What is freedom to you? What does being American mean? During reconstruction, there were many examples of racism attempting to reverse and accept black people as humans with rights. Racism is a major part of American society back during reconstruction and in today's society. To be American to me means to have unlimited freedom but has limits that come with consequences. I believe that being American involves me being proud of my country and how we have evolved in some cases but ashamed how we treat other countries and have not evolved in other cases.
To be American, living in the biggest “melting pot” of the world I feel like the citizens who were forced here and basically built this country are discriminated against, and their freedom is constantly contradicted. There was process since the reconstruction but not as much as one wanted. One major issue that occurred in America that was here during reconstruction is the number of African Americans in the government and holding office.
For example, since reconstruction, there have been 28 presidents, and only one of those presidents were African American. This shows that African Americans are considered American citizens only half of the time. They have the freedom to do what they please as long as they are not ahead of a white person. This is very important because America being a “melting pot “ should have a leader that respect and treat everyone equally regardless of their history and race. Reconstruction gave the idea of progress for African Americans, getting them closer to freedom. The laws passed that benefited African Americans showed this idea.
The main differences and similarities in society during reconstruction and today is just the laws and the way Americans look at what it means to be American. During reconstruction, it was as if the leaders make decisions and get the people's opinions later. But today its as if leaders ask the people what they want and their opinions before making decisions. Laws have changed the way Americans view other in society, making others seem to like the bad guy and some seen as heroes. The biggest similarity in society since reconstruction and today is what people think it means to be American. Some Americans think to be American you need to bow to the flag and leaders just because you are American. Americans will look down on other Americans if they disagree with something in the government or a leader even though as an American you have a right to do this.
To conclude, this is important to know about because this shows what being American actually means to America as a whole. Learning about reconstruction made me realize how long actually reconstructing America's past will take. America constantly contradicts their laws and to show what it means to be American. Reconstruction is still happening in America's society, and I don't believe it will ever stop until Americans start treating each other equally. The connection between equality and reconstruction is that the lack of equality in society is what slowed it down.