What does it mean to be an American? That is a great question because there are so many perspectives and answers to this question. To me being an American means that you have freedom. We often take our freedom for granted not realizing how lucky we are because not everyone has much freedom like us. The U.S. is a great place to grow up because everyone is equal for the most part. Some main American beliefs and values include democracy, freedom, equality. Many people come to America because they have a dream. Some people want to become rich and famous while some want to just have a better life than they did before. Americans fear the unknown. For example, some of us fear immigrants because we have been told they are terrorists, murders, or rapists. Even though this is not true some of us still chose to believe it because we don’t know any better. Those of us who are slightly educated know that this is not the case for the most part. America has overcome so many obstacles.
For example, 9/11 was an attack on the Twin Towers. The Twin Towers represented how great and strong America was. In an article called How New York City Rebuilt Anew After Its Darkest Day by Alina Selyukh, she talks about the mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani promised that “We’re not only going to rebuild, we’re going to come out of this stronger than we were before.” The 9/11 attacks impacted many people but we bounced back so after. America has also overcome war and we are “Back to Back World War Champs”. One of the greatest challenges we are facing right now is public shootings. They are becoming more and more prevalent in our society and now that they happen so much there could be one and we wouldn’t even know about it because they happen so often they are not even breaking news anymore.
I think the biggest influence on American culture is social media. For example, in an article called There were over 12,000 poison control calls for people eating laundry pods last year by Christopher Ingram from the Washington Post, he talks about how this dangerous trend became popular. Eating these was one of the dumbest trends ever but people did it to gain online fame. Some other examples of the American dream include song lyrics, the constitution, and our free unrestricted media.
In a video and article called, What Does America Stand For? We Asked Teenagers by Anna North of the New York Times. Everyone around the country had different views on what does America stand for. Some of the teens were very conservative and some were very liberal. It shows that America is very diverse and everyone has a different perspective. America is an amazing place with an array of different people.
Ingraham, Christopher. “Analysis | There Were over 12,000 Poison Control Calls for People Eating Laundry Pods Last Year.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 16 Jan. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/16/there-were-over-10000-poison-control-calls-for-people-eating-laundry-pods-last-year/?utm_term=.467ee31f027f.
North, Anna. “What Does America Stand For?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Aug. 2017, www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000005313156/what-does-america-stand-for.html.
Selyukh, Alina. “How New York City Rebuilt Anew After Its Darkest Day.” NPR, NPR, 8 Sept. 2016, www.npr.org/2016/09/08/492960193/how-new-york-city-rebuilt-anew-after-its-darkest-day.
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