English Composition2

葛天一(美国加州大学洛杉矶分校)
As myths influence every society in all aspects of life, there are two myths—the myth of the melting pot and the myth of freedom—that have immense positive effects on every American citizen.
  As myths influence every society in all aspects of life, there are two myths—the myth of the melting pot and the myth of freedom—that have immense positive effects on every American citizen. The melting pot myth inspires people from different ethnic backgrounds to come to America, and thus bringing more cultural diversity to the nation; the freedom myth depicts America as a land of liberty where the rights to embrace freedom are guaranteed to all citizens. Although these two myths impact American society in their own positive ways, they can nevertheless be modified, and make the country even better. In the melting pot myth, despite the fact that Americans are racially diverse, not all races are treated equal when valued by their contributions to the nation. Indeed, certain groups, such as immigrants and ethnicminorities, are enormously undervalued in their contributions to the American society. Hence, the new melting pot myth not only should include racial diversity, but also needs to focus on the acknowledgements of contributions that different groups of people make to the country. In the freedom myth, freedom is depicted as something that is given to American citizens and protected by the government. This notion of freedom, however, is fundamentally misleading because it is the American people who should take hold of their freedom. Thus, the new myth of freedom should tell American people that in order to truly embrace liberty, they need to seek to attain freedom and equality themselves. More importantly, Americans need to defend their freedom through collaboration, whenever the government tries to be tyrannical. Acknowledging the contributions that different groups of people make to the nation’s well-being is crucial to understand the new melting pot myth and move the country forward. It is particularly applicable to the immigrants who come together to form a strong force in the U.S. economy to stimulate job growth and raise the wage of native-born workers. According to the “2010 AmericanCommunity Survey,” there were “900,000 small-business owners among current immigrants,” and the number of hires for each company approached 11 on average 《Kugler and Oakford》。 As a result, these businesses would provide at least 3.7 million jobs for native workers, which approximate “45 percent of those who are currently unemployed” 《Kugler and Oakford》。 Inaddition, immigration positively impacts the earnings of the U.S. workers. Statistics released by The European Economic Association about the immigration to the United States demonstrated that the rising inflows of immigrants into the United States between 1990 and 2006 directly increased the average wage of native workers by 0.6 percent 《Ottaviano and Peri》。 Recognizing the contributions that immigrants make to the American economy is critical to understand the core values of the myth of the melting pot. Immigrants from various backgrounds and experiences not only create an engaging and productive work environment, but also offer new jobs for the unemployed native workers. These immigrants strive hard for a better life, and unite with the native workers for a common goal of improving the nation’s economic well-being, although they may come from different cultural backgrounds. Obviously, the old melting pot myth should be changed to value the immigrants’ contributions because immigrants along with the native workers are helping build a strong economic system in America, and move the economy forward.In addition to immigrants, minority people strengthen the nation’s unity in a way that their athletic achievements have ginned up patriotism among American citizens, and instilled a strong sense of national pride. It is particularly true in the case of the modern Olympic Games, where Americans from all cultural backgrounds embrace a new identity as “one people” and fight incessantly for the nation’s glory. As depicted in The International Journal of Olympic Studies, after winning two bronze medals in 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Jennifer Rodriguez, a Cuban-American skater,proudlyproclaimed, “We have the biggest melting pot in the world, and the one special quality about the United States is we are so diverse” 《Dyreson》。 “I think it really shows anything is possible no matter where you come from in this country, and we are all Americans,” added by Rodriguez’s teammate, Derek Parra, “the first Mexican-American to gold medal in the Winter Games” 《Dyreson》。 With the crowd enthusiastically chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” in celebration of the nation’s heroes, the melting pot vision of all Americans as a symbol of diversity becomes so powerful that a sense of national pride naturally arises, along with a strong affinity to the country. At this moment, the land of America is neither populated by Black nor White, but byunified human beings. So, the athletic achievements of minority people unite all Americans, and make them truly support their nation’s heroes, regardless of their different cultural backgrounds. Indeed, as stated by Patrick Buchannan in his 2007 essay“Deconstructing America,” America, due to the contributions of different races, is no longer “an encampment of suspicious and hostile tribes” 《598》, but rather a united nation where citizens believe in diversity empowering people.
  As the new melting pot myth outlines an ideal scenario for the nation’s well-being, a natural question arises: what else do Americans need besides economic prosperity and the nation’s unity? The answer is freedom. However, it is still
  challenging today for Americans to be truly free, because they have long been denied the rights to embrace real freedom, which is something that American people seek to attain and control by themselves. For instance, Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father of the United States, deemed that not all American people deserve freedom. In “From Notes on the State of Virginia,” Jefferson maintained, “The blacks are inferior to the whites in the endowment of body and mind” 《502》。 Hence, Jefferson declared that all blacks should be deported and colonized 《498》。 Jefferson apparently did not acknowledge the equality of black people, and therefore their liberty. Clearly, Jefferson thought that not everyone was equal, and that not all American people deserved freedom, which should be given by the government. This pattern of logic, which might seem archaic, still exists today. As one of the most influential American politicians, Buchanan advocated that accepting ideas “about the innate equality of all cultures and civilizations is not only ahistorical, but also suicidal for America” 《597》。 From these two cases, it is clear to see that the leaders of American government think that people are not in control of their own freedom, and their freedom should be given by the government. In this way, the government controls American citizens’ freedom, and can deny the freedom of certain races. This concept of freedom, however, is fundamentally misleading because it is the American people who should take hold of their freedom. Besides, what Americans have witnessed is that the government continuously takes away their freedom. For example, the U.S. government has targeted Muslim American citizens since 9/11, including arbitrary detention of some Muslim Americans. Obviously, this act done by the government not only shows the discrimination against the Muslim Americans, but also undermines their religious freedom. Therefore, American people must rise, and the old freedom myth must be changed in a way that freedom belongs to people, not the government. In other words, it is inadvisable for American citizens to still believe in the promise that the government will protect their rights; instead, as asserted by Naomi Wolf, Americans need to rise up, challenge the government, and unite to fight for the freedom they deserve 《634》。Besides understanding that freedom is their own property, American people also need to know that they can attain freedom through collaboration. It is especially true when America’s press freedom, which symbolizes the freedom of American people, is threatened and hampered by foreign totalitarian regimes. The case of how the U.S. companies work collectively to fight China’s censorship software Green Dam, remarkably exemplifies the power of collaboration. As illustrated by Anne Applebaum in her essay “The Decline of American Press Freedom,” the Chinese government in 2009 proposed regulation to mandate all new computers be sold in the country with Green Dam, an internet software which filtered the political and religious content that the government disliked 《643》。 The enforcement of Green Dam significantly jeopardized the freedom of
  communication and expressions on the internet, which was deeply rooted in the founding philosophy of U.S. hardware companies 《Applebaum 644》。 As a response, theU.S.companies, which were previously business competitors, decided to fight back. They acted as a group to protest the Chinese government’s inhumane orders, “threatened to take the issue to the World Trade Organization,” and won the battle 《Applebaum 644》。 In this case, the victory of the U.S. companies, namely American citizens, in the battle of freedom encourages people to defend their rights in the future. More importantly, it reestablishes the myth of freedom in a sense that today’s Americans can collaborate to fight for their nation’s cherished value—freedom—although they come from different ethnic backgrounds, and diverge in the pursuit of commercial interests before their collaboration.Unquestionably, the old myth of the melting pot, which underestimates the values of certain groups of Americans, needs to be changed because immigrants and minorities significantly contribute to the nation’s well-being. With a large number of immigrants pouring into the U.S. labor market, America experiences a strong economic revival in terms of job creation and wage enhancement. With athletes of minority ethnicities fighting for the nation’s glory, Americans are united and feel proud of their country. The new melting pot myth tells American people that recognizing different groups of people’s contributions to the country strengthen the nation’s unity, and move American society forward. In addition, American people no longer blindly believe in the old myth of freedom, which declares that the government guarantees every citizen’s liberty; instead, they fight to attain their freedom and equality through collaboration. Inspired by the new melting pot myth, these Americans have the courage to challenge the government and defend their country as a land of liberty. Indeed, Americans are telling the world a new myth, which combines the ideas of the melting pot and freedom, that American people, whose cultures and nationalities are melted into one, can work in unification, and relentlessly defend their liberty through collaboration.
  Works Cited Applebaum, Anne. “The Decline of American Press Freedom.” Colombo, Cullen, and Lisle 643-644. Buchanan,
  Patrick J. “Deconstructing America.” Colombo, Cullen, and Lisle 596-597. Colombo, Gary, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle, eds. Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print. Dyreson, Mark. “Return to the Melting Pot: An Old American Olympic Story.” Sports Library, 2003.
  Web. 2 September. 2013. Jefferson, Thomas. “From Notes on the State of Virginia.” Colombo, Cullen, and Lisle 498-502.
  Kugler, Adriana, and Patrick Oakford. “Immigration Helps American Workers’ Wages and Job Opportunities.” Center for American Progress, 2013. Web. 2 September. 2013. Ottaviano, Gianmarco, and Giovanni Peri. “Rethinking the Effect of Immigration on Wages.” Journal of the European Economic Association, 2011. Web. 2 September. 2013. Wolf, Naomi. “Freedom Is Intended as a Challenge.” Colombo, Cullen, and Lisle 633-634.
[高中1年级] 字数:10122 投稿日期:2013-11-4 20:17:00

推荐3星:[抽风木头]2013-11-5 17:15:59