aristotle's climate theory o... (more »)
 
EthicalDilemmaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 8:23 pm
Race is incredibly important. To pretend that race doesn't matter would be to efface my heritage and the profound influence it has had on my development as a human being.
 
HaHaAthena replied...
today at 10:53 am
I understand. I am sorry if I insulted you. I had not realized how race could be an identity and a heritage, and I too being an Asian, I think I'll practice respect for my own heritage and learn to be more attentive on the matter of race.
 
ISeetheStarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 20 at 8:09 am
Stay strong. This article is amazing and it is beautiful all wrapped up in one.
 
SarahXCThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 8:07 pm
Love the part about dressings.
 
ScreenName098This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 5 at 10:02 pm
Your vocabulary is simply remarkable! I really like the message you were trying to portray in this poem here- I think it was executed perfectly. Lovely poem. It deserved to be published!
 
SallySunshine said...
Jan. 5 at 7:49 pm
I really like the metaphor (salad and people) Words such as "parts of different wholes" and "slathered over with a dressing" describe the topic perfectly. You can literally imagine it in your head. Awesome writing.
 
RainyMoodThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 12, 2013 at 12:54 am
No wonder you have all those editors choice....
 
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