There has been a lot of discussion about what “American Values” are. What the things are that make us Americans. I believe that the core american values are opportunity, equality, and freedom of voice. These are the things that make America the country that it is.
Opportunity is an important part of american culture. One of the reasons that people immigrate to the United States is to have more options for occupation, housing, etc. They also come so that their children can have the benefit of choice when it comes to what path they want to take in life. In “Let America Be America Again”, a poem by Langston Hughes, he states,”But opportunity is real and life is free”. In America, children are taught at a young age that they can be anything that they want to be, and this quote represents that. In fact, opportunity has become one of the main themes of children’s movies and books. There are also programs in my own high school that show you a variety of different career options, and allow you to choose your classes to fit the path you want to pursue. The concept of opportunity is a defining point for America.
Another American value is the freedom of voice. One of the reasons for the Revolutionary War was the fact that the people in the colonies had no say on what laws were passed over them. The Framers of the Constitution made sure that America respected the opinion of all citizens, and didn’t fall back into the ways of the Monarchy that they had escaped. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press…”(U.S. Const. Amend. 1). In the United States, everyone has the basic rights that were listed in the quote, and no one is above the restrictions. This freedom one of the main components of what makes us american.
The last american belief is equality. There is a lot of debate surrounding equality currently. People have lots of opinions on if the government is doing its part to make sure that their is equality between all citizens. “Equality is everyone having the same worth…Equality is a lofty goal our country still strives for.”(What Does Equality Mean To America). For many people, equality is something that has been instilled in them since they were children. There are lots of programs that promote and teach that equality is something that everyone deserves.
These 3 values, opportunity, freedom of voice, and equality are key to American creed and culture. These are the principles that this country was founded on, and examples of them are all around us.
Hughes, Langston. “The Life and Work of Langston Hughes.” Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 1 Feb. 2018, www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again.
LII Staff. “First Amendment.” LII / Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, 10 Oct. 2017, www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment.
Chaganti, Anika. “What Does Equality Mean To America?” The Odyssey Online, 30 Aug. 2017, www.theodysseyonline.com/equality-america.
Image From: http://cherwell.org/2016/11/11/americas-values-will-survive-president-trump/Tags: Okemos High School