Sunday, September 30, 2012

Images Of America

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.” - Barrack Obama
Patriotic America

When I think of America, I think of the patriotism that is so predominant in every state in America.  

What is the purpose of patriotism?! It serves to create solidarity among member of the same group or country.  It unifies and strengthens bonds between different groups or individuals to create a larger, stronger group.  It can produce a positive outcome in a sense that it can inspire people to do good things, invent things and to strive for greatness. 

America celebrates patriotism through many different occasions, one being the Fourth of July, a federal holiday which is also known as Independence Day.  This was first created through the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776,which declared independence from the UK.  American's celebrate through fireworks and patriotic songs, including the national anthem 'The Star Spangled Banner', 'God Bless America' and regionally, 'Yankee Doodle' in the Northeastern states and 'Dixie' in the Southern States.

After 9/11, Patriotism became even bigger with an increase in flag sales, people joining the American Army and blood donations.  The Red Cross says more than a quarter million people decided to donate blood for the first time post 9/11. 

Furthermore, Americans are prouder of their country than are any other people in the world, according to a study of patriotism by the 'National Opinion Research Center' at the University of Chicago.  The survey found that nearly 90 percent of Americans would rather be citizens of the United States than of any other country. That rating is the highest of the 23 nations studied for 'National Pride: A Cross-National Analysis' the largest and most comprehensive international study ever conducted on national pride. 

'We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic.  Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.' Jimmy Carter, 39th US President (1977-81) Nobel Prize for Peace in 2002

Negative View Of America

Today, America is seen as a multi-cultural society; known as a 'melting-pot'.  The metaphor was used to describe the fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures.  It was used with the different concepts of the US as the 'new promised land'.

Although America's population is 12.2% African-American, Hispanics are 16.3%and Asian are 4.7%, there is still a predominant feature of xenophobia and racism in America.  After Obama's election in 2008, there was a 244% increase in Patriot groups including Militia and groups against the Federal Government.

Also, Obama has received 400% more threats against his Presidential power than his predecessor George W. Bush.  Furthermore, there has been an increase in anti-immigration groups from 173 in 2008 to 309 in 2009, which equates to an 80% increase. 

Post 9/11 saw a fear further arise in American's as prejudice escalated, causing people to assume a fear  towards anyone who is Muslim or Middle Eastern.  After 9/11, a younger generation brought up in an environment where certain groups of people are to be stereotypically discriminated against because of their ethnic background or colour of their skin.

Moreover, the American Government are clamping down on immigration from Mexico to the United States.  They are wanting to restrict the numbers and prohibit immigration.  Immigration law has been back and forth throughout the 20th century, sometimes welcoming them and other times slamming the door shut on them.  Also, the public reception of these people has been unpredictable; Mexican immigrants have been involved in American communities but frequently have to battle hostile elements in those same communities.

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