December 1, 2014
The American Dream
The American Dream is a belief that, in the United States, if a person wants something, they can make it happen. It’s the attitude that no one can hold a person back from their own personal dreams. If someone wants to start a company and they work hard, they can do it. There’s no racism, sexism, or discrimination against wealth, stature, appearance or health. Any dream can be made real because of our freedoms and inalienable rights. Immigrants come to the U.S. to escape oppression from their governments to live a better life. All of these things seems attainable but slowly and seemingly the American dream is becoming more difficult to achieve in our society. Opportunities for success are progressively diminishing because of the rapid expansion of government control within our jobs, our homes, and our lives.
My idea of the American Dream is the pursuit of prosperity and opportunity that drives people to push their own limits and persevere in order to lead successful lives and achieve whatever goals they set. The American Dream is a reality: every citizen has the opportunity to achieve no matter what prejudices they may face, depending on their effort. The “American Dream” however has a few interpretations. In simpler terms it is the opportunity and satisfaction of needs and wants. As Thomas Wolfe said, “…to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity…the right to live, to work, to be himself and to become whatever things his manhood ad his vision can combine to make him. The values have totally changed, instead of striving for equality, they just want to get rich as they could get. In today’s society most people feel that Americans don’t live the life of the Dream. If you ask most people if they feel if the American Dream still exist probably most would say no! “Americans tend to see education as something intrinsic valuable or important. After all, education is the engine that drives the vehicle for success. The chance to learn, better oneself, and gain the skills that pay off has sustained the hope of millions of Americans. Education tells us that the American Dream can work for everyone. It reassures us that we are, in fact “created equal” and that the path of achievement lies through individual effort and hard work, not blind luck or birth ( pg 105). If Americans are in fact “created equal” why is inequality still occurring in today’s schools, workplaces and communities? Thomas Jefferson saw school as a training ground for citizenship and democratic leadership, recognizing that an illiterate and ill-informed population would be unable to assume the responsibilities of self-government. This perspective is seemingly transcending itself through the reality of our current society.
If education is the engine that drives the American Dream then why for the first time in American history, school systems began to categorize students into different educational “tracks” that offered qualitatively different kinds of education to different groups. So that means if you are African American they are going to categorize you by your education so that means most blacks are going to be all together while white kids get the better education and nicer things. Kozol says by the academic year 2002-2003 in Baltimore 89% of public school enrollment was black or Hispanic. Kozol states even statistics, as stark as they are, cannot begin to convey how deeply isolated children in the poorest and most segregated sections of these cities have become. At John F. Kennedy high school in 2003, 93% of the enrollment of more than 4,000 students were black and Hispanic; only 3.5% of students at the school were white. Segregation plays role in education in the American Dream. In Fast Facts is states the average U.S. student attends a school with 77% white enrollment and black and Latino students attend schools where two-thirds of the enrollment is made up of blacks