My father used to tell me all the time that he believed history was the easiest subject to learn because history never changes. I would always think this was in fact true, until reading the required readings for the week. History is very important when it comes to each and every person’s identity. History makes us as individuals who we are and who we believe to be. History can be changed depending on the individual. In the eyes of people with different cultures and backgrounds, American history can be very different in their perspective. The history of what it means to be American will always be defined differently, depending on who you ask. I believe to be an American means being free in every aspect of your life creating a sense of entitlement. I also believe being American means trying opening doors to changes and different cultures. Lastly, to be an American means to have sense pride in the United States.
In regards to Americans being free, that has been shown more than a few times throughout history. Americans have the freedom in their actions, speaking, decisions and many more. In having this much freedom, Americans can sometimes seem to gain a sense of entitlement. Using this entitlement to an advantage, in history Americans have decided where other countries lack. One example of this was also in Manifest Destiny with the puritans taking the land of the Indians due to the Indians being incapable to self rule.
An example of this is with Manifest Destiny. “Americans believed they had the God-given right, based on racial superiority to expand to the Pacific Ocean”. The entitlement can also be shown in the way immigrants are after entering the United States. Many immigrants work very hard to come to the United States in order to gain a better life and escape from the horrible things that happen in their countries. Immigrants have to work twice as hard to be respected by Americans
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This leads me to how the hyphen is a way to marginalize specifically people of Mexican ancestor. Using the hyphen of Mexican- American marginalizes that specific group because that hyphen stamps them as not being fully American meaning they are less than American. In reality they have earned the title of American. One example was in article titles ‘El Paso Salt War: Mob Action or Political Struggle’, “The citizenship was an interesting one. The area formerly been Mexican Territory and many Mexican chose U.S. Citizenship to keep their home after the war”. They had earned the right because they chose to become citizen, but were not considered equal Americans. Living in America is apart of there history and putting a hyphen exemplifies they are less than American. One example would be in the required podcast for the week titled, ‘What Does Identity Mean for an Immigrant’, in which she discussed how she had hard her mother worked and how much she went through just to get to the United States to be treated as an outsider. She also stated “the feeling of belonging was a never ended saga, but she remembers feeling like a fraud or an imposter”. The freedoms that Americans take for granted because is guaranteed many immigrants appreciate and cherish them. Another example she also mentions in the podcast that her mother would dedicated extra funds no matter the cost to learning math and English.
In the Aspect of Americans trying to open up doors to make changes, I believe this to be true. America has always been the poster child for adopting to new changes and being fair and equal to all people no matter the culture or country. American has opened to many changes throughout history. In opening these door Americans can fall short of trying to make the best changes by mistreating immigrants. Americans can sometimes forget that we need other cultures and countries to help and do for us. Immigrations is a huge topic especially in todays news. America is made up of so many cultures ethnicities that makes the United whole. Americans need immigrants because they make America who we are. It is also true that American needs immigrants especially when we think of how we get certain resources and how immigrants helps. Many immigrants will come to the United States in search of a better life. The immigrants are willing to do jobs Americans do not want to do. Immigrants help America in tremendous ways whether it is decided to admit or not. Although America can sometimes fall short with immigration in different cases, for the most part immigration opens doors due to how there are many people in the United States who have come from all over the place to live and have actually prosper in the Untied States.
America has shown to shift in a more positive light with starting to allow immigration versus what other countries had done which leads me to the last point, to be an American means to have pride in the United States. This too has also been exemplified throughout history because Americans are proud of every accomplished the country has made. This is shown through every war America has had. Starting with the Alamo in San Antonio that expresses the patriarchy and nationalistic of what happened as the Mexican Fort. Manifest Destiny also showed the pride of Americans with the expansion. Another example of this would be in the reading title the War for Independence in which it is described that “Some historians see the Texas Revolution as a courageous act by freedom loving Americans against intolerant and undemocratic government of Mexico’.
In conclusion, I do believe that history can in fact change depending on perspective. I also believe to be an American means to have freedom, try to change and open doors and also to have pride in the United States. I also think the hyphen marginalizes Mexican ancestry because by hyphening, it in a sense shows that they are less than and not equal to Americans when in reality it should not be that way.