According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a “citizenship is the common thread that connects all Americans” (“Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities”). However, regardless of possessing a citizenship, there is an apparent divide in race, highlighted in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, as the author exposes the daily experiences of having dark skin in the United States, which can strip the feeling of being American for people. For every citizen to feel like a true citizen of America, a citizenship should not be the only “thread that connects all Americans” (“Citizenship”). Rather, each citizen should have the common feeling of belonging to society, which is accomplished by people fulfilling their …show more content…
The neighbor calls this friend “a menacing black guy,” not “that nice young man.” Then, he proceeds to tell Rankine that he has called the police (Rankine 15). Once again, in the book, a black person is portrayed as an animal, as he seems like a threat. Due to the neighbor believing that the friend was a “menacing” man, rather than the “nice young man,” he implies that he thinks that all black people look the same. This also connects to the ideology that “black people are animals,” as most people cannot tell the difference between each animal from the same species. In addition, the neighbor’s rapid progression towards the calling of law enforcement is shocking. Before even calling Rankine, he immediately phones the police, signifying racial profiling. If the friend were white, the neighbor would have taken other actions before calling the police, such as calling Rankine or even asking the friend what he is doing. Through the two situations, the reader can understand that Rankine’s view of a citizen is one in which there is no discrimination between races; all races receiving equal treatment. Rankine’s opinion of citizenship is a valid one, as black people are also given unjust treatment from government workers. This includes the use of excessive force by police officers, such as the infamous case of the Tamir Rice shooting. Shaila Dewan and
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Despite our founding principle that “all men are created equal” (Jefferson), American life isn’t characterized by equality or fairness. Although we acknowledge that each member of humanity bears equal value, we fail to provide them with such equality in life. Racism and anti-immigrant sentiment are two factors that prevent America from being equal. Frederick Douglass identified this gap between value and reality for Americans when he found himself “not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary” (¶3) of the Fourth of July, “a day that reveals to [the American
In the 21st Century, during a period of racial discrimination, a political African American activist, Ta-Nehisi Coates, presents Letter to My Son to insist that the government system needs to be changed so that African Americans could be granted a chance in their community to not be abused and violated by the government. In an attempt to support his claim about injustice of African Americans, Coates reminds his readers that the government system and federal laws contributed to the abuse of a black person’s body and mind in their community. Thusly, Coate’s underlined purpose of comparing the body and mind of a white and black man’s power during the slavery period was to emphasize the change in the government system to give African Americans their rights to be able to live in a society without injustice or abuse. He later adopts a critical and sympathetic tone to simultaneously scare the government to change their laws for all people of African descent in their society.
In the boiling pot of America most people have been asked “what are you?” when referring to one’s race or nationality. In the short story “Borders” by Thomas King he explores one of the many difficulties of living in a world that was stripped from his race. In a country that is as diverse as North America, culture and self-identity are hard to maintain. King’s short story “Borders” deals with a conflict that I have come to know well of. The mother in “Borders” is just in preserving her race and the background of her people. The mother manages to maintain her identity that many people lose from environmental pressure.
“Citizenship is so much more than a piece of paper, it’s a guide to live your life”
When one thinks of a “citizen”, they often imagine the process of gaining the title of becoming a citizen within a country. But often times people do not think of “citizen” or “citizenship” to be connected to race. In Claudia Rankine’s book “Citizen”, she takes time to discuss and display specific moments that have happened in the lives of African Americans who live in the United States. By doing so, she is investigating in depth of what it means to be a Black American “citizen” today in society. These stories, although reflecting upon minuscule moments, paint a large picture of the true reality of racism in America very prevalent today. In context to Rankine’s Citizen and other supporting documents such as Keywords: “Citizenship”, White Like Me and Cops See it Differently it can be proven that racial bias deprives full Black American citizens of “citizenship” within everyday society.
America still believes in freedom and in being the land of opportunities even though time has changed some of America’s original ideals. Nowadays, becoming an American is not as simple as entering America and obtaining land. For example, there is the process of applying for citizenship, something that has now become a big part of defining an American. Hundreds of thousands of people per year apply for citizenship, yet not many people are granted the opportunity to become one. Anonymous shared their story online and said, “I never once thought immigration would affect me, until I realized that laws change and if you are just a resident here...you have no protection” (Defining American). Immigrants feel citizens have more rights than people who are just residents. An immigrant wanting to become a citizen must go through a variety of questions about the United States and what its founders had set as its ideals. Though, with patience, an immigrant can become an American within a
Defining what really is to be an American does not sound as easy as it seem. It will always be complex process. As immigration continues to fuel the growth of the population of our nation, racial and ethnic gap increase and evolve along with it. Racial and ethnic identities become more and more convoluted and difficult to understand. Race and ethnicity continue to intermingle and push a cultural shift in the US– a shift that plays a significant role in redefining America in a day-to-day basis.
All across the nation, in the news the black community has been making their voice heard, in regards to white police brutality, and murder against the unarmed black community. Many of these brutal attacks and flat out murders of unarmed black people haven’t been largely prosecuted, some officers have even been acquitted of any wrong doing or murder. This has led to outrage in the African American community at large. The shooting of an unarmed black teen named Michael Brown caused the racial strain in this country to break.
In the article “Surges and slips: Immigration in America over 200 years” by Associated Press discusses immigration into the United States of America. This article relates the current issues facing the White house during this presidency. In the body paragraphs of this article: immigration laws, civil rights history, and the conflicting economic and social issues that confront the country. Furthermore the conclusion brings the audience’s attention back to current issues. During the section titled “Immigration Laws Shape Diversity of Nation,” the author discusses early limits on citizenship. As seen in the second to last paragraph of the section,”A 1790 law limited citizenship to ‘free white persons’ of ‘good moral character’ who had lived in
According to the Oxford dictionary the term citizenship can be defined as: “The state of being vested with the rights and privileges, and duties of a citizen.” In the short story ‘Borders’ by Thomas King the term citizenship is of main focus. Through the many borders that are presented within the story, King argues that citizenship overlooks culture and heritage, instead focusing on a single border: that being where the individual resides. The short story is narrated from the young boy’s perspective, as him and his mother struggle to cross the Canadian-American border to visit the young boy’s sister Latitia. The young boy and his mother are not able to cross the border
What is racism? Racism is defined as discrimination toward someone’s race or religion etc. As we know today, this is a big issue, especially in United State. This is important to me because it does not matter what skin color you have or what religion you believe in. All that matters are that a person follows the law. Police officers, for example, they are supposed to use the power that they have for the bad people, people that do crimes and our threat to our society. Using violence against people that haven't done any threat to our society is wrong. In Sweden there is some racism, but not to the extent that black people will get harassed because of their skin color. In Sweden, the law is for everyone and whoever breaks the law will get the punishment they deserve. We all know that it is always two side of a story for example what happened to Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. Michael Brown was robbing a grocery store. The police officer stated that “He shot Brown after the teen attacked him”, While brown’s family said, “Brown was surrendering when he was shot dead.” You are always going to hear two different sides but the justice will find out who is the guilty one and who is the victim.
Citizenship is defined as a being a citizen or a person owing allegiance to and entitled to the protection of a sovereign state. Citizen preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people. The concept of which in one of its earliest was given to us by the Romans, who had just began to understand the importance of a populace contributing to the decisions of its own fate. Modern American citizenship as we know it today was defined for us in the constitution of this nation by the founding fathers. Citizenship as they had envisioned it even back then was not free, but came with a price. A citizen was
An analysis of the Tamir Rice shooting reveals different prejudicial attitudes that his resulted in many discriminatory actions from all parties. As most of the country knows, Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio was shot and killed in late November of 2015 at a city park by one of the two police officers responding to a dispatch call "of a male black sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people". This single event has caused the people of Cleveland and many surrounding cites to backlash against the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Police, as well as caused many events, protests and vigils, that resulted in some discriminatory actions from both sides.
Most Americans place their pride in being apart of a country where a man can start at the bottom and work his way to the top. We also stress the fact that we are “all created equal” with “certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” (Jefferson 45) During the early 1900s white Americans picked and chose who they saw fit to live in America and become an American. “Those that separate the desirable from the undesirable citizen or neighbor are individual rather than race.”