What does it mean to be American? (Identity)

When you ponder the idea of why it means to be American, I’m sure a great many things come to your mind. Religious Freedom, Small Government, and a cultural melting pot are just a few things that come to my mind. I asked my Mother this question last night and she simply stated that it is “freedom” that differentiates us from the rest of the world. I believe it is the ability to be whoever you want and live in peace. These are all wonderful ideas and values most American citizens seem to hold (or believe to hold) but unfortunately they are just not true. The more we learn in class and the more we read we learn that is freedom is just a fallacy or lie we have all agreed to tell each other. Unequal education, gender discrimination in the workplace, homophobia, and a system built to serve only the wealthy. Education is not the same for many students across the country. Education is by and large viewed as the number on way to get ahead in life. Women are clearly payed less men in the workplace (for the same job). Homophobia runs rampant and gay men and women can still be fired in some states because of their orientation. The Rich seemed to get richer and the poor seem to get poorer. So what is it about our current system that people view as equal? I used to not think about this much but the more I learn, it makes me wonder if we have ever really been “free” at all. People in this country have come a long way in regard to the reality of others since my childhood. I believe things are headed in the right direction. We have become smarter on many issues since my childhood but still have a lot of work to do. I hope one day our great nation will truly be a place all people have a fair shake in establishing themselves equally.



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