If we put aside our differences, we are able to become, build, and do whatever we desire because we have so many freedoms and privileges.

There are many people in America that share common goals, values, and interests. We must remember that we are almost all immigrants in this country. Whether or not we were born here, most of us originated in different countries, and all of us have come from different backgrounds. This also includes the people who were Native to America. The problem with some of these people who have been in America for a while is that we have a tendency to discriminate against people who have come into this country. Many people such as Condoleezza Rice value equality in this country. Rice, who is an American political scientist and diplomat, was the U.S. Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration, and who also grew up in America and knows about hardships still believes and has proven that the American dream is possible. Rice says in the PBS American Creed Film that immigrants “... want to come here because they really do believe that they can make life better for themselves and for the next generation.” Focusing on where somebody came from is not doing any good. We should focus on the common goals that we all share instead. Many people in the film see that race or background really does not and should not affect where they are going in life and this is possible because of the American Dream.

Our society puts too much attention on the wrong things. We as a nation should focus more on what brings us together. Junot Diaz is a Dominican-American writer and creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He says, “Society miseducates us. Society gives us a lot of prompts and a lot of encouragements to be reactive, emotionally reactive. It’s incumbent upon us to be reflective, to be complex, to be subtle, to be nuanced, to take our time in societies which are none of these things, because after all, there is nothing, I would argue more critical than to be misaligned with the emotional baseline of any mainstream society.” Diaz recognizes that there are hardships that everybody faces, some more than others but we are still able to get through them. Even though we live in such a diverse community, we are still able to come together and he has experienced this firsthand while growing up.

Many people will argue that our differences are what is most important. Diversity is what keeps our democracy going and we need the differences to run one. But it is also important to focus on our similarities to keep a democracy running. People forget this in all of the fighting against each other about their differences. Joan Blades, who is an American businessperson and progressive political activist, says, “Everybody deserves a fair playing field.” Focusing on our common goals is important when coming together as a community. Everybody can become successful in our country, and Blades is a prime example of this. If we put aside our differences, we are able to become, build, and do whatever we desire because we have so many freedoms and privileges. Being an American does not depend on race religion or anything else. If we have the drive and motivation to accomplish something, then America gives us the ability to do so.

When you look at all of these people’s opinions, they all value equality\ and believe that focusing on where somebody came from is not doing us any good. They all feel strongly about looking at what we share as Americans rather that worrying about what is different. This will keep us more focused on attaining our goals and dreams, bringing the country closer together. All Americans should pay attention to this because it will keep them focused on important values that we share rather than our differences that are separating us and pushing us away from each other. 




Columbus High School American Creed - Continuing the Conversation

This group consists of student responses to the American Creed documentary from PBS and Citizen Film.

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More responses from "american", "community", "discrimination", "dream", and "rights"