My whole life I always wondered about this. What does being an American mean? I constantly struggled with this. Even when I’m traveling. I get asked, “where am I from?” I would tell them I am American. They would reply with, “but, where are you really from?” Most of the time, there is no malice with that question. Although, I have gotten used to it. There are times, it makes me self-reflect. I was born and raised in the USA. I have family members in the USA military. My grandparents came here 80 years ago and have been living in the same apartment for over 60 years. However, I never felt American. In the last few months, we have seen some of the worst and troubling times in recent history. Businesses closing down, lockdowns, mass graves, social distancing, and protests. Yet, there is no unity. We haven’t been united in these issues.
For those who have been following us for a while, know that I’m Hispanic with African roots. In the Spanish language, Americans are people from the continents of North and South America. As corny as this sounds, United-Statesian is the real term for the people with citizenship to the USA in Spanish. Going with the English term, American means people from the United States of America. These last couple of weeks have shown that the states in the USA are not united. It has become really divided. Divided by opinions, this country has become a place of turmoil.
I love the USA. This is the place where I grew up. Also hopefully. the same place where my kids can grow up. However, I have been thinking about moving to another country lately. The mistreatment of civilians by the police has been shamefully brutal. People just expressing their rights being run over by horses and cop cars. The USA has been bleeding.
Hopefully, as Americans celebrate 4th of July, we should really reflect on what does it mean to be American. This is a country of immigrants from all over the world. The USA is full of diversity. If this post offends you, then you really need to look in the mirror and ask yourself. “What is it that really bothers me about this?” Although change doesn’t happen overnight, it starts with people taking small steps towards a goal. Glad, I am able to have friends from different backgrounds. Also, I am honored to be able to experience/learn through friends: juneteenth. learn about the struggle of eastern European countries, learn about the Islamic culture, the struggles women have in the middle east, Latin American politics, the differences between Asian cultures, the struggles LGBTQ have around the world, and how to be a person that care about others. The USA is diverse. Division only really benefits politicians and the super-rich.