Friday, December 19, 2008

Who Am I as an American?

From havesomecookies:

Up until now, I have never pondered about the definition of an American. How do I know that I am a true American? Are my parents true Americans? The truth is, I do not know. It is a topic that is not solid and block-like; it can be debated for eternity. I’ve always considered the American race to be a mixture of diverse cultures that were led over by the theory of “sidewalks made of gold” and “the land of opportunity”. But after discussing the ideas of several different professors and scientists about the making of an American, I have arrived at the conclusion that if their explanations were official, I might be residing in Canada right now.

In the first passage my class perused, written by French writer Crevecoeur, he stated that an American has a piece of courageous hidden somewhere within. An American has the fearlessness to arrive at an entirely new continent that has not even been fully settled yet and adjust to a new life, a new government, a new rank. I agree that those particular immigrants might possess that trait, but what about their descendants? I’m certain that a fraction of American is compiled of children of immigrants. We do not gain every single personality trait that our parents had; if we did, that would be frightening.

Passage #2 states that an American is also part of a new race that is composed of many dissimilar races. Americans must love this new country even more than their old country from which they departed. Pride and patriotism are the main formations for a nation that will greatly impact the world. This country gives immigrants the chance to start over, to move up a space or two in the social pyramid.

Written by Teddy Roosevelt in 1915, Passage #3 orders all American’s to address themselves as one and only one term: An American. None of that “Chinese-American” or “African-American.” Why do we necessitate those terms? The minute you march over the border, it’s crossed out with an overriding, black X. You are now part of a concrete nation. But Teddy forgets that the America is supposed to be made up of different cultures, working to move in the same direction: success. Enough was left behind when immigrants came over from their home countries; they should be allowed to thrive in a new nation while still celebrating a lifelong tradition.

Passage #4, written by John Gartner in 2005, is similar to Crevecoeur’s theory. And I still disagree. If I was the shyest human being on this planet, but I suddenly changed and became confident over time from numerous factors, how is that a trait? Some were even brought over without a choice. They were babies and their parents made the tough decision. The End. It’s not something they chose. It’s something they had to go along with.

The last passage, Passage #5, written by Psychiatrist Whybrow, claims that there is a special gene floating around that is included in only American DNA. I find this very hard to deem veritable. There has to be some other person in the world that did not immigrate to America that has this gene. Out of 6.7 billion people on this Earth, there has to be.

Onward to Canada!

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