America is beginning to lose some of our founding morals and beliefs. Some of our values like opportunity or privilege are not the same as they used to be.

                                                                       My American Creed

The American identity includes values such as opportunity, privilege, and freedom. America is a great country, but we do have our imperfections and places where all of those values are not the same as they used to be. Most people would agree that living in America is a great thing but we can't deny the fact that it has its flaws, as everything does.

Over the years America has lost some of its freedoms. Certain freedoms like the freedom of speech are even being affected because of America's inability to listen. In face to face settings people are less likely to say what they truly believe, whereas, people online are more likely to say spiteful and bitter things. How will we resolve our country's differences if we no longer want to talk or listen to one another? The freedom of speech is a fundamental freedom in self government. Free speech is one of our defining principles and it is imperative that we retain this right without having it altered or changed. We want our freedom to talk and speak out about what we believe. Everyone deserves a voice, no matter what age, race, or religion you believe in. The new use of technology and the internet may be also be affecting change. People are so quick to react and reply to everything and it is so easy to say rude things over the internet that it is becoming chaotic. Online topics of discussion can be interpreted a million different ways and you never know what is true versus false.

Another amendment that has been affected over the years would be the fourth amendment. The fourth amendment prohibits illegal search and seizures, however, now the government flies drones over America to spy on its people. The government watches everything we do. They track text messages, phone calls, posts, what you buy, where you go and how much you spend. Big Brother always seems to be watching. We are supposed to have the right to be protected from illegal searches, but how will we be protected if they fly drones over our homes, in our backyards and in your windows. The government is allowed to go into most of our information and texts or phone calls but I don’t think they can just do it whenever they want or without probable cause of something. They need to respect our privacy.

Opportunity is also an important inalienable right. Our Nation is still a long way from providing equal rights for everyone. Our birth circumstances still matter a lot more than they should. Being born into poverty is still a disadvantage no matter how intelligent you may be. Being born into privilege gives you a bit of a head start. As much as people try to hide it race and class still matter. According to Rex Nutting, a columnist and editor, "Government-subsidized mortgages make it so whites could buy suburban homes in non-polluting, safe areas where they are close to schools. Blacks could not live here because it was made for whites only." The race of these people made them able to live here or not be able to live there. Racial discrimination has softened over time but it is not completely gone nor will it ever be. There will always be some sort of racial discrimination, religious discrimination, and gender discrimination as well as sexual orientation discrimination. These differences between us do make a difference in people’s lives and what opportunities they get in life. Companies say they don't discriminate but in some cases that is not true. About 42% of women in America say they have been discriminated against because of their gender. In some cases the women earned less than the men or they were passed over on important assignments due to their gender.

Not only does gender affect privilege or opportunity but so does race. Race and privilege are directly related to each other. Different races get different privileges as well as different genders, religions, weights, shapes. No matter what you are there will always be someone who finds a way to judge you for something about yourself. It is truly horrible when these differences become such a problem that certain people don’t get the rights they deserve, the rights that white men get. Don’t get me wrong, acceptance and tolerance is greater here than other countries, but the main focus is that our tolerance and acceptance is lessening. Over the years people are becoming less and less welcoming to new people, cultures, and heritages. The immigrants are taking jobs, being gay is sinful, obese people do not take care of themselves...People go on social media to talk about these kinds of issues and to spread awareness to encourage making a change but now the audience is becoming more irritable. People want to start a conversation but the audience turns it right into a violent argument. How will anyone be able to talk about their issues if no one is there to listen? What if all the listeners are just way too quick to judge and snap at you? Well that is America now. Everything posted on social media is more likely to be responded to in a negative way because of the fact that people find it easier to be rude over the phone rather than in person. People are entitled to their own opinions, but one must be open minded to learn what others have to say first.

As an American I think accepting other heritages, cultures, and people is central to our culture and nation. When I think of America I think of a melting pot and I think of it in a positive way. I love learning about other areas of the world and what better way is there to learn when you have friends who grew up in other countries? A lot of my friends are from other countries and I get to experience different cultures first hand. That gives me more to offer than just being American. I enjoy being exposed to other cultures and ethnicities. To be welcoming, kind, and respect people of other cultures is what it truly means to be an American. That’s how it should be.




Royal Oak High School Miller's Thrillers

AP Lang and Comp Hour 2

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