The United States has one of the strongest militaries in the world that no other country could attack it. People pay a lot of taxes and the money goes to improve their life, hire better cops, and make society safe, especially the NYPD in NY. But that doesn’t happen on the Pine Ridge Rez, where about 13,000-40,000 Native Americans live. It was a larger range because there is no specific(official) record about the Indian population there, it’s all off the grid. It´s not a safe place. According to Ramon Twist’s story, he and his friend became criminals when they were 12 years old. He even had a wife and daughter at 15. And also, the youth suicide rate in this place is ten times the national average. One in three women is a victim of rape. Plagues of alcohol, drugs, and domestic and gang violence happen every day despite it being in the US. Even as an immigrant in NYC, I still feel a little unsafe because of racism. After COVID-19, people look at Asians in anger, even though we don´t cause the plague. In Vietnam, sometimes robbery or bad things happen, but Vietnamese cops always find out a way to protect people and arrest criminals. In the US, whether in NYC or on the rez, safety does not always appear in front of us, we always have to be careful to prevent it happens

In my experience, the US government supports the citizen a lot. Students can go to school for free, even meals. But why Native Americans don´t get any care? Back in the 1800s, the American Indians were forced to change their culture and speak a language that they didn´t want. The Carlisle Schools were boarding schools founded in the 19th century to kill their culture and their uniqueness. Some people even committed suicide because of suffering. And today it´s not even better. Their kids aren´t well educated, they go outside, take the gun and do bad things. The government doesn´t even care. Despite their suffering, they still let it happen. In my opinion, Native Americans should merit more attention from the government, they deserve a better life and a better education. In my experience, I express good education in both Vietnamese and US schools. US school is somewhat easier for students instead of hard like in Vietnam. But a coin always has two faces. Even though studying in Vietnam is hard. it makes us improve our knowledge, and be smart in any situation. And Vietnamese teacher is respected for their serious teaching style, so Vietnamese students can be better at logical thinking and real-life things. But the US schools are giving the students equality like letting them do whatever they want and giving them more chances to be creative. I love both Vietnamese and US schools, they give me different experiences, cultures, and sometimes weird holidays.

About political things, the US very cares about it. The United States was created based on democracy, so people all have their voices. They could protest, or even use guns if the government goes wrong. That was what the American Indians did to take back their ancestors’ land. They protested and lived on Alcatraz island for nearly 2 years. Why did they do that? All for a reason: Do the compromise. The government promised Sioux that any surplus land the government can be given to them. So what they did was right. They have to protest and keep the promise. In Vietnam, I grew up in peace. I haven’t seen any protests against the government. Our government always solves the problem. If a company is greedy or any governor goes wrong, they will be the judge. I feel free and peaceful in Vietnam, the country I was born in and always love.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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