Q: Mr. Moyers, when do you think someone becomes American?
A: Bill Moyers
I think it's different for everyone, and over the three programs we see many different stories of how that transformation occurs. Because it is not one thing. It's not just getting off the boat or plane or coming across the border. It's not just birth or an oath that makes you American. It's an attitude, an acceptance, a commitment.
It is the central feature of the American experience - how strangers from the world over come to feel part of America and come to be American. It's about coming here and discovering that the Constitution - written centuries ago by dead white men - is your Constitution too. It's about discovering that when the Constitution talks about "persons," it is talking about you and your rights and responsibilities as an individual and citizen. "We, the People" embraces everyone, whether your name is Wong or Estrada or Zalewski or Horowitz or Obada or O'Farrell or Smith. It's not about material success. It's not what you own or spend. It's deeper than that - it's about being born again in a sense. You'll see how that happens in a lot of the stories in the series. That's why the story of immigration resonates for all Americans. It's about second chances, new beginnings, fresh starts. When people choose to come here from another country, and make their life here and root their families here, then they become American. It's the drama in our series.