What Makes YOU 'American'?

What Makes YOU 'American'?

Immigrants should not have to prove that they are American.
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The answer seems obvious enough; if you were born here or you live here, you qualify. And yet, the answer is constantly up for debate.

Directors Katharine Round and Ben Steele released a short film via The Guardian, centered around the city of Dearborn, Michigan. They provide five drastically different stories of life in the city, each story attempting to define American identity. Dearborn is particularly intriguing in how it grapples with this; it is home to the largest Arab American population and the largest mosque in the states. In addition, the impoverished population is overwhelmingly white.

Unsurprisingly, the documentary begins shortly after Trump’s presidency began; the contrast between the five individuals lies primarily in how the presidency affects them. For women like Sarah and Suehaila, feeling unaccepted by a community is almost commonplace. As the child of immigrants, Sarah remarks the sense of appreciation for America that the immigrant experience instills. Her parents left war in Lebanon to pursue a better life, and given that she has just graduated law school, it is evident that that pursuit was successful. She claims her American identity proudly; per the aforementioned definition, she was born here and feels that origin should not affect one’s right to that claim. Nevertheless, she notes that Muslims now experience an oppression of the mind here, as they are not allowed to freely be themselves.

As a child of immigrants myself, it is difficult to watch her story downplayed and invalidated by other voices in the documentary. They 'otherize' those who are Muslim, and admittedly see them as a potential threat. Conservative citizens like Bob Dutko are vehement in their disagreement with Islam, and describe violence as inherent in the religion. Another citizen, Rob, echoes the claim that undeserving people overseas are employed over those living an “American life.” He claims that discrimination is exercised towards him for his allegiance to Trump and that he wants the country to exist as it was “designed to be.”

His claim of an America “designed to be” a particular way is not too far-fetched. History demonstrates the systematization of white privilege. Whether in our incarceration rates, salary margins, or employment opportunities, there is constant reassurance that white lives are of greater value. For Dutko and Rob, the presidency has aired the concern that being American demands a singular narrative.

This documentary is a difficult watch. The horror stories of history emerge as an established part of our present. And yet, it ends with a montage of mass protest against the mentality that being American must fit a given schema. Dearborn, Michigan is a snapshot of a much larger conversation; immigrants should not have to prove that they are American. The idea of an American having a single race, religion, or class is apparently dominant, and as the film demonstrates, is dangerous. For women like Sarah, Suehaila, and myself, the need to reform that archetype is more imminent than ever.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Will Trump Win the 2020 Election?

That's the billion dollar question

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Back in the day, not so long ago when America was naive to the real Donald "You're Fired" Trump, I predicted to my friends and family that he would win the presidential elections. I have always had a strong intuition about these types of things, but my nature always made me lean towards the underdog regardless. Trump was no underdog, so my assertion baffled my loved ones, though in that race neither Hillary nor Trump was an underdog so my intuition took over and I just knew he would win. As we are well into what is now definitely a government shut down I have to wonder will 2020 spell victory for Trump once more? If the midterm elections are anything to go by, I would say there is a 50-50 chance and here's why:

Everyone thought the midterms was a slam dunk, well everyone on the left at least. I have to admit with a President at war with the media it is getting difficult to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. Needless to say, the state of affairs remains poignant. The tension is palpable to all. And for this reason, I expected a landslide for both the Senate and the House in favor of the Democrats but this was not the case.

Why?

1. No president is perfect. Some have come close though in my opinion; most have embodied that all endearing quality of being "Presidential". Trump does not. He, in my opinion, is the antithesis of "Presidential".

2. Most Presidents try to be inclusive to represent, make or support laws and or changes that will benefit the majority at large. Trump does not. He supports or makes laws that support one type of majority and it definitely does not look like me or anyone considered ethnic.

3. Most Presidents tell the truth or some version of it centered in reality. Trump does not. The weirdest thing is Trump operates on the cut your nose to spite your face precedence. Case in point the current government shut down. And his supporters seem to operate on the same cut your nose to spite your face premise. First, Mexico was going to pay to build the wall, now Americans are going to pay for it with our tax dollars. The best part of it is that Trump just lies and states that Mexico is paying for it through the USMCA Trade Deal. Why did I say his supporters operated on the same premise, I bet many who are affected by the government and those who will be most affected by the upcoming recession will still stand by Trump bolstering his 2020 chances.

4. Most Presidents have an ego but Trump trumps them all (pun intended).

I could go on and on but I won't. Why? Because it seems that despite these obvious flaws and I have named only a handful, people love Trump.

And that is why he may have a chance to win again. To me, Trump signifies the white male in America. In corporate America, white men already have all the odds stacked in their favor but if you've ever encountered a bad boss, you may find more often than not those drunk with power are hell bent to corrupt the system, cheating and destroying their way to the top. I mean Trump only had a 1.5 million dollar loan from his father to start out? Delusional much?! But still insists on putting in place backhanded deals that continue to stack the chips in his favor to this day.

At home and in American neighborhoods, the white male life matters. Revered and looked upon with respect. Can walk through stores with the assumption of being non-threatening and the assumption that he always has the money to pay, whether that be the case or not. Even when a white male poses a threat to his life matter. You have seen videos of a white male with a gun and mental problem posing a real danger and cops shoot but once to disarm him. But again white lives matter.

What has all of this got to do with his 2020 campaign. Well, my point is with all these character flaws and even though he has every silver spoon and advantage a person can inherit, he would still lie, cheat and destroy his way to power. So Presidential. Trump's 2020 coming to you soon. Make America Grace-Less Again for another four years

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