I think that in someway every American value comes back around to the American dream and to our ancestors who achieved it. To me, it seems like there are a few values every American cares for such as having general freedom, the right of speech and having opportunities that aren’t offered in our countries. All these things were factors that pulled in our ancestors to the USA and it still does to immigrants today.
Having freedom is not something everyone can say they have. Having the freedom that the government can’t take away from you is uncommon. While some might argue that “America was a place for freedom and equality and as the past few years and especially the past few months have been going it does not feel like that at all, it feels scary, it feels like our freedom is limited”(Charlie quoted in North). I think that now more than ever Americans are exercising their freedoms. “This country has really been living up to its American values by assembling, by using our freedom of speech, by marching, protesting, by calling our senators, by being involved in government”(Cate quoted in North). The freedom of speech does not only give us expression rights, it also gives us protesting, and assembling rights. All these freedoms aren’t available to everyone around the world so this trait about America is appealing to many that are facing oppression from their government.
Our right of speech is one of the most powerful freedoms we have. But our freedom of speech is still limited based on certain types of speech, expressions and the context in which certain words are used. The freedom of speech gives us the right to protest which can’t be said about what other people can do in their countries. Many people from around the world don’t have the choice of protesting, assembling or expression. Many are killed if they protested against their government and/or tortured to death.”If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all”(Chomsky). The concept of the freedom of speech is only possible if you believe it’s for everyone to have and not just for certain people.
America is full of opportunities. This has been a trait of America since the beginning. People didn’t come to America to have the same job and the same status in society that they had back home. They wanted better jobs, better pay, and a better life for their families and themselves. “My grandpop wanted to be more than a poor, landless tenant farmer…”(Hudgins pra 3). America is the land of opportunity, and this has been something that attracted people from around the world for hundreds of years.
Edward L. Hudgins July 3, 1998. “What Is an American?” Cato Institute, 3 July 1998, www.cato.org/publications/commentary/what-is-american.
Chomsky, Noam. “Freedom Is For Everyone.” Quotes Hunter, 27 Jan. 2015, quoteshunter.com/freedom-speech-quotes/.
North, Anna. “What Does America Stand For? We Asked Teenagers.” The New York Times, 23 Aug. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/opinion/what-does-america-stand-for-we-asked-teenagers.html?mcubz=0&_r=0Tags: American dreamAmerican valuesOkemos High School
The American Dream by Noor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.