Define American

Transcending politics through a new conversation

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  • Free, Equal, Self-Determination

    | Bill Combs

    The Founders created the definition of an American as one "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," with a government instituted to protect those equal and individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our Nation has not always lived up to these goals, with, for example, our ignominious treatment of the country's blacks and native Americans. What makes an American unique in the world though,…

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  • How I Define American

    | Denise Waldron

    My definition of "American" is someone who transforms adversity into achievement. I do not know anyone more skilled in this endeavor than undocumented immigrants. That is why I sing extra loud "home of the brave" whenever I have the occasion to sing the American Anthem. I am showing respect for them. When we can say, "America is the home of the free," it will be because of their contribution.

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  • My Grandmother at Sixteen

    | Corey Fischer

    My grandmother, Celia Pastornak, arrived in this country, fleeing the violent racism of early 20th century Russia when she was sixteen. The two things that most impressed her about her new country were the library where she could borrow all the books she wanted for free and the kindness and generosity of the other young women - mostly American-born gentiles - she worked with in a coat factory in…

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  • Even Ricans

    | Anonymous

    As a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, I have a weird feeling that we Puerto Rican Americans, like those from Guam and Virgin Islands, will be having a problem very soon. Already ICE has deported Boricuas mistakingly because we do not carry nor have to carry identification stating that we ARE AMERICANS. And, since we come in all colors and looks, we are sneered as aliens. Presently,…

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  • A Vision for the Future

    | Rosezanne Marcus

    I am 30 years old, married to a wonderful man and soldier, working as a nurse at a local hospital. I am very happy with my life: having a family who loves me, a roof over my head, a car to drive, food on the table, and simple luxuries that make life more enjoyable. I have freedom to worship as I believe and pursue dreams I desire like painting…

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