American Creed

Posted by Maddi C. Montana

The United States is made up of so many different cultures, religions, races and that’s what makes this country beautiful.

While watching the American Creed video, there was a quote that Condoleezza Rice said and it has stuck with me since. Rice said, “It doesn’t matter where you came from but where you’re going.” I think that this quote explains much of how citizens of our country feel. Citizens of the United States come from various origins with all different stories and struggles. Current Americans, as well as future Americans, need to focus on where they are going and how they are going to get there through their actions. Every culture has suffered in one way or another at a certain time, but if people put their mind to focusing on the goal at stake, they will conquer it. Americans should look past things such as race, religion, and culture as they move forward. If every citizen had the common goal of coming together as one, it would inspire others of our country to want to feel and act the same way.

According to Junot Diaz in a recent interview, Radical Hope Is Our Best Weapon, Diaz and Krista Tippett talked about the suffrage people of color and culture have had to face. Diaz states, “... I would remind us that, coming from reality where our oppression was ineluctably linked to our bodies- that we had, for centuries, no rights to our bodies and that all of the traditional freedoms of human agency were forbidden to those of us of African descent in the New World…” Diaz’s family originated from the Dominican Republic and things were tough for them once they came to America. Because they were a family of color, they were treated with discrimination. Diaz uses his family’s historical background extensively in his books. He not only touches on the fact of what his family and life used to be but what it looks like now, and its differences based off of him being in the United States.

After watching American Creed and reading some of the articles based off of the cast, I have realized that it is very important to remember your history and what your family had once gone through. But is more important to put those things aside and focus on what today has in store. There are many people in the United States that if they would put aside the past of who they are and what they have done that they would go a lot farther. They could accomplish more things than they think possible. Like Condoleezza Rice said in American Creed, “It doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.” This statement really stayed with me because Rice spoke about the history of her family and stated their struggles, but also she talked about how they overcame them as well as they did.

The United States is made up of so many different cultures, religions, races and that’s what makes this country beautiful. Our country starts to fall apart when people allow themselves or others to be stereotyped. A person’s cultural history shouldn’t matter when they are trying to get an education or a job. These are things that people need to put behind them. Most immigrants who come to the United States come here to become more successful, more educated, and prosper. Tegan Griffith, a Marine veteran from Wisconsin and cast member in American Creed, talks about what it was like to grow up in her household. Griffith’s family tradition continues with her participation in the military. Her family is made up of military members through multiple generations. Tegan said, “Growing up you know, we didn’t have a lot of money.” I think this is key in showing how much her family actually cares for their country. She also stated, “We had to work for everything we had, and the military was our career path.” As much as the Griffith family cares about their country, it doesn’t matter to them whether or not they are barely getting by because they are following through with what they think their purpose is to do. If citizens were to look at the bigger picture and do things for a purpose rather than for self, our country may be much more successful. Citizens like Tegan Griffith have a purpose for what they do for this country. The same can be said for Condoleezza Rice, David M. Kennedy, Eric Liu, and all the other people who were involved in the movie American Creed. They all have stories to tell about their past, but they use their motivation and drive to further educate those in America that we can pursue anything we put our minds to. 

Published on May 21, 2018
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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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