Michael Pitter is a writer and currently a student of the pre-medical sciences living in Harlem. He graduated from Boston University in 2012, where he received the Gregory Hudson Award for Writing Excellence in the Humanities. There he studied English literature, philosophy and history. He is the founder of In Parentheses Magazine.
My Fellow Americans:
1. We are products of a very interesting human experiment, results of anthropological alchemy, controlled by the temporal powers that were: “What would happen if we took the different races of world–one by one–,placed them in a place where the aboriginal populations were hitherto destroyed and had these here varied peoples acclimate to their new environment. What would happen?”
Phenotypes that come from terrains distant and strange have co-existed with other foreigners, intertwined, developing on and on into the present and the future in this Petri-dish republic.
2. We have New York City. We have New Orleans. So…
3. The world’s most popular genres of music – blues, jazz, rock n’ roll, house music and hip hop – come from experiences endured here in the United States.
4. Considering yourself “American” is often a prequel to a further complex network of lineage. A lineage completely unknown, in many cases, but rich, elaborate and sinuous yet.
5. We have the honor of labeling our narcissistic values and pursuits “Individualism.”
6. United States history blasted forth from the barrel of a tremendously live gun in the hands of bloody, defiant rebels that were simply organized. Our values, our ethics, our ethos rose from civil disobedience and so as Americans, we have the responsibility to revere this behavior and perhaps behave the same way if necessary and collectively justified. Hence:
…But this ‘right’, this valued notion of ours, many would say has long been privatized.
7. Our film and music industries have taught so much of the world English. These forms of art conceived in the United States, held within them unknown potentials, miscarried intentions resurrected of spreading American culture, vernacular and syntax. (Perhaps the ol’ military power had a little something to do with it all but we cannot at all deny how voraciously the world has absorbed American culture through our multimedia).
8. Our nation is still among the youngest in the world. Indeed, we’ve come a “long way” but perhaps this “long way” will one day be considered just the bend before the straightaway or the straightaway before the bend leading to yet another straightaway, novel and absolutely unexpected.
9. Any given citizen of the United States could bear qualities that extremely outlie the prescribed stereotypes placed upon Americans by those abroad (and at home, in ways). American-hood actually has a great multitude of dimensions that often escapes the awareness of many.
10. While many hold scorn towards the United States government here and abroad, the American people are left still with enough leeway to completely bewilder the world.