The other day while reviewing my weekly senior lesson, ( your average page-by page instructions on how to “progress in the world” after you graduate), something happened to catch my eye. Big and bolded, the heading read ” Melting Pot, or Salad Bowl?” As my teacher’s voice slowly lulled to mere background noise, (as it often does), I began reading the article on diversity in the workplace. It basically stated, that the term salad bowl is better because the workplace is a mix of different colors, that when mixed together don’t lose their flavor or originality, whereas a melting pot sort of blends them all together to form one. Fast forward a few days later, and here I am sitting on my floor at 1 am, wondering whether I’m a salad or a pot. You see, I’ve always known that I was different, even compared to most of the mixed kids in my school. Because the thing is, most kids can define themselves with four or less slashes. Black/Mexican/White. Chinese. And a lot of times their ethnicities make sense when paired together. Chinese/Japanese. Mexican/Spanish/Filipino. But then there’s kids like me, I guess you can call us the “five or more slashes” group. You see, I am a mix of Mexican/Black/Spanish/Pakistani/French/Panamanian blood, along with a couple of 1 percenters (Jamaican, Native American, you get the picture) So what are we exactly? Well, upon 15 minutes of deep reflection and a brief 5-second conversation with my 21 year old cat, I’ve reached a conclusion. We are salad pots. Our ethnicities are too different from one another to be considered a salad bowl, but they still contribute an important aspect of uniqueness that prohibits us from being considered melting pots. We are a beautiful, empowering metaphor that reflects everything this wonderful world has to offer. We are the ambition and determination that drove our ancestors to stand up and fight for the right to love whom they pleased. We are…. colorful, vibrant, carefully molded…salad pots.
And we are proud of it.