U.S.: not as perfect as it seems


Caitlin Maughan

If you ask an American citizen if America is the best country in the world, 85 percent will claim that it stands above all other countries, according to the Pew Research Center. However, while patriotism and nationalism cloud Americans’ judgment and objective thinking, outsiders do not think the same way.  

“I didn’t hear about politics in South Korea, but because of Nigeria’s very religious background, religion also bleeds into politics,” junior Vanessa Ossy said. “[In Nigeria] the Republican Party is considered ‘God’s Party’ or ‘the Party that obeys God’s word.’ The Democrats are considered, for lack of a better word, ‘Satanists.’ They are apparently the devil, and Obama is considered the antichrist.”  

Ossy moved to America from Nigeria in April 2017. However, she was born in South Korea so she experienced many points of view growing up.  

“I used to believe that the U.S. was untouchable, sovereign overall, that’s how the U.S. presents itself,” Ossy said. “But now, being here in America during 2020 with so many things happening at once and with the turbulent election period, it’s kind of hard to miss the many, many internal problems that the U.S undoubtedly has.”  

Not only did she find out that America is not as perfect as it appears, she learned that, even in the land of the free and equal, she would have to face many obstacles due to her race. 

“I wasn’t [right] about life being easier all around,” Ossy said. “Life did get a bit easier in some aspects, but I also had to learn about social issues that I may face.” 

Sophomore Ketevan Vepkhvadze also immigrated to the United States from Georgia, the country, when she was five. She noted that while America was more diverse, it was also less accepting. Vepkhvadze also realized that America is a land of opportunities, but it was not as easy as she expected.   

“At first I thought ‘wow I’m going to have a better future here,’ not considering how hard it was going to be,” Vepkhvadze said. “Yes, there are more opportunities here, but it requires a lot of time and dedication.” 

Moving on, junior Naome Samual-Williams moved to America two and a half years ago from Dominica. 

“Things like the two-party system, the electoral college, the structure of government were all addressed by the media and became part of common knowledge [in Dominica,]” Samual-Williams said. “Likewise, the animosity between the two parties and the budding aggression was also palpable.” 

In contrast to Ossy who thought that America was the land of opportunities for all, but was soon corrected, Samual-Williams admitted that she knew a lot of information about America and was not surprised when she arrived.   

“Many of the things I believed from gleaning information were further reinforced,” Samual-Williams said. “Even this I think helped me adjust as there really is not much else to the US than meets the eye and, what is unrevealed, are perhaps the most repulsive parts. However, even that angle I was exposed to before moving and, as aforementioned, those feelings were reinforced and exacerbated.” 

The U.S. doesn’t have a great reputation despite what many Americans presume; whether the preconceived notions are accurate or not, America is not respected nor viewed as extraordinary as it views itself. Maybe it’s time for U.S. citizens to take a look at what’s right in front of them: a country that has more than enough room for improvement.