What It Means To Be An American

When you search what it means to be American on google, you are given the definition of “relating to or characteristic of the United States or its inhabitants” and “a native or citizen of the United States. ” Being an American or having an American Identity doesn’t just mean that you’re from the United States, it means how one acts within the the American society and the role culture plays in their life.

I conducted an interview on what it means to be an American to Hector Alava, a 21 year old alumni of Hyde Leadership Charter School and a current U. S citizen. Along with this interview, I additionally conducted research and found what a few influential people in American History thought it meant to be American. In my interview with Hector, I asked multiple questions regarding his opinion towards being American. I first asked him if he felt any sort of way for being American and he responded with a pretty straight forward answer, stating that being American is no different than being from somewhere else in the world, it’s just that America is stereotyped as a this strong, powerful country that has unlimited opportunities for a better life. He also stated that although this country is a forced to reckoned with in almost every category, it isn’t what everyone outside the U. S thinks it is. It also isn’t what every patriot says it is. I followed up by asking him why he thinks this and he said that there are lots of problems in today’s society that go untouched and ignored by the Federal Government. He then brought up the situation regarding Colin Kaepernick and Nike, saying that something like this doesn’t occur often in other nations.

Other than the problems in society, Hector shined some light on a few political problems and referred back to what he previously said, “it isn’t what everyone thinks it is. ” I then go to ask him, “do people take pride in being American?” He explained that only certain people take pride in being American; the people who usually think America is such a great country.

Hector, being Ecuadorian and Dominican, takes pride in those countries because they make up his ethnic background. I then followed up by asking him if ethnic backgrounds play a role in someone’s identity and if he has met someone with 100% American background. He replied by saying that it plays a huge role in someone’s identity and that he has met someone with 100% American background and he described him as really prideful, always caring an American flag with him and always reminding people of how great America is.

18 March 2020
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