When it comes to the concept of “America”, most  people think of the land of opportunity to everyone. According to Russell Means (Wanbli Ohitika), “American” means Opportunity to only some because of how the system is designed for american Indians to fail.The video titled “ Russell Means – Statement to Congress” addresses the relationship between America and American indians. The speaker states With regulation of bingo and gaming by the congress, we are experiencing repetition of history.  One shouldn’t remedy success.”.The speaker is describing how America has regulated indian reservations whenever their economy has gotten too successful. In my opinion this source portrays America as oppressive, which I find to be true in many.

Similarly, Russell Means defines America as oppressive and opportunity to some, while Jose Antonio Vargas argues that America is the land of opportunity but still oppressive to immigrants.  According to both Russell Means and  Jose Antonio Vargas, America is oppressive to some but gives opportunities to most. Information found in ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” supports the idea of opportunity in America.“I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.” is a powerful example that illustrates how even though he isn’t seen as a American he still feels American. Basically, Jose Antonio Vargas is saying that even though he lived the American dream he is still not viewed as a American  

   

  In my opinion, America does mean opportunity but i do see how it can oppressive and not give equal opportunity. My experience as a high schooler helps me see “America” as a community. Being white and man affect my experience in America because I will have different opportunities and experiences than other people. American Literature can be defined as literature that is written in America and literature that helps you understand more about America. For example, the text There There, by Tommy Orange highlights us understand more about

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CC BY-SA 4.0 America Means what? by Michael is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

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