As an American, I demand my Identity Independence!

Identity Independence means the ability to choose your own identity instead of having someone else do it for you. You define who you are and are free to pursue your personal goals and ideals.

One would think that, more than other people, Americans are in control of their identities. We have the freedom to do what we want and be what we want to be. While that may be true in theory, Americans are also exploited. If I say “I am an American”, what does that mean? Stereotypically, it means that I salute the flag, root for my “hometown” professional sports team, drink Budweiser beer, drive Chevvy trucks, and eat at McDonald’s. In other words, I am a loyal patron or supporter of someone else’s well-organized scheme.

Who am I in and of myself? That question is harder to answer. I think it starts in the genes. I am what my genetic heritage gave to me plus the culture gained by experience. An authentic culture is what I received from my parents at an early age. I learned how to talk. I learned the rudiments of social behavior. My parents learned those things from their parents and so we have a continuous culture going back many years. This is an authentic source of personal identity.

At a certain age, however, children absorb the culture which society wants them to have. This is not always in the child’s interest. School curricula may be influenced by politics. Adults insert a political message into course work which the children must take to be passed to the next grade. And so they are forced to accept unauthentic identities. Their type of person may be discouraged or degraded. Other negative influences come from news reports or the entertainment world. There is an attempt to make people believe they are other than what they are or should be.

Does each person has a right to define himself or herself freely? If so, what can be done to combat those who would deny individuals that right? For starters, let’s discuss the identity problem. Once people know who they are and what they want, they are in a position to do something about it.

Whoever you are, you should know that identity independence is an idea whose time has come. .

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Who am I? Goethe’s three questions and other approaches to self-identity

How Civilization subverts Personal Identity The tendency to point to something better than oneself

Identity through one's place in a story You are the character that you play in life.

Three Principles of Personal Identity To guide each person to a more authentic and socially compatible sense of self

The Need for Personal Recognition Plato’s concept of “thymos” explains much in politics and society

Unequal Identities An unacknowledged impulse to stand out in the crowd

Personal Branding Establish a clear occupational identity and publicize it

Teen Identities in Cyberspace The social phenomenon exhibited on

Pick your own Religious Identity Church affliliation less a matter of ethnic heritage

Techniques to Define Political Identity Microtargeting messages to voter segments likely to be sympathetic

Grocery Stores as Indicators of Personal Identity You are where you shop for food

The Paradoxical Disadvantage of Education How its programmed experience may preclude opportunities to develop self-confidence and an authentic personality in meeting real challenges in life

Seminar on Purpose for Persons Approaching Retirement Age How this relates to the question of identity

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Some American Identities How Americans have seen themselves at certain times in history

The Strong, Silent Type Once self-reliant, Americans now have to talk constantly

A Land of Free Thought and Imagination Where Albert Einstein sought refuge in the 1930s

Efforts to Promote American Identity in the Early 20th Century The Boone and Crockett Club promotes frontier manliness while Jewish women stress assimilation

The Government’s Idea of What it means to be an American Questions on a new test for prospective U.S. citizens

Inger Sites’ Take on American Identity A Norwegian immigrant looks at life in America with an eye to healthy personal development

African Students Talk of Themselves and America They are African first and eventually want to go home

Are Today’s College Students too Narcissistic? Moralistic questioning from the previous generation

Two poems about what America (or Minnesota) has become Our sense of sanity dissolves in catastrophe and unjust policies

The Angry White Man If he will decide the 2008 election, who is he?

Detroit Chauvinism One man’s recollection of a city rich in reality and lost importance

Everywhere a Stranger Transplanted Detroiter finds lack of community in Minneapolis

Perspectives on Community Life in America Glimpses into a lonelier future

Tecumseh’s Brother, the Shawnee Prophet A Religious Attempt to Stem the Tide of White Encroachment upon Indian Lands

Our National Identity and Globalization The importance of having one’s own culture in a manipulative world

Rush to War: How the American government and American identity were hijacked A pro-Israeli group supported by Dick Cheney took over the U.S. Department of Defense

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How this Biblical quotation applies to political correctness A new spirit of intolerance, professing to advance tolerance, stalks the land

What is Political Correctness and What’s Wrong with It? A dissent from the dominant opinion about minority rights

Silencing free speech The preferred mode of response to another view is not to respond

A Neighborhood Workshop on ending Racism Whites need to be trained to recognize their oppression

Shelby Steele on White Racial Guilt Whites cringe at being called “racist”

A Discussion of Race at Lucille’s Kitchen Man questions the racial prescription of black ministers and a Roman Catholic archbishop

Black and White Identity Three perspectives on race

Speech on Forced Identity Wins First Place in State Contest Young man rebels against definitions of “blackness” that had put him on the defensive

Senator Barack Obama and Racial Identity Mixed-race people may not fit the existing political paradigms

Identity Politics and the “Super Tuesday” Primary Results Obama leads the way out of this politics, but Romney is bushwacked.

A New Politics in the Making? The 2008 presidential primaries elevate unorthodox candidates.

Making History, or Imprisoned by it? How the Democratic primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton pits one identity group against another.

Letter to a Biographer (of Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., the Yale chaplain)

Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Jews, and the Fight to Define American Identity Attempts to defame two historical figures in order to impose an alien identity on Americans

Is there such a Thing as a “Jewish Conspiracy”? Maybe not if it’s in the open

Is there a Jewish conspiracy, part 2 The furor over Rep. Keith Ellison’s comparison of President Bush’s use of the 9/11 attacks to the Reichstag fire in Nazi Germany

Neo-Con Intellectuals Seduce Bush with Leadership Talk Slouching toward Armaggedon with prospective U.S. attack on Iran

A Priority Put on Gender-Neutral Language Writing expert taken to the wood shed for using masculine pronoun

Another Group to be Offended “Retard” as bad as the “N-word”

Boy Crisis / Man Crisis Feminized society disregards male-identity needs

The Discrimination Casino Legal Aid agency, which sued over racial discrimination in 1997, is itself sued in 2007.

Unconscious Discrimination Lawsuits by federal government force employers to avoid unintentional decisions against “protected class” members

Questioning Creative Diversity College conference tells how to play tricks on the white guys

Diversity may lead to isolation Surprising results of a study by Robert Putnam

Speaking out against Anti-Racism Enough lies are enough

A Disclaimer This discussion reflects the situation of the author; others may have a different view.

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My Family Tree Ancestors of William McGaughey, Jr. back four or more generations

The Family of William and Joanna McGaughey The parents and birth family of the creator of this web site

The Birth Family of William McGaughey Sr. Birth family of the father of the creator of this web site

The Birth Family of Joan Durham McGaughey Birth family of the mother of the creator of this web site

Epistles from Pap Excerpts from a book by Pap’s son, Frank Durham (Joan D. McGaughey's brother)

In Search of My Own Identity A Story of Irrational Choices Made in Life for the Sake of more Authentic Experience

Four Adventures Some of William McGaughey’s varied life experiences

William McGaughey's Resume List of lifetime activities of the creator of this web site

Some Documents Establishing Personal Identity: Pictures of driver's licenses, employee badge, birth certificate, college diploma, CPA certificate, letterhead stationery, passport, credit-score report, teeth x-ray

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