Living within a unicultural community is quite the norm for many reasons. It serves a plethora of benefits to be surrounded by individuals who share the same lifestyle as you. The corner grocer may stock ethnic foods particular to your own culture that could not be found in major chain stores. Your neighbors may speak your native tongue if you’re not from that particular part of the world thus eliminating language barriers. All these small conveniences associated with living in unicultural communities make life comfortable for individuals, but could there be other reasons for this phenomenon?
One may argue that these communities are brought together more because of the socioeconomic standing of the individuals, and while they may have a strong argument, this way of thinking is just the tip of the iceberg. As with the majority of an iceberg’s mass lying hidden beneath the water, the reasons ghettos and barrios form hasn’t always been visible. The rise of unicultural communities within the United States has a history that precedes well over a hundred years. Being built on the ideals of freedom, the United States has long been a destination for immigrants. The idea of the “American Dream” where a man can be free to work and live their life has long been the goal nearly every immigrant who crossed the Atlantic, Pacific, or dessert.
However, through government policies controlling urban spaces, minorities have been trapped in a cycle of perpetual oppression while at the same time being labeled as lazy for their inability to rise out of poverty through hard work and determination. The “American Dream” has not always been attainable for every individual in this land of the free. America has always held social double standards. While Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that, “all mean are created equal...with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” he owned hundreds of...
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