Define American?

A raw look into the American eye

By Lindsey A from Royal Oak High School in Michigan

What it means to be American is undefinable. Peoples goals, aspirations, and dreams likely their bias of what it means and clouds everyone else’s perspective unto the subject. America has been the centre of ME, ME, ME, MINE, MINE, MINE, ideal since its beginning. But there’s more than just america in this world, so why don’t we focus on global issues while addressing our own. This world is not ours, we do not own it. So why does America still continue to be the #1 leader in global carbon emissions and mass shootings. Why aren’t our carbon footprint being lessened? Why isn’t anything getting done about gun violence, not only in the schools, but around the country? If you really wanna define something undefinable, let me give you my bias: Because it’s American to blame someone else.

Americans blame others for their own misfortune or even just a “downfall” which is misinterpreted and not true. The ones in power blame the minorities they oppress, Generations before blame the generation they raised for issues they caused themselves.

Baby Boomers blame Millennials for the “American downfall” and Millennials blame generation z for being so dependent on technology. The blame game is passed on from generation to generation creating a toxic environment. From my homelife, my parents are Baby bBomers, they blame my generation for same sex rights, gender rights, and feminism for not being “what it should be”. They don’t care that we’re teenagers and already making a change in climate of gun control. I hear them constantly argue over “what can we do to change this, to make America strong?” Accepting the problems caused by yourselves and ways to fix the problems caused.

To be American doesn’t have to be doom and gloom though. If we stop blaming one another for issues preventable (climate change, mass shootings etc.) we can start making a change. And isn’t that what being american is about, being the change you wish to see in the world? 

Royal Oak High School

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ELA 11 6th Hour

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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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