If asked to describe America, I only need two words: melting pot. It’s how I’ve seen the country since I was a child (thanks School House Rock!), and it’s how I will continue to think of these United States. To me, our country has simply always been about diversity.
Apparently, much of the internet sees the country the same way. A photo showing the diversity of the U.S. is now going viral on social media after being posted on Easter.
The photo, taken by New Yorker Jackie Summers, was posted to Facebook and Twitter, and just four days later has already been shared nearly 67,000 times on Facebook and nearly 5,000 times on Twitter. It looks like a simple photo taken on the New York City subway, but the message is deeper than it appears.
— Jackie Summers (@jackfrombkln) April 16, 2017
“A Taoist (me) gives up his seat so a Hasidic couple could sit together,” Summer wrote on Facebook. “They scoot over so a Muslim mother could sit and nurse her baby, on Easter Sunday. This is my America: people letting people be people.”
People commenting on the photo are celebrating the diversity and humanity evident in the photo—and they are celebrating America, too.
“This gives me JOY!” one user wrote. “I will always pray that we as a nation might become ONE as we embrace each other & our differences! A Beautiful Tapestry!
“THIS, is what makes America great…” one person wrote on Facebook.
“This is the America I love,” another wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you,” another user wrote. “This photo and your story brought happiness today.”
And naturally, with this photo being captured in notoriously surly New York, one user wrote “Talking is overrated I much prefer passive agressively [sic] scowling at each other on the Subway.”
Summers spoke to the Huffington Post via email about the photo, saying he didn’t ask permission to take the picture because he didn’t want it to feel forced or staged.
“The moment is extraordinary in its ordinariness,” he said. “Given the age of divisiveness we live in, it seems people are looking at this photo as a reason to put issues like race, religion, and sex aside to focus on more important issues relevant to peaceful coexistence.”
It may be just a simple photo with a simple caption, but if you look deeper, it’s easy to see the true America that so many of us know and love shining through.