Ethan K.

  • North Carolina

What does America mean to you?

By Ethan K.
Kernersville, North Carolina

When you ask most people this question, they will claim that America is one big great country, where we are all safe and happy. However, for a lot of people that is not the case. You would think that because there is so much diversity in America, (which is also dubbed the Melting Pot of Cultures) people of all different backgrounds and ethnicities would thrive in this space. But for many people like me, we always have to be wary of what we do, all because of the color of our skin. For example, I have always and still love wearing hoodies. If you see me anywhere, 9 times out of 10 I will be wearing a hoodie, no matter the weather. My parents however, have always tried to get me out of this habit of wearing hoodies. When I was younger, I thought it was about the weather or other insignificant things, but it was so much more complex than that. They would always tell me that people would see me differently if I were wearing a hoodie as a young black man walking around, and would treat me differently as well. There have been countless amounts of colored people who have been killed unjustly just because they match the description of another criminal. You might be thinking, It’s a hoodie, you can just wear something else, and to that I say, why should I have to change my attire just because I am more likely to be caught up in trouble? Why can other people wear hoodies freely and I can’t? Yes, you can always feel bad for the people who end up in those situations, but you don’t really know what they think and feel like in those life or death moments. The pure fear, confusion, and wondering, Why is this happening to me? This isn’t fair. It isn’t fair. Unfortunately that is one of the main downsides of this country. Despite the many unjust killings, we have not made significant steps towards putting in place policies that protect targeted minorities. Many of the victims become statistics only to be mentioned when the next incident occurs.

However, not all of it is bad. While these situations can happen, it does not happen often due to the many different movements we’ve had to champion the rights of black people and other minorities. There are definitely many other good things about America anyone can enjoy. It is a better place to find work opportunities than most other places and countries in the world. It is also one of the main countries that provide a great education. Those reasons are why so many families, including my own, migrate to this country. Next, America has a lot of history, not just the history of the country itself, but what it was before. From the mid 15th century up until the present day, there have been many different events that we have learned that shaped how the country is today. Additionally, America’s cultural diversity contributes significantly to its vibrancy. The wide variety of ethnicities, languages, and traditions fosters a rich tapestry of experiences, enriching the nation’s social fabric. Moreover, America’s commitment to innovation and progress has propelled it to the forefront of technological advancement. The pioneering spirit engrained in its culture continues to drive groundbreaking discoveries and developments across various fields, solidifying its position as a global leader in the world.