The United States of America has always been known as the land of the free and the home of the brave. For several years, America has been a country that allows you to think in your own way and believe in anything you desire. One of the many freedoms Americans have is the right to stand up for what you believe in and make a change in society.
Freedom is a right given to Americans, but it was not always like that. One main example through history of America is the Civil War period. Throughout this time, freedom only applied to those who were white. African Americans were used as slaves and were not given the same rights as the American people. This great debate on whether the African Americans should have equal rights was one of the driving factors which divided the North and the South. In the 1800s the African Americans did not have access to rights including the right to free speech, religion, marriage, and more. Due to the color of their skin, they were treated in an inhumane manor. The odds were almost always against the slaves, no matter how well their argument was, it seemed as though there was no help for them. The freedom that the slaves has been limited, if not almost nonexistent. With time, more and more people began standing up for their rights and the slaves become free and got to experience their natural rights. If it wasn’t for the brave people who stood up for the slaves, history could have been completely rewritten. Taking a stand for something you believe in is an important factor that played out during the Civil War period with the slaves, and we continue to see more people to this day sharing their opinion on topics, as well. In today’s society, it has become normal for people to stand up for their beliefs and speak up for an idea that they feel is important. Although everyone else in society may not agree, it is the courage to take a stand against what you feel need change is one of the greatest things about American society. One very current debate is whether NFL athletes should be allowed to kneel during the National Anthem at sporting events. Former NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, started this peaceful protest of kneeling during the National Anthem. Kaepernick stated to the NFL Media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. Kaepernick’s action raised a lot of attention and it seemed the debate of whether you should have to stand for the National Anthem or not was the topic of almost everyone’s conversation. Personally, I do not agree with Kaepernick’s viewpoint and I feel you should show respect for your country and the men and women serving our country by standing for the anthem. However, one of the greatest things about America is that we have the freedom to peacefully protest, and you have the right to speak your mind. Not everyone will always agree with you, but having the freedom to believe in anything you want is the foundation of America.
It is important to recognize that you will not always have the same values and beliefs as everyone else, and that is perfectly normal. However, with the freedom to share your opinion comes the responsibility to respect others opinions. What makes America so unique is that every citizen has the freedom to believe in what they want and share their views with others. Freedom of speech and the freedom to protest are important rights that make American society change over time.
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