One doesn’t have to be an American citizen to “be American”, as long as you act like an American. Law has nothing to do with what you want to do, who you are, and why you came to a land like America. Citizenship is not a status that bares a meaning important to anyone. Being an American is not something we have to take a class for. You are a true American when you know what to believe in and stand up for it. It’s when you will do anything to protect the people of your country. You will do anything to be an American, and that’s what being an American means.
In “Be American”, the narrator tells the story of his cousin, but not by his cousin’s point of view. However, he does tell a lot more than what he actually witnesses. In the beginning, Consorcio was naïve and believed he could become a true American within a year or so. He starts off his new life learning all the simple aspects of an American’s life that everyone knows today. He needed to sleep in a real bed, he needed to be careful with plates because of how fragile they were, and he definitely needed to wear shoes wherever he went. He didn’t know these little things we all know. However, he was eager to learn something new. He gathered books about basically anything that would help him achieve in this land where supposedly your dreams come true.
Throughout Consorcio’s life, he has gone through many different jobs in many different areas. This shows just how hard he will work to be an American. He soon finds out that he can’t become a citizen at all because he is Filipino. Did he just stop trying? No, he didn’t. He started writing newspaper articles for agricultural workers, both native and foreign born, defending the rights of all Americans. He continued writing, even though he ended up in jail for it quite a few times for it. This determination to help people in his situation, and those who have it better than him, is an aspect of himself that makes him American.
War brought up heartache within...