The American Dream...interesting concept. Sometimes American patriotism gets all wrapped up ignorance. It's as if the extreme war mongers, right wing groups or white supremacists are the only one allowed to be Americans and everyone else has to be hyphenated (Native-Americans, African-Americans, etc.) or scrutinized about their patriotism. That's why it was so awesome when Obama became president. He's a sign of changing times. Usually when I hear 'The American Dream' phrase I take an outsiders perspective (think Robert Frank's "The Americans" book). Lately I've been trying to look at it from an insider's perspective and focus on my experience in The U.S. compared to my parent's and grandparent's. My mom's parents immigrated to the U.S. with her from Belize and my father's parents have a few more mutted generations of U.S./Canadian life under their belts, but ultimately both seem to have many shared experiences and have helped shape this place I call home. The American Dream is the opportunity to make individual choices without the restrictions of class, caste, religion, race, or ethnic group. So I guess we're the American Dream (in progress), living life, seeking liberty and in pursuit of happiness, but the product of a bitter sweet nomadic past.
I guess when ya really start thinking about things like origin and patriotism that means yer growing up. Personally I’ve spend a lot of my time on the planet feeling like I don’t quite belong where I’m at. Since coming back to the States from Canada, I’ve had a whole new perspective of what it means to be ‘American’ and have decided for the sake of making where I’m at a better place, I’m going to remove all hyphenations from the term American such as Afro-America, Hispanic-American, etc. It’s not a matter of throwing away the roots, in fact it’s embracing all the roots and realizing that my fore-fathers [and mothers] are just as much the face of America as George Washington and Ben Franklin. One of the most unique aspects of The U.S.A. is that it is not ethnically homogenous and that needs to be embraced and celebrated. Like Mos Def says “It’s not where ya been, it’s where ya at!”
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