When most people think of being American, they think of bald eagles and guns. But when I think of America I think of liberty, putting in the work to achieve your dreams and accepting and embracing people with different  backgrounds.

When most people think of America, they think of freedom. As citizens of the United States, we all have the freedom of speech, freedom of press, and religion (Amend. 1). When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they had the intent  to limit the government’s ability to control citizens.

When Nike released the ad with Colin Kaepernick, they knew it would cause controversy. But they were sending a message. A message to stop worrying about what other people say you can or can’t do and just do whatever you want. In the commercial they show a skateboarder trying and failing over and over at a trick, a girl being on the football team and a cheerleader. People will say “you can’t do that.” or “people like you shouldn’t be allowed to do that,” but a part of being American is pushing your limits past what people set them at.

Oprah Winfrey once said “The highest honor on Earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself.” Being your true self is being genuine in everything you do. Not putting on masks around people. Being American is accepting people for who they are and embracing the differences in everybody. People shouldn’t feel they need to put on a mask.

“The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript

Wolken, Dan. “Just Watch It: Nike’s Colin Kaepernick TV Ad Is Inspirational, Not Controversial.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 7 Sept. 2018,


CC BY-SA 4.0 What it Means to me to be American by Megan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Audra 1 year ago

    This is interesting Megan. I like how you talked about different topics and talked about consumerism. The things we buy are a big part of our lives and the Nike/Kaepernick ad is proof of that. I agree with you that i America we should be able to be who we are and stand for what we believe in. The Oprah quote was a good one.

  2. Emily 1 year ago

    I like how you used symbols of American culture to represent the American value freedom. The symbols of eagles and guns are good symbols of America. I also, like how you included the event with Colin Kaepernick as an example for how Americans stand up for their freedom.

  3. Jacob 1 year ago

    This is very intriguing Megan. It sounds to me as if you’re idea of what it means to American is mostly surrounding tolerance, with some of the American Dream mixed in there. I do have questions about the true good intentions of Nike with the Kaerpernick ad, but mostly because I’m a very corporate individual and think that it was probably to sell shoes and decided that it was a good way to attract a younger market. I also kind of laughed when I read that most people think it was Americans and Guns, but this article published by businessinsider.com (https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-what-the-world-really-thinks-of-america-2016-8) does show that most people view America as a very brash, consumerist society, which worries me, but some people say we’re nice and accepting, which is a great consolation prize.

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