Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Icons of America

Image 1: The statue of liberty 

The statue of liberty was originally a gift from France as a symbol of the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution, but it has now become an iconic symbol of liberty. The statue of liberty is located near Ellis Island which was the place of arrival for about 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954. This meant that the first distinctive thing seen by the millions of immigrants who were entering America in search of the ‘American Dream’ was the statue of liberty, thus it became a symbol of hope and freedom.

Although, it acts as a symbol of liberty there have been attempts to close America’s borders, such as the immigration control and reform act of 1986, which contradicts the idea of liberty for all and show’s a more narrow idea of liberty only for those already classed as legal American citizens. 

Image 2: Police

When I think of America I think of the police, whether it’s a city cop or a Sheriff it is still a distinctive icon of American freedom. The American police are supposed to enforce the law so as to maintain the freedom of America, yet there have been increasing numbers of incidents of unnecessary police brutality and other unlawful behaviour.
Of the 6,613 police officers who were involved in alleged cases of misconduct in 2010, 1,575 were involved in reports of excessive force. Where as in 2009 only 1,457 police officers were cited as being involved in police misconduct. This shows a marked increase in police misconduct over a period of just one year. This negates the link between America and liberty as the very thing put in place to uphold this liberty is affected by corruption. How can a country claim to be the country of the free when those who live there are harmed by the very people put in place to protect their freedom? 
     On the other hand, this relatively small number of cases of misconduct could be seen as the price to pay for liberty. 

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