When you say, 'I am an American,' what does that mean? It doesn’t mean that they’re black or white, rich or poor, Christian, Muslim, Jew or gentile, nor man or woman. It means that you buy into an ideal of self-representation, compassion, tolerance, and the ability to practice one’s beliefs; to live a life free of oppression and discrimination due to one's race, color, creed, gender or financial status and without interference, and with the acceptance of those who are different. Being an American is a mindset. Americans desire those inalienable rights espoused and guaranteed in the Constitution.