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Were you satisfied with the results of the 2016 election results? According to The Unprecedented 2016 Presidential Election, Americans were prideful when electing Donald J. Trump as president with a 61% percent approval rate over competitor Hillary Clinton (Bitecofer 93). However, Trump’s rating had dropped to a detrimental 38.1% in 2020 according to an article by Fortune (Lambert). Since Trump’s approval rating dropped so dramatically, does that statement Americans take pride in their accomplishments still hold up today? America has always been a nationalist country that takes severe pride in its accomplishments demonstrated in its previous feats such as war and foreign relations. With the advancement of cultures, technology, and human morals, America has adapted and shifted in its morals and values over the plethora of decades. By examining the adaptive nature of Americans and their values, we can see that over numerous decades of changes and views their accomplishments are continuously full of pride, which is important since nationalism is a massive structure of America since the early times of creation.
The Los Angeles, Charlottesville, and Breyona Taylor riots were massive events over the disagreements Americans had over a particular event. Fighting for a certain cause ranging over government choices to the controversial actions of one or more groups. Fighting for a cause an individual creates great pride in oneself since time could tell. “And we ain’t gonna take this just
lying down (BBC Studios).” As stated by the quote, an unknown civilian states that they will not back down due to the injustices they are experiencing in response to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. However, certain actions performed in these riots could be considered prideful of one’s accomplishments. “You’re not protesting anything running out with brown liquor in your hands and breaking windows in this city (Chrisman and Hubbs).” Lance Bottoms demonstrated that during more modern rioting such as George Floyd, are not protesting when severe destruction and looting are involved. When it comes to protesting, Americans including President Joe Biden prefer calm, peaceful protest. Protesting a cause without violence takes into account that there are peaceful ways to resolve an issue. “I want to make it absolutely clear rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting…It’s lawlessness plain and simple (Chrisman and Hobbs).” As opposed to the 1965 Civil Rights Movement, modern protests often include looting as seen in riots such as Breyona Taylor and George Floyd.
On that day, 225 Fayetteville State students picketed downtown businesses with signs that read things like “Integration Is Inevitable” (Suttell 18). Throughout the month, demonstrations continued to take place including a 1,000‐person demonstration downtown on May 22, 1963. Students demonstrated outside local businesses taking actions like attempting to buy tickets to attend shows at the desegregated theaters. Local activists continued to push forward desegregation, strengthening protest efforts and modeling their activities after successful campaigns in other cities. Growing fearful of the increased protest, Mayor Wilbur Clark and the City Council, at a May 27 meeting,
expressed support for working together with blacks to seek a resolution, prioritizing desegregating theaters and restaurants, and creating better job prospects for local blacks (Andrews, Kenneth, Gaby, Sarah.)
The difference is that peaceful protest inspired others to do the same that caused a chain reaction. Those who participated in the protest were fighting diligently for their cause all due to their accomplishments. Regardless, whether it is presented in violence or peaceful manners, Americans take pride in their choices of rioting based on countless riots throughout American history.
America has been highly involved in other countries’ affairs exponentially since the end of World War 2. During the second world war, Americans were in support of the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Americans put a limit on food, gas and clothing for themselves for support of the soldiers (The U.S. Home Front During World War II). Even after winning the war, soldiers came home to praise and love from everyone. Pride that America overcame the enemy of both Germany and Japan to bring peace back to their land. When WW2 soldiers came home, they were greeted with parades and reunions with loved ones. (How WWII and Vietnam Veterans Were Treated Differently). This demonstrates how Americans were filled with nationalism and proud they won the war. However, the Vietnam War was extremely different even after a decade of peace. American soldiers were often spit upon and called “baby killers” even if they had no involvement (How WWII and Vietnam Veterans Were Treated Differently). Understanding that not all Americans supported and felt that their accomplishments were
right in war. During the Vietnam War, Americans rioted against sending soldiers who fought in the unwinnable war. Yet, in the late 90s, Americans had a change of heart and sent their love and regards to those who lost their lives. It shows that even if the reason was not right, Americans will come around and appreciate those who fought for their country. Appreciating the accomplishments of fighting for what they believed was right and coming home alive. A more modern example was the United States involvement in Afghanistan. The situation is rather similar to the Vietnam War. After the death of Osama Bin Laden, America rejoiced after his death with numerous positive responses from multiple office holders and generals from the military.
“Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done (Responses to Osama Bin Laden’s Death).”
After his death, Americans urged to retrieve soldiers from Afghanistan, but the government chose not to. “Polls show a record number of Americans do not support the war, and Obama
faces pressure from lawmakers, particularly Democrats, to sizably reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan (The U.S. War in Afghanistan). This caused uproar in Americans, but unlike either World War 2 nor Vietnam soldiers, they did not receive heavy praise nor hate. This shows that in time of war, Americans take pride in their accomplishments since they are fighting for what they believe in. Regardless of the reason or result, Americans are strong in times of need and mostly respect the decisions of both the government and military in times of need.
After examining numerous examples of Americans and their responses to massive changes in their way of life, Americans still take pride in the accomplishments. Discussing riots that were the result of a controversial action or topic demonstrates that Americans feel accomplished for fighting what they believe is right. During the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for equality, and encouraging others to do the same was a major hit of accomplishment. Especially when knowing that their riots and protest helped their cause become known and changed. War is not so different in the way Americans feel after a major defeat or loss. Considering World War 2 and the Vietnam War, even though the treatment at first was exponentially different, Americans soon realized that the accomplishments that were made revolved around their soldiers made by coming home to families even if the battle was lost. Comparing older situations and the newer ones, Americans are still prideful of their accomplishments made.
WORK CITED PAGE:
Bitecofer, Rachel. The Unprecedented 2016 Presidential Election. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Gerdes, Louise I. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Greenhaven Publishing LLC, 2014.
Chrisman, Matthew, and Graham Hubbs. ““The Language of the Unheard”: Rioting as a Speech Act.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 49, no. 4, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2021, pp. 379–401, doi:10.1111/papa.12201.
Andrews, Kenneth T., and Sarah Gaby. “Local Protest and Federal Policy: The Impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” Sociological Forum (Randolph, N.J.), vol. 30, no. S1, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2015, pp. 509–27, doi:10.1111/socf.12175.
“How WWII and Vietnam Veterans Were Treated Differently.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 21 Feb. 2019, https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/how-wwii-and-vietnam-veterans-were-treated-differently-video.
History.com Editors. “The U.S. Home Front during World War II.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 24 Mar. 2010, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/us-home-front-during-world-war-ii.
“Timeline: U.S. War in Afghanistan.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-war-afghanistan.
“9/11 Primary Sources – Https/Www.911memorial.Org/Sites/Default/Files/Remarks by President Bush after Two Planes Crash into World Trade Center the Item: Course Hero.” 9/11 Primary Sources – Https/Www.911memorial.Org/Sites/Default/Files/Remarks by President Bush After Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center The Item | Course Hero, https://www.coursehero.com/file/52433741/911-Primary-Sources/.
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