American me to stay home for safety purposes,

American exceptionalism refersto the principle of holding the United States as exceptional and exclusive inrespect to other nations in the world. America’s democratic ideals and personalfreedom are often viewed as the foundation for a country of prosperity andaccomplishments. There exist many examples in American people’s daily liveswhere they experience conveniences such as freedom of speech and remarkable workopportunities.

However, at the same time, the myth of national exceptionalismalso frequently appear in everyday life. One demonstration of such myththat I personally experienced is the so-called safe environment. While nationalleaders often reassure citizens that the country is safe to live in, and thatwe have a strong national defense, many people simply do not feel safe. UnitedStates did not make it to the top ten list for the World’s ten SafestCountries: Switzerland is ranked number one, then Singapore, Spain, Japan andCyprus(ValuePenguin). During my first year at New York University, Iexperienced several instances during which I felt unsafe.

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The series ofbombings in New York and New Jersey in September, 2016 horrified me since oneof them occurred extremely close to where I was living at the time. Although Ireceived text alerts warning me to stay home for safety purposes, I was shockedby the close proximity of such terrorist event. Another attempted suicideattack that took place at Port Authority Bus Terminal in December 2017 furtherreinforced my belief that America is not a secure environment to live in due tothe exponential number of terrorist events. What is problematic is that Americanpeople are so often guaranteed of the country’s high efforts on maintainingnational security that it creates precarious illusions.

We should beappropriately informed of possible imminent dangers so we could takeprecautions accordingly ahead of time. Informing us only after the events takeplace is meaningless and impractical. Another circumstance in which Iexperienced the myth of American exceptionalism is the supposed acceptances andunderstandings.

While many claim that Americans are open and welcoming, andthat is one of the biggest factors that makes America exceptional,discrimination commonly exists in everyday life. When I was attending highschool at an all-girls boarding school in Virginia, one of the school’seducational philosophy was “respect, integrity, kindness, service”. Each girlis known and valued and treated equal. Nevertheless, many instances ocurredduring which international students were treated differently than localAmerican students.

During one drinking incident that affected several studentsin the freshman grade last year, only the international student was expelled,while the other American students only received warnings. It is specificallyindicated on the school website that any actions that violate the honor code isconsidered prohibited conduct and will result in disciplinary action. When Iheard about this incident, I was honestly furious. As an international studentmyself, I expect to be respected by people around me and not be given specialtreatment. Although America is often viewed as a melting pot due to itsmulticulturalism and history of immigration, many immigrants and foreignerscurrently in the country unfortunately still experience discriminations. Thisis unacceptable especially considering American exceptionalism emphasizespersonal liberty.

If such personal freedom does not even cover everyone in thecountry, how can the nation be exceptional? 


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