I wrote this short essay for my American History class when I was in high school. Looking back at what I wrote, I was tempted to rewrite this again because of the many flaws I see in it. I chose to post this still, however, because every writer has a beginning point and this topic is an issue I feel strongly about. 

Have you ever disagreed with something and you just want to act on it? Well, a lot of people felt the same way and created groups in which they can fight it together. This act is called counterculture. The word counterculture is a way of life and set attitudes that is different from the social norm. The beginning of counterculture starts with an idea that later turns into action. Counterculture could be considered good as well as bad, depending on its goal and the actions taken. Counterculture changed the world as we know it today.

 Some examples of groups of people who practice countercultures are gangs, the mafia, the hippies, KKK, PETA, Militias and so much more.  All of these groups started with an idea that opposed what society perceived as ‘common’. Its leader found others who have similar beliefs and gradually, their group becomes larger until they are widely known. For example, the KKK started as an idea that white people are superior to other racial backgrounds. Then, these groups of people began to act on their idea and start to abuse other races, particularly the African American community. The hippies were another group of people who practiced counterculture. The word ‘hippie’ means ‘one who is aware’. The hippies were actively against racism, poverty, the lack of women rights, and many others. They performed protests such as sit-ins and some were even arrested. Basically, their goal was to promote peace and not war and government oppression.

These groups of people showed the world through counterculture that their voices could be heard. Some countercultures helped the world become a better place while some proved to be a disaster for the world due to their extremity. Not everyone is willing to stand up for what they believe in and countercultures are a great way to start a movement in which all its members can fight against it by forms of protests. Because of counterculture, women gained their rights, as well as the African American community. In the same way, counterculture created destruction in our history. A famous example of that would be how the KKK killed thousands of innocent Africa Americans.  The hippies helped America move into modern thinking. Counterculture will continue regardless of how ‘perfect’ society may seem. Not everyone has the same ideas and opinions, so a counterculture is inevitable. Since it is inevitable, it is best if counterculture is used as a means to better the world, rather than destroy it.


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