America is saturated with relics of its dark and oppressive past. Statues of white slave owners line our state capitals and university campuses, confederate flags sit planted across the southern states, and our history books glorify the so-called achievements of white racist men. People of color and of non-Christian faiths feel excluded and hurt by the numerous symbols of historical oppression against their people. America’s identity is in serious need of reform, in order to reflect our current demographic makeup and our new forward thinking political ideologies.
America is no longer the white, Christian, conservative country that it once was. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Indian Americans and Muslim Americans are now significant and rapidly growing demographics within our country. Our political ideologies are also far more left leaning than they used to be, and we do not have the same reverence and respect for our country’s so-called founders. It seems increasingly ridiculous for a group of racist white men to be held up as the ‘founding fathers’ of our diverse and multicultural nation. A young Hispanic or Muslim American cannot identify with a single American hero in our history books, making them feel like an alien in their own country. African Americans and Native Americans are hurt and angered at the numerous reminders of how their ancestors were oppressed and mistreated throughout our country’s history. At some point, we have to admit that America’s identity is simply out of touch with our current population, and that it’s time to wipe it clean and start again with a fresh slate.
America needs to develop a new identity, with a new flag, a new anthem, new founding fathers, and a rewrite of its history to include the achievements of all of its inhabitants, especially people of color. Our government has started making minor efforts towards this, such as removing confederate flags and replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the twenty dollar bill; but this barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done. Our founding fathers should include a person of every minority group in America, and our national Anthem should be part Spanish, out of respect for the millions of Spanish speaking Hispanic Americans. Our flag should be completely redesigned to reflect our multicultural society, and our streets and cities should be renamed after distinguished people of color, rather than English, Scottish and Irish towns. Until these reforms are made, our country will remain divided and bitter; so it is in the interest of unity that we transform our identity into something that we can be proud of, rather than ashamed of.