This Land Is Your Land

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Aaron Millsap
J. Dunn
Eng. 201

This Land is Your Land
The term “American” has always been loved and hated by every country in the world. Foreigners that legally immigrate to the United States need to have a reason. Do immigrants do so because they want a better life for their families, a place that you don’t have to worry about bombs exploding, or if you speak up you put your life at risk? Being an American means that you want to practice and protect freedom because the conditions of their immigrating match our fore fathers reasons.

The value of historically analyzing immigration is a key argument to backing my thesis. Lets look at it like this. When the first foreigners set foot on American soil they did so looking for a new land and freedom. Low and behold they couldn’t speak the Native American language. This is exactly what the short story, “The Gift of Language” talks about. Lan Cao writes that when her mother came to the United States she felt overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a foreigner. But Lan’s mother was going through the same crisis our forefathers had to when they immigrated. Learning the language and a new culture is part of being a foreigner.

The Associated Press Stylebook defines the word American as, “An acceptable description for a resident of the United States. It also may be applied to any resident or citizen of nations in North or South America" I believe this is the closest “technical” explanation of the word American. Now I believe that the correct term for a citizen of the United States should be US-ian (Webster88).

In the political and census view of Americanism one who is Chinese is labeled “Chinese American, but one who is white is labeled Caucasian, not American (USCensus). The process of being “politically correct” has ultimately split everyone into sub-American categories, not generalizing our citizens as a whole community of Americans. If an American immigrates to Egypt, do they become an...
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