How Diverse Americans Understand the American Creed

Different cultures, although having different ideologies, interpret the American Creed as the right to pursue the American Dream. This allows a stronger communal bond to be formed within America, as we all are striving to achieve the same goals.

By David K. from Staples High School in Connecticut

America is the world’s melting pot of cultures. Nearly everyone, with the exception of those full of Native American blood, has ancestors within twenty generations that originated from outside North America. However, one’s family tree isn’t the only connection with our ancestors. We all have some similarity to our ancestors, which is our beliefs of what is right and what is wrong. Of course, some of these beliefs have evolved over time, but they are still are based on the same logic. In the past when cultures who have different ideas of what is right and what is wrong have interacted, it usually lead to violent clashes. Although it occurred often in the past, clashes of different ideologies still happen today. All these different ideologies coming from around the globe wouldn’t normally be able to create a well-structured community with similar values. But, once our predecessors became Americans they all adopted a new guiding principle; the want to create a better life for yourself and your family. This principle is known as the American Dream. All Americans, no matter their ethnicity, interpret the American Creed as guaranteeing the right to achieve the American Dream.

My father’s side of my family is Jewish. According to him, the interpretation of the American Creed from a Jewish perspective is the opportunity for you to succeed no matter your beginnings. He believes the Jewish faith supports this interpretation of the American Creed because of how it preaches of work hard. By working hard you give yourself different opportunities to achieve what you define as success. I also asked my grandmother on my mom’s side of the family, who is a devout Catholic, what she believes the American Creed is. She believes that the American Creed is that everyone is guaranteed the right to life, liberty, and happiness. When asked, she believes the Catholic faith supports her stance on the American Creed because of how it talks about treating others the way you would want to be treated, and she herself wants to be guaranteed those rights. Although the two people I asked responded with different answers, they both are based on the same concepts of the American Dream. The irony of this is how they both believed their religion supported their answer, even though when asked they both think Judaism and Catholicism are very different in their values. All-in-all, different people have different ways of explaining what they think the American Creed is, but they all have the same intentions of what they’re trying to say.

Currently, there is what President Trump refers to as “a humanitarian crisis” on the southern border. Nearly every month there are hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing into the United States. This has caused those opposed to immigration to dehumanize migrants crossing the border. Dehumanization of people in the past has lead to terrible consequences such as genocide. To convince people how these migrants aren’t different from us, we need to use our logic on how diverse Americans understand the American Creed. Different groups of people understand the American Creed as some form of the American Dream; this also applies to immigrants crossing the southern border. Immigrants come to the United States in the hope of improving their lives and the lives of their family members. Once we all comprehend that they are trying to achieve the same goals as most Americans, we will stop the dehumanization of them.

Within America, there are still examples of groups being marginalized today. African Americans are incarcerated more than any other race. Transgender people are victims of hate crimes at a higher rate than anyone. America is still not a perfect place for everyone, and it will most likely never be perfect. But, we can try our best to make the United States more tolerant than any other country. Because we all have the same core values and goals we can more easily create a tolerant community.

I believe there is no one definition of the American Creed. That there is more needed to comprehend what the American Creed is than a set of words. If there is no correct answer to what the American Creed is it allows people with different beliefs to make one. Once they make their own definition, they can see how similar it is to those they think they are nothing alike. It will create new discourse between different groups, and open pathways to new friendships. Through talking with diverse Americans, we can solve issues plaguing our country. 

Staples High School

Bauks 2A

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