The Good, The Bad, and The Unaware

May 23, 2022


Brandon Kandlbinder in front of a map of the world.

Since the age of exploration, America has been evolving into the country we know today. After almost half a millennium, the knowledge of our past imperfections have become unclear and unaware to most Americans.

America is most well known for the countries’ quick and vast uprising as a global superpower. It is no debate that every country on this planet has had its fair share of guilty faults, including America. This may come as a surprise to some people, but the truth is out there; America has in some point in time been the antagonist to the story of how we came to be. This doesn’t mean that America is bad, there have been countless instances when we were the help to the unanswered voices within the world. However, it is the mistakes of our past generations that burden us with the reality that we aren’t perfect.

When America was first becoming colonized and expanded, the term “Manifest Destiny” was employed. So what might this mean? The term was made to explain how it was our God-given right to expand America all over the North American continent. In the eyes of someone very patriotic to the cause of America, this term simplifies the reason for our upbringing. This was our God-given right, wasn’t it? It was “our right” to push the inhabitants of 112 million Natives to the end and eventually out of the country. It was “our right” to annex a land and people, untouched by the other side of the world. 

The Westward Expansion lasted from 1803 to 1890. Covering almost 850,000 square miles, the Americans pioneered their way to fulfill the idea of Manifest Destiny. Oftentimes this is what we are told, and sometimes it is forgotten that 56 million indigenous residents of this land were killed. For what reason though? Putting up a fight for the land and families that have lived there for thousands of years. This is another long forgotten black eye on the country, covered up by nationalism and patriotism developed over the years. 

The exploration and colonization are just one of many ignoble acts the United States has committed. Over the years this country has dealt with slavery, basic human rights, racism, and possibly more. The list goes on and on. Our mistakes have shaped this country whether we like it or not, this is the truth.

Most people would argue that these were past mistakes made by past people, so it isn’t our fault for the outcome of the present day. Although this may be true, if anything were to happen in the future it would be our fault for not educating the past mistakes to prevent future ones.

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