What does it mean to be American? It can be a “loaded” question this day and age, and the answer will vary depending on whom you ask. I am willing to bet that it would be hard to get a consensus even in a small group like our class. I suspect that’s because the answer is shaped by many possible variables.
Geography: Where you pose the question will no doubt impact the answer you get. A person in New York City will most likely have a different perspective than, say, someone from Montgomery, Alabama. Politics, which can be closely tied to geography, is another variable. A progressive Democrat may offer you a different answer from a conservative Republican.
In our class, we all live in the same region, but our politics are bound to be all over the spectrum (although we are in Orange County, so it may well lean to one side). Beyond that, our perspective on being American is shaped by our ethnicity, social class, religious background, and perhaps most importantly, our individual experiences.
Let me offer another immigrant’s perspective on what it means to be America…