Man is the most composite of all creatures…. Well, as in the old burning of the Temple at Corinth, by the melting and intermixture of silver and gold and other metals a new compound more precious than any, called Corinthian brass, was formed; so in this continent,–asylum of all nations,–the energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles, and Cossacks, and all the European tribes,–of the Africans, and of the Polynesians,–will construct a new race, a new religion, a new state, a new literature, which will be as vigorous as the new Europe which came out of the smelting-pot of the Dark Ages, or that which earlier emerged from the Pelasgic and Etruscan barbarism.
——Ralph Waldo Emerson, journal entry, 1845, first published 1912 in Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson with Annotations, Vol. IIV, 116
No reverberatory effect of the great war has caused American public opinion more solicitude than the failure of the ‘melting-pot.’ The discovery of diverse nationalistic feelings among our great alien population has come to most people as an intense shock.
——Randolph Bourne, Trans-National America, in Atlantic Monthly, 118 (July 1916), 86-97
Blacks, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, etcetera, could not melt into the pot. They could be used as wood to produce the fire for the pot, but they could not be used as material to be melted into the pot.
——Eduardo-Bonilla Silva, Race: The Power of an Illusion