Letter to the Editor

What makes a true American

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dear Editor:

I once ran across an essay online called "A True American." The author proudly gave his or her own prejudiced and extremist views about what constituted a true American.

The essay sounded like something that might have been written in Germany during the Nazi era, but it had a 2009 date and U.S. address. Anyway, in my humble opinion, here is what I think a true American is.

1. A true American realizes that his or her people came from somewhere else to settle this land and offers the same opportunity for the newcomers of today to do well in America.

2. A true American teaches their children that not everyone looks like them, thinks like them, or talks like them and that people should be respected even though they are different. This is a true moral issue that should not be compromised.

3. A true American realizes the language he or she speaks may be known as the King's English or the Queen's English, but it is not some magical tongue that everyone has to learn to be a good American.

4. A true American respects other people's beliefs and faiths and acknowledges that all people were created by the same supreme being. (And if they disagree with them, they pray for them to change and not decide to hate them out of differences in beliefs.)

5. A true American respects our men and women in uniform but does not cheer every time the U.S. Army destroys some little village of innocent civilians in a distant land.

6. A true American loves life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and advocates it for those who are neglected, abused, or discriminated against in our society. They remember that in some way, or at some time, they too were a minority. This is how I believe a true American should think. I am proud that America is a multicultural country and that I am a multiculturalist.


David Shipp,