As Americans, do we really know what true oppression is? Or true inequality?

I recently watched a documentary called Under the Sun that exposed life in North Korea. The director and crew were able to keep their cameras rolling when they technically weren't allowed to and used that footage to present a more accurate depiction of what really happened during their time in the Communist country. Though the documentary doesn't give an exact picture of what life is really like for those in North Korea, it reveals that almost everything was scripted in attempts to portray a perfect, happy community. The North Koreans tried to paint a flawless picture of Communism.

We have such extensive freedoms and privileges as Americans and, honestly, we don't know the first thing about oppression. I'm not disregarding the fact that there are still extreme racial tensions and other injustices. There is still a lot of work to be done. We don't live in a perfect nation or world, and we never will. But our government isn't a dictatorship or totalitarian regimen. In fact, we the people have granted specific powers (and limited them) to our government through the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The point that I'm trying to drive home is that we take for granted how fortunate we are to live in a country like America. We whine and complain about things that don't really matter when you gain perspective--do we realize that some people are killed in other countries for speaking out like we do?

Yes, our government is far from perfect, but watching that documentary helped me better appreciate the numerous liberties we have as American citizens. Even to simply state our opinions is much more than some people could ever dream of. And yet we gasp when someone disagrees with us and voices their own beliefs that contrast ours.

Even something like the feminist movement isn't as much about inequality as we think it is. There are women in other countries who virtually have no rights and are treated like dirt. When compared to the treatment of women in these places, do we really have much to complain and protest about? There are societies experiencing far greater oppressive inequality than gender differences in salary. I highly recommend reading this article that talks about this topic as well.

America is flawed but it's also freedom in every sense of the word. And that matters far more than we realize.