Submitted By kendra45
Words: 1385
Pages: 6

Inequality of America
Instructor: Dr. J. Foster
Kendra L. Stokes
November 21, 2012

THE AMERICAN DREAM The American Dream was of owning a home, having a child, and of booming business opportunities. Decades of transformation for society were underway, the global impact of these wars resulted in mounting tensions that lasted throughout the Cold War. This is a brief synopsis of a time that has far influenced our generations today. This was the armageddon of social stratification that a morphing society would continue to have inequalities through cross-cultural diversities. The dawn of the civil rights era was strengthened through legal strongholds that have been decided against in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. The American family was all about a common household – husband, wife, two children, a dog, and a house in the suburbs with the classic white picket fence. This was not everyone’s reality. African Americans as well as other ethnic minorities were discriminated against for fair housing. This hum drum care free lifestyle was not afforded equally to all that it was glorified to be. Reality is not fantasy and dreams can quickly become nightmares. The American Dream represents the social stratification in America in which citizens have opportunities for upward mobility. This dream represents a good life that is full of promise. The earliest American Dream goes back to the pilgrims who crossed the ocean to a vast new civilization which was then the Americas in hope of a new life. The American Dream is the potential for advancement in our society through hard work and education to take me to a higher level in which my economic status will increase, and my labor will not be in vain. The American Dream has changed drastically since in my grandmother’s time. Grandmother Johnnie lives in Sacramento, California and her dream in the 1960’s had not changed from our dream today. But circumstances of the 1960s made it very difficult for most African American families to purchase homes in nicer communities. Grandmother stated, “All we wanted was a nice house in a good neighborhood because my husband was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War and worked various jobs, and our son in the military. However, times were very different because of prejuidice and discrimination kept blacks from better neighborhoods or I should say it made it very difficult.” The previous Civil Rights Act of 1866 language implied a fair housing policy, but there was not any federal enforcement of the law. In 1955, William Byron Rumford, the first black to serve in the California State Legislature, introduced a fair-housing bill outlawing housing discrimination on the basis of race. In 1963, California Legislature passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act which outlawed restrictive covenants and the refusal to rent or sell property on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, or physical disability. Grandmother Johnnie stated, “Young people today have it too easy. We marched and protested against discrimination, so that now people can have it better than us because it was a struggle just to get what we have then. The realtors didn’t want us to buy in their neighborhoods but people wanted better. As I remember, there were a lot of Supreme Court cases being won that changed everything. You all have the world in your hands.” California led the way in fair housing policy. The Supreme Court confirmed a decision in 1967, Reitman v. Mulkey in which it addressed issues concerning housing discrimination and a few provisions were enforced. The Fair Housing Act introduced meaningful federal stipulations that outlawed many illegal practices. There was hope for many to continue with their American Dream. The dream was deferred but legal justice helped shape it for many. Social inequality had shifted in the now that balance was set. African Americans began to buy homes in these suburban communities. The 1960’s were when American