Truly, I have never actually asked myself “what is an American?” before today. It’s not a question that one decides to ponder on in the middle of work, or school. I knew that an American was, at least in simple forms, someone I lived with. Yet now, life is much more complicated. Life isn’t ABC, anymore. Everything just has a second meaning now. And with second-meanings, come debates.
Various people have debated on the subject of an ‘American’, including famous figures, including ‘Teddy Roosevelt’. Dictionary.com puts it as “of or pertaining to the United States of America”, which I believe to be too broad. We must dive deeper if we are to solve this mystery.
First off, a Frenchman, by the name of Crevicouer, upon arriving in America in the 1830s, said that an American is someone who has left behind all remnants of a tie to Europe government, lifestyles, and people, and that we have become freedom-loving countrymen to our country, the United States of America.
I have to agree with some points in his argument, but where would we be without our origins from Europe, and what would happen if we actually had gotten absolutely no ideas from past governments.
Dr. John Gartner said in 2005, however, that America is an Immigration headquarters, and that Americans are immigrants since the beginning until now. He mentions that America is the land of opportunity, and that that is why ‘we’ came here; for a chance at a new life.
I agree that America was basically made up of immigrants during the time of the colonies.
Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most well known presidents, sitting alongside Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Bush duo. He ‘created’ the Teddy bear and was president for two full terms, unlike the one before him, McKinley who was assassinated in 1901. He was the youngest president ever before then, and he had something to say about what an American really was. He said that an American is an American. There is no Japanese-American, no Chinese-American, no French-American, etc. If you were born here, and/or you are a citizen, you are an American, no matter our background.
This was a pretty bold statement, considering world War I was already being played out in the battlefield. This was probably a speech to unify the country to fight as one army against their adversaries. I agree with the fact that an American is an American, no matter his families’ past, and I think that this is the greatest truth a man can say about America. Just like Horton said in the book (and the movie) “A person’s a person.” I couldn’t agree more.
Until now, you have heard the opinions of others. Before we get to my point-of-view, there is one fact that overshadows the rest. Specialists say there is an American gene. Also called D4-7, this gene makes you want adventure more, and makes you take more risks. If you are a risky, bold man living in America, you probably have the D4-7 gene. Scientists observed that there is no population bigger with the D4-7 gene but here, in the U.S.A. I found this extremely interesting, as you probably do now. I have to disagree with the fact that an American has this gene, because what Peter Whybrow is saying is that, to be an American, you need that gene, money enough to get here, and a chance to do so. This limits the choice.
Finally, it’s time to express my opinion on the matter. Honestly, defining an American on anything but discriminates other people who deserve the title. I believe that an American is someone who was born here, gained citizenship, or has proven him or herself to be ‘worthy’ of the title in other means. That is my opinion, not a fact, or discrimination. It is my opinion. Perhaps one day, the government (the same one that has created the Iraq war, and aided in the Economy crisis) might find it suitable to give us ma definition of an American. Until, then…
WHAT IS A TRUE AMERICAN?