America: The Land of Opportunity
People from all around the world consider America to be the home of endless opportunity; vast amount of career openings, ability for anyone to receive higher education, and quality healthcare, and freedoms not many other countries share. People from across the nation have proven through their own experiences that the American Dream can be achieved. The American Dream is reaching what we dreamed of accomplishing our entire life and more. It is having an enormous dream house, having the newest car, having a huge, happy family, and having the career we have dreamed of since we were a kid. Barack Obama, for example, is America’s first African American president, and Sonia Maria Sotomayor, is America’s first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Although it involves a long struggle for most people, it can be achieved because of the possibilities brought by today’s newly established racial and gender equality, along with a person’s ability to overcome poverty, determination, and free will. Since America’s beginnings, racial and gender equality had played a large part in America’s culture and lifestyle. People of races other than white were looked down upon during America’s first years as a country, as well as at a more recent time during the 1960s. Different races were segregated into different schools, different sections in restaurants, and even on different seats on buses. It seemed almost impossible for anyone to accomplish the things they wanted to when there was so many rules and regulations holding them back. However, times have changed since then, and the opportunity is more readily available for anyone than ever before. A perfect example of this is our nation’s own president, Barack Obama. He is half African-American and half white, yet he still made a huge impact on our society today by taking the most important position out country as President of the United States. In his Key Note Address from the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he states that he himself believes “we hold the truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” and that there is no such thing as “a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” In other words, our country should not be separated by race or ethnicity; it is called the United States for a reason, that reason being that in order for our nation to move forward, we must be united. Seems a little far-fetched? Thinking that becoming President is way out of reach? How about a success story from a person no different from anyone else? Wayne Ward Ford knew what he wanted to accomplish ever since he was a child. Despite his trouble-maker ways—drugs, robbing, and breaking into apartments—Ford knew he wanted to be active in politics (Rather). Even though life did not seem to be taking a turn for the good, things changed when he accepted a football scholarship to a nearly all-white college in Minnesota. It seemed that things would be better, and he would finally be back on track. However, just as things were improving, “racism threatened to throw him off course.” Despite this, Ford did not let this obstacle bring him down and chose to turn his anger to activism and founded the school’s black student union (Rather). Where is Ford now? Today, he is living the American Dream. Being the only black member of the Iowa State Legislature and founder of his own community program for at-risk youth, he certainly has made a stand for not only African-Americans but for people of any race as well. He is one of the many that has proven to anyone who believes they cannot accomplish anything because of their race that there is a chance for them. So if he can, there is no reason why anyone else should not be able to. Furthermore, gender has little or no effect on a person’s chance to reach their American Dream. Women’s rights have greatly improved ever since women were first allowed to...
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