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Our America

This is a project for my English 102 class, on our own view of America.

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Many people have their own idea of America, if you were raised in a more rural area with a closer family, it's more likely you'll find your view of America to be similar to your own upbringing. The same of course goes for someone raised in a more industrial area or if they were raised with hardly any family at all.


The country is where I grew up, surrounded by farm animals and family. My family values have always been strong, dirt roads and forests all I know. While I know America isn't all greenery and scenic routes, I can't help but think of that when I think of home.


While my views on the landscape of America are very much clear, on the opposite end of the spectrum, my friend from New York finds himself with a different view. Cities are all he's ever known, busy streets and tall buildings with subways and bus stations abound. No family within walking distance.

Though does the way you were raised mean you have certain views of the way America should be? Aside from landscape of course, the American lifestyle can vary from state to state or even person to person. While I was raised very southern (shucking corn, raising goats, and walking around barefooted everywhere you went) -- to the surprise of many, my ideals hardly convey that upbringing.

I'm liberal, I am an Agnostic Atheist, I am pro-choice, part of the LGBT+ community and more open minded than many other people who were raised in the southern parts of the United States. I was raised with the ideal that people are people, if I wasn't being hurt by what they were doing then I shouldn't be bothered by their lives.

Growing up, my ideals were to treat others the way you wanted to be treated and over time my ideals haven't changed, but the realization that other people didn't share the same ideals was astonishing to me. Being bullied as a child was only a small scale version of what I could expect when I grew older.

Between mocking those with disabilities, condemning homosexuals to hell and racial discrimination that continues to this day -- I have a hard time believing in the America I was conditioned to believe was so great as a child.

The more aware I became with the America I had grown up in, the less impressed I was. Those who claim America is the land of the free and home of the brave severely overestimate what constitutes as "free" and severely underestimate what counts as "brave." In a land where you're supposed to be free, why are some people mocked and even murdered for expressing who they are?

Nate Gowdy / Via

Being "brave" isn't just marching off into battle, blindly defending the country you grew up in anymore. Brave is now expressing yourself, being who you are in public and hoping that someone isn't trying to "make America great again" by wiping out your existence.

The America I grew up being proud of, the one that I sang songs for throughout primary and elementary school -- The America I pledged allegiance to every morning before class is not an America I'm proud of anymore.

I want my country to be welcoming again. I want the United States to be united again. But at the rate that we're declining, following our election and the increased number of crimes, I doubt that this unity is something I will see in my lifetime. Hate only breeds hate and hate is a toxin that is poisoning our country. We're being raised to believe that Christopher Columbus discovered America, when the Native Americans were already here. We're being raised to believe that the confederate flag is a sign of heritage not hate -- when the heritage is based on hate.

America should be united, if not understanding of others then at least accepting. The way America is now is not a place of dreams and wonder as portrayed in media, but nothing more than a tragedy. Despite the differences in views, race, religion and even lifestyle, we're all together on this land. We can do anything if we build each other up instead of break each other down.

View this video on YouTube

"We are one, you and I
We are like the earth and sky
One family under the sun

All the wisdom to lead
All the courage that you need
You will find when you see
We are one."

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