“I’m Irish-American, I’m German-American, I’m Italian-American, I’m African-American” etc… This is heard all across the United States, actually most people refer to themselves simply as their descended background “I’m Irish, I’m German, I’m Italian,” and a great deal of other nationalities. But some people living in other countries argue people in America are “American”. This is a misunderstanding of what the United States is, represents and who we are as a people. We have the unique ability to be both our nation(s) of origin or descent and American.
America’s culture simply is tolerance for all cultures and beliefs, so long as the culture or belief does not deprive another of their culture and belief. For example, if a group identified as German-American tells a group that identify as Italian-American “it is wrong to have lasagna on Thanksgiving Day”. In fact to have lasagna on Thanksgiving is the essence of America. It shows an integration of Italian cuisine with an American history. This is exactly how some one becomes Italian-American. Another good example is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is an Annual celebration of Catholicism in Ireland. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. exemplifies Irish heritage integrated into and even becoming a part of American tradition.
Why is it said so many other countries dislike the U.S.? Because the existence of the U.S. reminds the world of the cruelty and intolerance suffered at the hands of other countries. Let’s face it, if our descendants didn’t suffer tyranny and hardship, they never would have left. History demonstrates how countries such as England, long before the Nazi attempt to extinguishing the Jewish faith, the Church of England went on a hunt to extinguish other Christian religions not in order with its beliefs. This was what led the puritans to the U.S., religious freedom. Unjust British government paved way for the U.S. Constitution; to keep out tyranny, forced religion or belief, to protect the people and their right to be who we are, the right to individuality and to rule ourselves.
For those of us in the United States of America, we are Irish, German, Italian, African and all other nationalities, but American too. Be proud of who we are, be proud of where we came from, be individual, be proud to live in America and say “I am Irish!”