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