Whatdoes it mean to be an "American?"
Whatdoes it mean to be an "American?"
Thequestion of “what does it mean to be American?” has attracteddiffering opinion across people of various ages, ethnicity anddifferent parts of the United States. For one to become American,he/she should not be of a particular nationality, ethnic group,religion and learning languages. Individuals have to committhemselves to the political system based on a framework of liberty,republication, and equality (Mason,& Stephenson, 2015).It means that Universalist ideological character of Americannationality is open to any person who is willing to become anAmerican. In a nutshell what, what Philip is trying to say is thatall an individual has to do is embrace the American way of life andact exactly like an American, but does this define what it means tobe an American? This paper will discuss some aspects that most peopleperceive as the actual meaning of being an American.
EnjoyingFreedom of Speech
Oneof a huge defining factor as far as being an American is concerned isembracing the freedom of speech. In the other parts of the world,several people say that Americans are obnoxious and loud or maybe ifthey are kind enough they could say that American citizens might bevery upfront. The reason for this is freedom of speech being anintegral part of American society and citizens are highly encouragedto freely speak out their minds and utter their opinions unlike inthe most parts of the world where people pretend to be polite but endup making vague statements (Mason,& Stephenson, 2015).Freedom of speech is valued as a right that the first constitutionamendment protects it. However one must exercise this freedomresponsibly regardless of his/her background and hate speech isdiscouraged at any level.
EmbracingDiverse Culture and Religion
Anotheraspect that can make one be a real American is embracing differentreligions and culture because America is a country with the vastdiversity regarding culture. So being an American means that youbecome part of these diverse cultures (Gallup,2016).The United States is one of a few countries where one cannot definenationality by individual’s race, religion and ancestry. The US isthe melting point of various religions and cultures, and it is almostimpossible to find a person who has no Africa or Europe origin. Itmeans that ancestry nor race are used to define who is American butinstead, US unique economic political, as well as the social values,define American (Cave,2016).In some instances being American does not even mean being born in thecountry but also taking a citizen test and passing to become anAmerican may also qualify one to be American as long as one canentirely accept what the US stands for.
Whenmost individual think of United States, the first things that come totheir minds are expressions such liberty and freedom and in fact,these two words are very crucial in the culture of US and form a bigpart of what it means to American. United States citizens have theright to live the lives of their choice and are highly determined toretain that freedom that several of their predecessors have foughtand died for.
Beingan American goes beyond simply being born in the United States orjust having papers to prove that you are an American citizen butmeans being able to enjoy the freedom provided by the Constitutionsuch as freedom of speech, the right to live life the way one choosesamong others. Again being American also means individual being in aposition to embrace the diverse nature American culture and religionregardless of one’s race, religion and ethnicity.
Cave,D. (2016). WhatDoes It Mean to Be American?. Nytimes.com.Retrieved 13 December 2016, fromhttps://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/20/us/what-does-it-mean-to-be-american.html?_r=0
Gallup,I. (2016). WhatBeing American Means to Today`s Youth. Gallup.com.Retrieved 13 December 2016, fromhttp://www.gallup.com/poll/9712/what-being-american-means-todays-youth.aspx
Mason,A. T., & Stephenson, G. (2015). Americanconstitutional law: introductory essays and selected cases.Routledge.