America has always been regarded as a free and a democratic country where everyone has the right to do what he or she is right. Throughout the world, people have believed that America is the land of opportunity where everyone has an equal opportunity with the rest of the people and that there are no people who are more equal than others. People have described America as the most democratic country, being an example to most of the countries to copy from it has been described as a country where racism is not part of the values of the society with a black and a white man being able to come together and work as a team as brothers. The people of America put their differences aside and come together for a common good. It does not matter the sexual orientation, gender or race of a person in America but they all work together as a one people. Most countries give the example of America as an example to how countries can be just and fair to all without the consideration of the status of an individual. All the people have equal opportunities regardless of the skin color of the person.
This is however a myth in the United States. The first question is, as Americans, do we give equal opportunities to each other as a nation? Is it true that all the people in the United States are equal regardless of the skin color? It is common knowledge that Americans do not view themselves as equals. This makes the idea of being equal wrong since without each of us viewing one another as equal, the myth of equality in America cannot be held to be true. There are many instances where Americans associate in terms of their skin color. This range from social groupings where people will tend to associate according to their color, work together if they have same skin color and give jobs to people who have the same skin color. It is not strange in America to find that black people in America vote for their won candidate while the Hispanics will vote for their own candidate. Thus, is America a land of equality? Are all people considered to be equal?
Although the myth holds the basic values of America, the American people undermine this good value. The people of different races have different cultural believes that make them have a lot of differences. The black people and the Hispanics each have a unique cultural background which they tend to conserve. This creates a huge difference between these two races and the rest of the races in America. As a result, there will littler interaction between the different races with people grouping with one another depending on their races. People will tend to relate with each other depending on what their interests are. Every person will like to relate with another person who will advance his or her interests and thus make him or her better person than he or she previously. In addition, people group themselves according to their dislikes and likes. People who have the same likes and dislikes will be found in the same group. As the likes and dislikes between different people differ, the associations of such people will decrease.
The increase in the difference of the likes and dislikes among the members of the society will result in less associations between these people. Therefore, because of cultural differences between the people of different races in the United States, there are a lot of like s and dislikes among these people and thus the large numbers of groups in the United States. For example, the black people in the United States usually have more common likes and dislikes among themselves than with the Hispanics. This makes them to associate with one another more than associate with other races. This is also the same with Hispanics and other races in the United States (Castillo, 12).
America is a country which was formed as a result of migration of people from their mother countries in different continents to United States. These people migrated with their own culture and the arrival in the United States did not wipe away their cultural values. The culture dictates the likes and the dislikes of the people. People from a similar cultural background will have more similar likes and dislikes as compared to people of different cultural backgrounds. For example, people from of the Arabic decent are likely to be Muslim while Hispanics are likely to be Christians. This difference increases the number of likes and dislikes in the members of the same cultural believe while decreasing such in the people of different cultural groups. Arabic people will be likely to associate with the rest of Arabs in the United States because they worship together and they believe in common principles. Therefore, the diversification of the people of the American continent push them to select the people who they seem to have similar characteristics and end up in forming groups which are reflecting their cultural backgrounds and thus racial background (Mann, 78).
The members of the society are able to determine which individual characteristics are compatible with theirs. Those people who they find are more likely to be compatible with, they associate with them while the others, they do not associate with. The society brands some people of particular origin to a certain characteristic. For example, the other races believe that the African Americans are slaves. This thinking came as a result of the origin of the African American. They were brought into the United States by the slave traders as slaves so as to work in the farms of the white men. This resulted in a mentality that the African American people were slaves and thus they should do the old jobs. In addition, this notion has led to the thinking that the African American are more inferior than the rest of the races and they should not be given much respect as the rest of the people. It took about one hundred years for the African Americans to break the bondage of slavery. It also took more than one hundred years for the African American people to change the notion in the United States that they are a lesser group of people and that they do not deserve all the respects of a human being. Though not according to the American myth of equality of all races, there are some people who still believe that America is for the white men and that the blacks are subordinate to them (Walter, 67).
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It is however good to note that the nation has worked towards the elimination of these notions. The government has legislated laws which are against the racial discrimination with tough penalties for such. Organizations have been warned against being biased on the people’s racial origins. This is in an effort to reduce the open showing of the racial differences. The people are supposed to interact at an equal level. Although this has bore some fruits, there is a significant number of people who will either openly or not express the racists ideologies. Some people will openly claim that America belongs to the white people and not the black. This shows that there is still discrimination of the people in United States based on their skin color (Gabriel, 7).
In the history of America, there has been the division of the people as left or right wing. Each of these groups has also had its ideologies which are regarded as for that wing. The distinction between the right and the left wing is the origin and the color of the people. People of the African origin are in the left wing while people of Hispanic origin are in the right wing group. Although everyone has the right to association, this association of the people based on the skin color of the person is not promoting the myth of racial equality. The people of the right wing would like to have their members given all the jobs in the government and the same with the people in the left wing. You will hear people in a meeting saying that they will not give that person a job because he or she does not belong to their wing. This therefore makes the problem of racial discrimination worse. It has also been noted to be working in the people who are in government. When a black man is in charge of anything, there is a high possibility that most of the employees in that department or organization are black.
The patterns of voting in the United States have shown that there is a clear line between the black and the Hispanics. Some states which are composed of Hispanics purely vote for one person while the other states with blacks vote for a different person. In some cases, the distinction between the democrats and the republicans is the color of the skin. It has been said that the republicans are the people who hold the ideologies of the right wing while the democrats are the people holding the left wing ideologies. Therefore, during voting, people will not vote according to what they think that person will do or how qualified he or she is but according to whether he or she is of the right or left wing. Recently, there has been emergence of the tea party movement. Although not officially said, it is seen as a movement of right extremists who are against the leadership of a black person. These extremist have a feeling that America belongs to the Hispanics and that they are the ones supposed to lead the country. In some of the meetings, there have been people who have carried racial statements depicting the black people as the weaker race and unable to lead the country. This is an unfortunate situation which if not taken care of is likely to lead to a clear line between the Hispanics and the black people.
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In the senate and congress, there are associations whose qualifications are the color of the people. An example is the associations of the black. Although these associations are said to have the objective of fighting for the rights of their people who have been oppressed, the main thing is that to qualify you have to be of the same race as the rest of the people. The question here is, is it only blacks who can fight for the rights of the black people? Secondly, are all the blacks capable of fighting for the rights of the black people? The answer is definitely no. When a person is black, it does not mean that he or she will be interested in the fighting for the black men rights. On the other hands, there are white men who are ready to fight for the rights of the black men. This therefore beats the logic behind the explanation that the blacks associate with each other to fight together for their rights. Such groupings enhance racism in America and although it has been believed that the United States is a country of equality, there is still some element of racism.
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Although the election of president Obama to the white house was seen by many as a milestone towards the advancement of equality in the united states, there have been development of a lot of racist ideas and statements have been made by people depicting him as a person not qualified to be a president. Some people have gone ahead to claim that Obama, who was born in United States of America, is not qualified on the basis of his blood. They claim that Obama was born of a Kenyan father and thus is not supposed to the president of the united sates. They believe that the United States should be led by a person whose parents are Americans. One would wonder if Obama was born of an English father and an American, mother would face the same criticism. There is a high possibility that the people will not find anything wrong with that as long as he qualifies to be the president according to the American constitution.
During the presidential campaigns of 2008 eight, the supporters of Obama were shocked to hear that Obama is a Muslim (In ABC News polls in past years, 8). Some people even associated Obama with Osama, a know extremists who is regarded by the united states as a terrorist. Some people circulated email showing that the father of Obama in Kenya was a Muslim before he died and thus Obama is a Muslim. Although this statement might not be true, there is a question as to whether all the religions in the United States enjoy the same status. What is wrong with Obama being a Muslim? As a land of equal opportunities, any person can be allowed to lead the country. The campaigns should not focus on the religion of a person. Why should someone make a statement which is meant to show people that a person should not be elected to become a president because he or she has a Muslim background? On the reaction of president Obama at that time, there is was a clear indication that he would not comfortable being said he is a Muslim. He discredited those words, an indication that he was fearing that the rumors that he is a Muslim are likely to harm his presidential ambitions. This is an indication that the Muslims in the United States are not given equal rights with the rest of the people and thus are considered as a less advantaged group which can lead the nation. This is not expected of a country which believes in equal opportunities regardless of the raced or the religion of a person (Babington, 17).
Equality and equal opportunity dictates that there are equal chances of every person to do something without caring for his social or religious or racial background. It does not take into consideration the religious, social, racial or sexual orientation of a person. However, this has not applied in the United States. In the past, the people who are deemed to be gay are not allowed to participate in the military activities. Although it is more of patriotic activity, these people are not given the chance to defend their country. They are subjected to discrimination even when they get the opportunity to get to the military; they keep their sexual orientation a secret because when they are known that they are gay, they are likely to lose their employment. This is discrimination against the sexual orientation of an individual and does not amount to equality and equal opportunity. The government does not however give concrete reasons to explain why such people are not allowed in the military and thus justify the discrimination against them. Although it is common knowledge that America is a land of equal opportunities, this is not the case as evidenced by this.
In the election of Bush as a president, people argued that he was the most qualified person to become the president of United States of America. Some people argued that his father was a very good person and thus he can make a very good president. Although this may be a positive factor, it does not give an equal opportunity to all the presidential candidates. Bush was more advantaged by birth than the rest who were contesting for the presidency. America as a land of equal opportunity, all the people should play on an even ground. No one should take advantage of having been born in a certain family, to gain something against the rest. Bush did not choose to be born in the family of the former president while the rest of the candidates who were vying against him did not choose to be born in the other families other than the family of the father of bush. It’s very unfair for the people to elect a person to a certain position or to appoint someone to a certain position on the basis that he or she was born in a certain family or race (Alonzo, 4).
In conclusion, though there has been a myth that America is the land of equal opportunities and that it is a land where the skin color of a person is not a factor, there a lot of unfairness in the United States. There have been many instances where people have been identified as belonging to a certain racial groups meaning that the issue of racisms is yet to be over. Many years ago, the black people were regarded as lesser Americans who could only work as slaves of the white men. For many years, they fought to change this mentality. Although there have been a lot of legislations against racism in the United States, there is still the thinking that the black people are not as equal as the rest of the Americans. Still, some people think that the black are supposed to be workers of the white men and that they should not occupy the executive jobs in the society. As a leading democracy in the world, America should ensure that there are equal opportunities for all the people. The myth of equal opportunity should not just be a myth but reality. Equality should be seen in schools, in employments, in the media and even in the social groupings of people in America. There should be no element of racism in the United States thus the belief that America is a land of equal opportunities will be true.
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