by

October 1, 2022

 

Diversity and Strength in America

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.

 

 

Works Cited

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.

Photo Link: http://thethinkering.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_image_full_node/public/field/image/diversity.jpg?itok=h0Cv9pWQ

 


What is your definition of “American”?

Everyone has their own definition of what it means to be American. Some might say that this is the land of the free, the land of opportunity. Others were raised with the principles of being honest, respectful, and kind. Over the course of history, many events have shaped the country we live in today. And while there has said to be change, the truth is many are still fighting for the same things being fought for ten, fifty, even one hundred years ago, to this day. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio describes the hardships she faced growing up as an immigrant in her article, “For the Child of Immigrants, the American Dream Can Be a Nightmare”. One powerful statement she makes is, “What makes me American—what makes the children of immigrants American in the most fundamental of ways—is something we learned from watching how unkindly America has treated our mothers and fathers. Our entire lives have been spent trying to deserve America. America needs to earn us, too.” (Villavicencio).  She is the very example of what it means to be American. To keep persevering when one obstacle after the next keeps blocking your path. Hard work. Dedication. In this country, we all have opportunities, some more than others. What you make of them, however, plays a big role in what it means to be American.

Damien Cave and Todd Heisler did a documentary called “Final Days on Being American”, in which they interviewed numerous people who each gave their own answer to this big question. Surely, no two answers were the same. However, there is one common theme that can be pulled from them.  We all come from different backgrounds, different childhoods, cultures, and experiences. Looking at the responses, you can see that these factors play an essential part in the opinion of each individual.

Lastly, it is often said that America is a “melting pot”, yet we all don’t blend into one simple definition of “American”. In Anthony B. Major’s article, “Life Is Like a Salad Bowl (or Should Be!)”, he refers to this idea as a “salad bowl”, instead. Touching on this, the fact that we each are all unique individuals, with our own values, ideas, and opinions makes us who we are. Hard work. Dedication. Sacrifice. These are all pieces of the bigger picture. In the end, we all have a choice of who we want to be. Somewhere down the line, that’s what makes us American.

 

Works Cited:

Villavicencio, Karla C. For the Child of Immigrants, the American Dream Can Be a Nightmare, Vogue, 17 Apr. 2018, www.vogue.com/article/child-of-immigrants-daca-personal-essay.

 

Cave, Damien, and Todd Heisler. Final Day on Being American, New York Times, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html#p/39.

 

Major, Anthony B. Life Is Like a Salad Bowl (or Should Be!), Huffington Post, 14 Aug. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/the-university-of-central-florida-forum/life-is-like-a-salad-bowl_b_5675446.html.

Image From: Youth Voices Media Library

 


Immigration shapes America

As a second generation American, I view this country as a place of opportunity.  The United States is a country built entirely by immigrants, earning it the title, the Melting Pot, and it is the duty as an American to accept immigrants who seek better lives in this Land of Opportunities (although I disagree with illegal immigration).  A handful of the population sees immigration as a threat and a way for malicious criminals to enter, and currently, our President even took action by banning/limiting immigration from five major Muslim countries, in addition to North Korea and Venezuela (Lazuk).  Discrimination has never ceased, and under the pressure of the media-portrayed terrorism and lack of jobs, our fears have been aggravated, taking over our thoughts and controlling our emotions, thus, we look for scapegoats and point our fingers at the minorities although many of these incidents are caused by our own foolishness.  But, I believe Americans will be able to hurdle over these obstacles like they did in the past. Immigration is the building block of America, we need to accept victims of war and poverty who seek shelter in America, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, and origin, and that is what makes us American.

Of course, bringing in immigrants has an upside to the United States as well.  According to Geoff, “that over the period of 2016 to 2026, there will be 11. 5 million jobs created and a million fewer people in the workforce to fill them”.  Immigration is the perfect answer to this problem, both giving them an opportunity to prove themselves, and its bringing benefits to the economy.  Immigrants can also do more than filler jobs. H1B visas are given out to skilled immigrant workers, but with the current regime, there are not enough H1B visas given to immigrants, and many of those skilled workers are returning home when we can give them a much better platform in America.  Maybe that is how we’ll find the next Albert Einstein.

Immigration is as essential to America as America is to them.  History has proven that immigration is what helps improve our country and I believe immigration should not be as limited as it has been.  We can prevent our economic slowdown and give a home, an opportunity, and a dream to those who strive for success in America.

 

Colvin, Geoff. “The End Is Near for the Economic Boom.” Fortune, Fortune, 19 July 2018, fortune.com/longform/economic-expansion-end-is-near/.

Lazuk, Ethan. “Meaning of the American Dream for Immigrants.” Synonym, 25 June 2018,
classroom.synonym.com/meaning-american-dream-immigrants-11334.html.

Gerstein, Josh, and Jeremy C.F. Lin. “Why These 7 Countries Are Listed on Trump’s Travel Ban.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 26 July 2018, 1:40PM, www.politico.com/interactives/2018/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court-decision-countries-map/.

Rapoza, Kenneth. “Companies Say They Want More H-1B Foreign Workers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 7 Feb. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2018/02/07/companies-say-they-want-more-h-1b-foreign-workers/.

 

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