In reality being “American” means to be proud, to have your chest up high, be proud to call yourself American. because of that American nationalistic feeling in your gut when you see the flag wave high, along with of the national anthem. Although some might argue that America is a great place, it is cruel and racist. As the son of an immigrant, I have seen first handed the damage that my parents have endured by their employers. They think just because they are immigrants they think they can do whatever they want with them and treat them however they want as if they weren’t humans. The article “the way up north” examines the ideology of white racist Americans through the eyes of a Latin American immigrant. “People say this is a land of opportunity, but a lot of the time there are no opportunities, no jobs. And if you’re an immigrant you don’t get paid as much, and if you go to the hospital sometimes they won’t take care of you. An American with papers has more opportunities than an American without.”Antonio H. Hernandez, 41. An Immigrant without legal status and day laborer in Kansas. (New York Times). The speaker addresses some of the issues that immigrants have to endure in this nation. Under the current presidential administration, I hear white people say “love Trumps hate”… It makes me angry because they can freely speak out against the current administration without fear of legal problems. They don’t know what is like being called out because your parents can’t speak English properly or living of fear of not being able to see your parents because they were deported. People like Antonio H. Hernandez understand the difficulties of living in the United States as an immigrant/Latino.
I believe “American” should represent the ideals of the statue of liberty in New York. because the United States was founded by immigrants who came to pursue a better future, free from violence, overcrowding, and religious persecution. I know that America has its issues about immigration but I believe that we can move forward as a nation. When my parents talk about their story of why they came to the United States, they tell me that they saw this Nation as a beacon of hope, a place where they can start again, and have a safe place to raise a family. In 1630, John Winthrop said “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us”. John Winthrop came to America in search of prosperity, religious, and political freedom. The video titled “the newsroom” challenges the ideology that America is the greatest country in the world. “You’re going to tell students that America’s so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom”(clip from The Newsroom). The information found in the newsroom supports the idea that America isn’t the only country that is safe and that has a functional democratic government.
American literature is much more than just the ideas and thoughts of a few people but it is the stories of millions of people in this country. American literature represents the essence of what being American means through the intellectual writings of Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway. The article titled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” examines the idea that just because you are an immigrant, it does not mean you cannot contribute to American literature. “I was trying to stand out in a highly competitive newsroom, yet I was terrified that I Stood out too much, I’d invite unwanted scrutiny. I tried to compartmentalize my fears, distract myself by reporting on the lives of other people, but there was no escaping the central conflict in my life. Maintaining a deception for so long distorts your sense of self. You start wondering who you’ve become, and why”. American literature has embodied itself through people that were born in the United States and foreign-born. As result, it is clear that “American Literature” is a reflection of the of decades of influential writers that have managed to make a difference in America we know today
“The Way North.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 May 2014, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39.
(American is not the greatest country in the world… from The Newsroom, 2012)
Vargas, Jose Antonio. “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 June 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html.