Note: This is an Essay I wrote for a Job in Salt Lake City, Utah in early 2016, at a place where they require applicants to write their view of America in a short essay; this of course in hopes that they are in line with the ultra-conservative Republican alt-right which is the norm and overwhelming majority of people in Utah.
It shouldn’t really be legal, but then most of what happens in Utah really shouldn’t be.
They were actually angered by the following Essay, which they requested as a requirement to be considered for employment:
Kalani’s View of America
America is a troubled, albeit hopeful country, deeply divided and losing direction. America, like all countries, is a product of its decisions and the historical interactions of its early citizens, on down the line to its current citizens, combined with its past & current direction and goals.
As for my background, I’m directly related to 5 different families who arrived on the Mayflower, as well as 4 different tribes of Native Americans, as well as Irish, German & Chinese immigrants, and the Native Hawaiian people. I feel qualified to talk about America.
America represents the histories and struggles and dreams of many different types of people who came to America or became American through many different circumstances and for many different reasons. America’s primary downfall is and always has been Racism, Exclusion, and the belief that one type of American is “more American” than another type of American.
America’s primary problem is accessibility to Education, and standardization of the Educational system. This would effect great change in the quality of its citizens interactions with one another. America also has little in the way of the Socialist benefits which most of the Developed Western World enjoys, such as free or affordable Dental & Medical coverage. Another large problem is the narrow World View of most of its citizens, and the bubble created by ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, and what I call the Ameri-centric media outlets.
Intolerance, prejudice, privilege and entitlement have caused a deep riff in this country. Abraham Lincoln moved to make war to right the wrong of slavery. The New England Colonies were the most educated, open-minded, and just people in America, owing to their great culture of liberty, freedom and equality which have shaped our nation. Today, a large majority of the citizens in much of New England share more in common with the beliefs of the Confederate South, than that of the America which shaped those regions.
I believe much of America suffers greatly from rampant nepotism, particularly in smaller, more isolated and homogeneous communities, which is often wielded as absolute despotism upon the people viewed as “less American”, and at its core is no more than simple Bigotry and Racism. I believe there are a great many people in America who feel like guests in their own country, and who shouldn’t, simply by nature of their Mother Tongue, or worse yet, their physical appearance. I believe many truly American people are long-suffering of fools for the mere sake of a developed standard of living. People who’ve come from truly majestic cultures thousand of years old, where they’ve lived very happy lives, arrive and are treated like second class citizens in a country which boasts itself as one of equality and humility.
America is an Ideal. The Fundamental Doctrines of Freedom and Liberty were brought to America by the persecuted and hated earliest immigrants on the Mayflower, who knew first-hand of the benevolence and healing of such compassionate doctrine as they were forced to seek refuge from certain death by religious bigots in the unfailingly liberal and ever-tolerant, accepting and open-minded society of Amsterdam; people who eschewed hurtful and oppressive ideologies and actions as a core principle of their National Identity, ideologies which very few held then, or held dear in America, as the waves of religious and non-religious immigrants arrived from across Europe, bringing with them their Old-World prejudices, radicalism, bigotry, and furious hatred.
European identities were lost, in favor of a new “white” American Identity, which quickly became a fierce and hurtful culture. People who were given their freedoms in America were very quick to take those same freedoms away from others, and America very rapidly became a land of religious intolerance for a very long time, with each religion preaching its own intolerant doctrines, where human slaves were brutalized beyond measure, and people were driven out of communities or burned alive for having or voicing unfavorable or unpopular viewpoints, or for living their own lives according to their own dictates of their own consciences. The Dream of America, therefore, never really even got off the ground. The ideal of the founding Mayflower Forefathers, who were nothing more than oppressed underground refugees bringing with them the light of Amsterdam, and the Dream of true acceptance, Tolerance, Liberty, Freedom and Equality, was basically DOA. The Mayflower immigrants experienced first hand the benevolence of the highly intelligent Nederlanders, but were themselves not apart of that, nor inherently generous and tolerant people themselves, but were, in fact, Anglican born and bred, with very Anglican ideals and outlooks, particularly in regards to radicalism in religion. Those were among the best and most tolerant to arrive of the all of the following the immigration waves over the next 150 years. Its not unlike people from the mainland of America who come to Hawaii and live for several years, and they start to think and act more in line with how we Hawaiians think and behave, as the culture of the people, and their great love and acceptance rubs off on all who arrive in the Hawaiian Islands. However, upon returning to the mainland, they are very quickly brought back to their true underlying identity, and often just end up right back to who they were before they ever went to Hawaii, without any spirit of Aloha, nor any of the laid back tolerance and acceptance that is so prevalent in Hawaii, and so apart of the culture. Thus, moving to Amsterdam and enjoying the fruits of other people’s love and acceptance and culture, does not cause the individuals to become truly loving or accepting of others’ ideologies themselves, once they are taken out of Amsterdam, and left to their own devices. If you take all of the Hawaiians from Hawaii, there will be no more Aloha in Hawaii. Likewise, without the people of Amsterdam, there were simply no more truly open-minded, open-hearted people with that level of exceptional intelligence as could only be found in Amsterdam.
While those ideologies became a great source of Pride and Identity for the Mayflower Immigrants, and became so for most other immigrants to follow, until the country was eventually founded, having the ideologies is much different from practicing them, or being the source from whence they sprang. They, thus, quickly become mere propagandizing words meant to inspire, or take reference from, but never become the actual Culture or Identity.
We’ve now wholly become a culture of intolerance, hatred, fear, and disgust towards others, or a large part of America has, rather. Shall we all but forget the Pedestal of that very Liberal, very French beacon, the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
which was written by the hand of a female Jewish Immigrant? What is more American, pray-tell, than the Statue of Liberty or its Inscription? A better question, rather, is “What in America, if anything, even approaches being that very definition of America?”. The answer, sadly, is perhaps nothing, save it be the immigrants who’ve yet to arrive in America, who have that very dream in their minds, yet to realize that, to us, it’s mere propaganda.
No, we ignore America herself, as it were, and opt instead to satiate our own internal demons of rage and intolerance. It seems America, as a people, is in constant battle with itself, and this simply because of wanting to be exclusionary, spiteful, or otherwise bigoted towards others, or for simply wanting to force everyone else into our own ideals or religious beliefs, of what the meaning of this life is, or how we think it should be lived.
The American flag itself, also represents Freedom, Liberty and Justice for all, and any who wave or look upon the flag with a true sense of awe or pride, do so because they are the most open-minded, liberal, accepting, and loving people on the planet. You would have to almost label them as not American, and more French, Nederlanders, or Amsterdammers. Yet today, even waving the flag has become exclusionary, and people do it to spite other Americans who they deem “not American”, notwithstanding their own flag-waving beliefs are more in line with the segregated or even pro-slavery South, and more reminiscent of the Confederate Flag. In fact, it often seems the American flag has become the new Confederate Flag. You’re not waving the flag because you’re just so excited about Freedoms and Liberties, its because you feel it gives you a threatening power over others, to set yourself above them, hallmarks of the Confederate flag. Most people waving the American flag are the ones working to take away the freedoms and liberties of others, or those who despise seeing others exercise freedoms and liberties in manners not consistent with their own beliefs.
The term “In God We Trust” is also often thrown around by people who wish to force others into the construct of their own religious beliefs, who feel all American citizens believing in a standard broad definition of Christian should be compulsory, which is, here again, the opposite of displaying any form of Trusting in any form of God.
Nationalism has replaced Love for Freedom & Liberty, Equality of Mankind and Justice for all, nationalism unrivaled in North Korea or Nazi Germany, even. Our National emblems have become mere political propaganda serving destructive and hateful ideologies.
We have many demons, many skeletons in the closets, and many bodies hidden. We have many bridges to build and rocky roads to traverse. Even today there are nearly 200 separate and distinct Ku Klux Klan chapters, Neo-nazis, Aryan Brotherhood, and other maleficent and malevolent organizations devoted wholly to hate, and the malicious and hurtful treatment of our fellow Americans. It’s as if the Civil War almost wasn’t enough.
We each arm ourselves against our fellow Americans, ready to murder another American at the drop of a hat. We suspect our neighbors of wrongdoing, look suspiciously on others, cast accusatory gazes, and treat people poorly and crudely, all in the name of “protecting our own”. It has become quite an unsustainable culture, which mustn’t last long, surely. Having traveled around the world and having compared America with all the other countries I’ve been to, I just don’t see it lasting long, and this thanks simply to hatred & bigotry, two very obviously destructive doctrines.
Our problems are also rooted in Privatized Federal Banking, Corporate Lobbying of politicians (which is simply called Corruption in every other country on earth, as obviously corrupt as paying off any government official in briefcases full of cash), and countless others. However, all countries eventually come to an end, and we all know that America will not stand long so deeply divided, constantly hating and mistreating itself and those around them, in the International community, even. Each of America’s greatest leaders, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, etc, have each prophesied of the end of an America as deeply divided, and as given over to private financial interests as America today has become. Thus, it must soon be brought to its end, according to the creators in the beginning. I believe America’s collapse may well be eminent, but that something different and better will inevitably arise in its place, as has happened in all cultures and civilization ever to exist upon the earth. The corrupt powers that be may try to keep this sickly charade going as long as they can continue to reap untold fortunes from her bowels, leaving her, at last, withered and dried, drawing her last breath.
The best we can do is be the best kind of people we can be, defending the right things, and supporting the rights of all mankind, regardless of personal demons, as those are the only things that will endure time and all hardship.
A long-enduring love, compassion, tolerance and acceptance of all mankind, the world over, is the meaning and intention of our core ideals, which we’ve strayed far from – neigh, which we’ve never really even been moderately close to. All countries and all people around the world need not be our enemy, and neither should we allow them to become so for political or financial gain. The world is Ancient, and so are its inhabitants. Most of the people on the earth endure hardships on a daily basis that Americans can’t really even fathom today. We’re high on our luxury plush sofas looking down on the world, judging others for not serving us or having our best interests at heart, whilst we give no thought to others whatsoever ourselves.
The people of the earth are good. I’ve seen them. I know them. You cannot find a single country on this earth not filled with fun, loving, bright, caring, intelligent people who are equal to you, me, or any American. That is, unfortunately, a point most Americans will wildly dispute. The overwhelming majority of the people of Earth are vastly more cultured, thoughtful, caring, open-minded, open-hearted, and generally far more wise than most Americans; a point, again, no American would ever agree with, naturally.
“Being American” should not keep us from being equal to our brothers and sisters in all corners of the world, and treating them as we ourselves would like to be treated by them. In a perfect world, all nations and borders would dissolve into togetherness. It’s something to shoot for, anyway. Perhaps we should just add it to the list of all the other ideals we’ll never bother achieving, such as freedom, liberty, equality or justice.