When I grew up in school the “American Way” represented a free, English speaking country where citizens can prosper and live the American dream. In 2015, the “American Way” has changed its tune.
In James Paul Gee’s text ,“Social Linguistics and Literacies” he mentions a scenario between two students, Leona and Mindy. Both students are from different cultures and shared their own stories with the teacher, where Leona’s was poorly received and Mindy’s well received. Leona’s story was poorly received because the teacher could not relate or fully comprehend the message Leona was conveying. This is an example of a student losing their American identity.
No longer are we a country that consists predominantly of English speaking citizens. We are a culture where we have become so diverse, that there is no longer a one size fits all language. Being an American means that we can be who we want to be, not who someone else or who society wants us to be. Just because someone is an English language learner does not mean that they have to take on another identity to fit into the social norms of a community to be American.
To be an American means to be free from all discrimination and prejudices. In Rocky IV, Sylvester Stallone speaks about change. If we can change the way we think and broaden our horizons, then the community around us can change with it. I think this clip represents our culture more now than it did twenty-plus years ago when this movie first came out.