Guest Blog (Citizenships Plan)

American Citizenship is the greatest earthly honor bestowed upon an individual. What Citizenship means determines the future of our Country. As Americans we must hold true to the ideals that all candidates for Citizenship come to this Country in good faith to assimilate and contribute to our society. With that assimilation they shall be treated with equality and respect. Once earned, citizenship bestows a privilege paid for with the blood of our forefathers, and there can be no divide in allegiance to our Country. History is clear that great societies are not defined by race, color or gender but by unity of purpose and ideal’s based on morality, liberty and purpose. 

In the words of President Theodore Roosevelt “The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight; that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show, not only the capacity for sturdy self-help, but also self-respecting regard for the rights of others.

American citizenship engenders an obligation to pass the torch of American exceptionalism to the next generation in a form better than they received. Being a great Citizen means living a life uniquely yours’s but with the uniquely American purpose of improving and building upon the exceptional nature of the American experience.  

America is a nation of immigrants whom became Citizens. That citizenship is the bond that blends diverse colors, creeds and nationalities into one common nation. It is essential for our country to be diverse in mind, but unified with respect to national identity. Without preserving that which we have in common history shows the nation will perish. Without the United States and American Exceptionalism the world will no longer have a place to immigrate to, and our children will be deprived of what we were so graciously given.

Steve Mensinger

Equality of Opportunity

America’s foundations were based upon equality of opportunity and that didn’t exclude any specific ethnic population. The fading of America’s morals and foundations began with the enslavement of the African American race and has transitioned through the years with the prejudice attitudes expressed towards Mexican immigrants by American society. This has proven to be a failure in the teaching of what citizenship means and how it should be enacted. Throughout my time here at the University of Oklahoma I have witnessed multiple instances that have ultimately made me check myself and how I perceive citizenship should be displayed and taught. At first when I started the expository writing class I didn’t fully grasp the true meaning of what citizenship meant and the tasks that we as citizens are encouraged to complete. Citizenship is closely related to American identity, the society in which every American lives within has been built upon the ideals of what a true citizen should be and how citizens of the community need to come together in order to get things done. The culture of American citizenship has altered since it’s creation and the definition by which we define it has consistently been updated with the birth of every new generation.

Changing of Attitudes

Citizenship to me has had multiple definitions over the past few years because I have seen the side of many people who express different opinions towards what it meant to them. From time to time my definition of citizenship alters as I learn different sides of stories from different people who come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. I have learned that true citizenship is engaging with those who are different than you, this will help integrate relationships and build friendships and expand the definition of citizenship. Standing up for the rights of others and for anything that is morally right. The readings from lady liberty and the poem has helped me realize the importance of being an American who supports his fellow citizens and defends the rights of the weak and helpless. After making friends with those who were culturally different than me I felt more open minded and I respected the guys and girls I met in high school that were hispanic. They introduced me to a culture I fell in love with and combining cultures and sharing the values of those cultures ultimately completes what it means to be a citizen and to practice true citizenship. My overall view on citizenship is that to be a citizen of the community, one must engage and help the community to leave it better than they had previously found it. If this is practiced enough and taught to our youth, we can make progress in the rejuvenation of citizenship among our society and cultures.

Mexican Immigrants and Stereotypes

The United States has historically been a melting pot of cultures and a lace regarded as the “free world” where there is equality of opportunity and freedom which cannot be taken away. For the people living within the border of the United States, life is paradise, to a degree. Living life as an American citizen is one that is taken for granted. The immigrants standing helplessly at the edge of the southern border wall with their children besides them, beg for asylum and the right to become a U.S. citizen. Yet, media and politicians make these immigrants out to be drug dealers and murders who have affiliations with drug cartels. This framing of Mexican immigrants sets a stereotype that all Mexicans even living in the U.S. currently, have all traveled here illegally and/or are here illegally. There are countless people waiting in line to start the process of becoming a citizen in the United States. The problem lies within the process that men and women must go through and complete in order to attain citizenship. The price at which they must pay is inconceivable and outright wrong. As for the men and women who work in the department of the U.S. government that overseas and handles the process of which it takes to become a citizen, there must be an increased paced in the way they operate in their field. An increased amount of those specific jobs is needed in order to sustain and properly vet all of the immigrants who are seeking a better life in America.

Mexican Immigrants rights

I am writing this blog, drawing from my essay 3 topic in expository writing, the attitudes expressed towards Mexican immigrants has been inconsistent. The flow of immigrants towards the beginning of the 1900’s were welcomed with open arms. When the Mexican immigrant laborers arrived at the doorstep of America with work permits, the notion of having open arms suddenly vanished. Immigrant laborers from Mexico are brought to the U.S. on grounds of working in the agricultural economy making little money and working long days in excessive heat and terrible conditions. Historically the U.S. is known to exploit certain ethnic populations such as African Americans and Asian Americans. Mexican Americans are now made out to be drug dealers and smugglers who only want to poor drugs and crime into the U.S. and take the jobs of hardworking Americans. The Mexican immigrants who work in our agricultural economy are exploited with cheap labor and long hours. The rights of human beings should be honored, especially by the United States government. Citizenship can be measured in the amount of effort one citizen devotes to a certain hot topic and political dilemma. The rights of Mexican laborers should be respected if we are to be a nation of love and the worlds leader of freedom and opportunity.

Defacement of History

In the history of mankind, there have always been those who try to destroy art, history, or other materialistic objects in hopes to start a fight. The recent defacement of the Native American head sculpture on OU’s property is a prime example that there are still men and women in the community who show a true prejudice towards those who differ from them. I have learned that through this defacement, it shows the lack of citizenship awareness that the people of Norman compose. Citizenship among neighbors includes everyone living within the community. To be an active citizen, one must engage in the community and devote their time to enhancing the surroundings of their home rather than creating a division or religion. This specific instance has shown me the true value of citizenship and why it should be regarded by the community as one of their top priorities. The idea that citizenship is the founding principal of a community is outright true. If a community comes together and works together to improve their societal and economical standing, then citizenship has already been established but must be maintained in efforts to preserve the core values which make up what it means to be a citizen and practice true citizenship. American culture is one that embraces most ethnic populations with open arms, citizenship will follow if men and women learn it’s foundations and strive to execute its requirements.

Out with the old, In with the New

The definition of citizenship in America has been interpreted in many ways by a multitude of different ethnic populations. Historically, citizenship was more simpler than modern forms of citizenship and the rules which are imbedded within them. Citizenships goal is to unite men and women from all genetic backgrounds to come together as a people of one and help build up a community they want to live in. Citizenship describes the relationship between a person and the local or state political entity. Todays meaning of citizenship is far more complex and is considered to be much harder to obtain. Today’s political climate makes it harder for immigrants to gain legal status in America because there is an increasing amount of people applying for citizenship with just a few people working on approving it for them. Our civic culture isn’t exactly the easiest to assimilate into and this is because of the cost of living and the educational barriers which prevent outsiders from obtaining civic responsibilities and rights. The overall movement to help secure or borders and expedite our immigration process is critical and this needs to be done expeditiously in a way that allows for more people to obtain citizenship status. This will ultimately bring bi-partisanship to the government level and fill empty jobs that many Americans already don’t want and are unwilling to work.

Face to Face

Throughout my life, my father has always been an influential figure, not just to my brother and I, but to the community in which we resided in. My father’s name is Steve Mensinger and he was a politician who served the great people of Costa Mesa, California. He had always taught me to think for myself and to brush off any bad things that ever happened to me as if they were “no big deal” in his words. I have learned many valuable lessons from my dad which I apply everyday to my life, but one in particular stood out quite fondly. My father had always warned me about the dangers of social media and how it can consume my life. His message was confusing for myself to comprehend at the time, but as I have grown, I have come to the understanding that face to face civic interaction with members of the community and leaders of the city will result in a more complex and thought provoking dialogue. This is part of fulfilling our obligations as citizens, it has helped me realize the importance of taking action in the community and meeting with our local representatives. The concept of what it really means to be a citizen has always peeked my interest because of the variety of religions and ethnic groups that America has melting in the pot. Citizenship is almost completely different for certain cultures in the U.S. but can be closely paralleled to how Americans believe they should enact the qualities and traits required to be a citizen.

Facts & Judgements

The Declaration of Independence holds certain truths to be self evident and the principles which reside within it. The facts and judgements are important in the Declaration but it is the principals that hold people to be their best version of themselves. The Declaration states that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain rights that cannot be infringed such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without these rights, there cannot be freedom and equality, therefor our country would not be free. The Declaration of Independence has shaped my views of citizenship to be more directed towards the inclusiveness of others and the action of volunteering to help improve our communities. To be a citizen in the United States means to melt in the pot and become brothers and sisters of the Declaration of Independence. This specific document has made me realize the importance of citizenship and knowing where we come from and who helped us get there. The Declaration is a part of our everyday lives as citizens and it helps us to understand the facts of the document as well as the judgments we should make towards other people. Overall the Declaration of Independence has important meaning and value which us as Americans hold so dear.

Conscription & Citizenship

I strongly believe that integrating the action of conscription would have detrimental affects on communities in the United States. The act of conscription takes away the choice from any individual who wishes to not serve in the military. This restricts all citizens free will to choose what they want to do with their lives. If conscription were to be brought about today, many people would use physical action to avoid being sent to war. This will also divide communities and it will fail to solidify citizenship because the government is stripping away rights that all Americans are entitled to. Many problems arise when conscription is implemented, certain racial ethnic and religious groups might oppose violence in respects to their culture, religion, and ideals. Forcing American citizens to serve in the military will decrease morale among service members and ultimately hurt the credibility of the military due to a multiplicity of new workers who are being forced to enact a certain career path. There will be a dramatic decline in work performance due to the lack of encouragement considering their is no choice wether or not to join the military. The idea of conscription in the early 1900’s was more reasonable than having it brought back now due to an increase of military technology which does not require boots on the ground. During the early 1900’s there was a need in military personnel, there were also global superpowers that were threatening the freedom of the world. Today in 2019, we realize the need for not manpower but for funding in regards to innovative military defenses. This in turn will keep more people out of harms way and increase our capability to defend ourselves.