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Old 03-30-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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This question can be quite controversial, but it's interesting to discuss. When does a person become an American in your eyes? Is it upon getting citizenship, is it upon being well assimilated culturally, is it upon sharing certain views?

What do you feel about dual identities 'e.g Italian-American'? and does that make you less of an 'American'?

Reason this is an interesting question to me is my own case. Though not born here, I grew up in the US in an insular ethnic community. My family didn't interact with Americans very much and by extension me as well. We had our friends from our ethnicity/country that we always interacted with. In a typical week I spoke more of my heritage language than English. I spent several months of the year in my heritage country as all my relatives are there and in a way grew up there in the summers. As a result, I developed a strong sense of identity connected to my heritage. This is the group of people/culture I connect the most with. I am also a dedicated patriot to my heritage country and would fight for it over any other country including US. I also identify myself here and in other countries as just my ethnicity.

There are many people with the case I have and others in a more grey area. What would you say for me case and what would you say in general in terms of this American identity. In Europe, for example, the conception of identity is different as they are not really immigrant countries like of the US.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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you don't become an American, you either are or you aren't.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC NoVA
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if you would fight for your heritage country over the us, you're not an american. you may be by citizenship, but not really and every single american should agree with that.

my ancestors came here and either worked hard or joined the military. i had german ancestors fighting not for germany, but for the us in ww2. they came to america to be americans. if you're not here to do that, why should we consider you an american?

fighting for a country over the us while being a us citizen is i believe considered treason. you'd probably either be thrown in guantanamo or deported, more likely guantanamo at least for the war.

Last edited by CelticGermanicPride; 03-30-2012 at 08:32 PM..
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Being an American is not an on-off situations like a light switch. Some Americans are more of an American than others are.

In my view, a person is an American to the degree that his presence contributes to the complex weave of the master fabric of America.

Is like asking all Americans to shout "Hello" at 12 oclock. Some will shout louder than others, and some will just listen to see how loud it is. But there will be a shout, and it will be the sound of Americans shouting, and most important, everyone who shouts will be an American.

Personally, as a political matter, I disagree with the concept of citizenship. I think on election day, everyone who is subject to the laws of a nation and contributes to the nation should be allowed to vote, whether that contribution is with tax or work or ideas or art or social intercourse or consumption of goods and services, or just shouting Hello with the rest of us,
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:17 PM
 
456 posts, read 663,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticGermanicPride View Post
if you would fight for your heritage country over the us, you're not an american. you may be by citizenship, but not really and every single american should agree with that.

my ancestors came here and either worked hard or joined the military. i had german ancestors fighting not for germany, but for the us in ww2. they came to america to be americans. if you're not here to do that, why should we consider you an american?

fighting for a country over the us while being a us citizen is i believe considered treason. you'd probably either be thrown in guantanamo or deported, more likely guantanamo at least for the war.
I think you have a point. Allegiance is an important factor. But can you blame me? I grew up much more connected to my heritage/culture than anything else. My willingness to fight for my heritage country over America or anybody else comes from my inherent deep connection to my nation/people. It's interesting though that Germans overwhelmingly chose to fight for US rather than Germany. Paving the way to ultimate assimilation.

Well I'm talking hypothetically of course. A war won't break out between my heritage country and US. Though if it did, I would renounce US citizenship to avoid such problems.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:00 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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I believe it's when the person themself sees themself as an American, more than a citizen from the country from which they originated. It can happen sooner than when you gain your citizenship.

It happened to my wife a few years ago on Independence Day. Up until that point, she would make jokes about "you Americans" and how certain things would never happen where she's from. Then she became enamoured by the fireworks, and that corny "Proud to be an American" song, and kept telling me afterwards how she was proud to be an American too. Now she can't wait to get her citizenship (which will happen this year) so that she'll no longer be seen as a foreigner.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:50 AM
 
456 posts, read 663,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
I believe it's when the person themself sees themself as an American, more than a citizen from the country from which they originated. It can happen sooner than when you gain your citizenship.

It happened to my wife a few years ago on Independence Day. Up until that point, she would make jokes about "you Americans" and how certain things would never happen where she's from. Then she became enamoured by the fireworks, and that corny "Proud to be an American" song, and kept telling me afterwards how she was proud to be an American too. Now she can't wait to get her citizenship (which will happen this year) so that she'll no longer be seen as a foreigner.
It's interesting how certain people are able to assimilate so quickly. I celebrate my heritage country's independence day, but actually during the US independence day I'm usually in my heritage country and often times I forget that it's actually July 4th or if I do remember it doesn't seem special to me.

I'm thankful for the US for providing me and my family a home, but even as a citizen, I would not declare allegiance to it over my heritage nation. I actually plan on moving to my heritage country after I'm finished with my studied, to have a family there and work there, maybe serve in its army.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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An American is a citizen of the USA and who shares most of the critical values. Other than that, I don't think there is an identifying culture, language, and definitely no ethnicity or race. If someone immigrates to the USA, becomes a citizen and identifies strongly with those critical values he then becomes an American. That is an instance of 'flipping a switch' from something else to American.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
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One becomes an American by accepting Jesus, joining the NRA and the 700 Club, and always voting for the most conservative Republicans. Everyone who doesn't do this is not an American.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
12,332 posts, read 10,300,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visvaldis View Post
One becomes an American by accepting Jesus, joining the NRA and the 700 Club, and always voting for the most conservative Republicans. Everyone who doesn't do this is not an American.

You've got a point there for a certain segment of Americans I would guess this applies. You know, the whole "take the country back" from the traitors.
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