The Narrative Of The American Dream
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Politics and Activism

The Narrative Of The American Dream

Is it really a dream, has it ever been?

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The Narrative Of The American Dream

The past month has been incredibly heartbreaking for America. First, an attack on the LGBT community in a place where they went to feel safe and feel free, more murders of innocent black men in brutally documented instances of police overreach and the death of five police officers who were protecting peaceful protesters. The violence that continues to erupt and the reaction to it is evidence of how deeply divided our country continues to be. The violence is evidence of the injustice that the black community still faces. It is evidence of a deeply rooted problem of institutional racism, prejudice and how law enforcement and other institutions of power have never been held accountable for their abuse of that power. The abuse will never end if people do not acknowledge whom it affects the most. To say black lives matter does not take away the value of other lives but affirms the fact that black lives are not being treated as equal. To support LGBT rights does infringe on the rights of others. And to support women’s rights does not indicate a hatred of men. To have to explain that over and over again is just absurd.

Speaking from the only perspective I have, my own; as a daughter of immigrants, growing up with a multiethnic influence planted the seed of the narrative of the American dream. See, my parents each had their own journey to this country but one that concurs with the dreams of millions of Latinos. One that people south of border believe so desperately, they will risk their lives to get to. They still do. They still believe that anyone has the opportunity to their own rags-to-riches story. They think that education will be equal and accessible to all and they think life will, ultimately, be better to them here. Although that may be true to some extent, because the suffering of third-world countries continues to be massive in every aspect, things are not all white picket fences in America.

The narrative of the American dream is just that, a narrative: a fabrication of a perfect life where every person has equal access to every opportunity. The idea that having a desire and a motivation is all it takes to achieve that rags-to-riches story is not entirely true. Yes, hard work can get you far in life, but what those outside looking in don’t realize, is the power of institutions that exists just as much here as it does in their home country. The power held over those that belong to any type of minority and how that power truly keeps anyone that is not cis, white, and male from truly being free. How these institutions keep minority groups several steps behind, unable to catch up, even when they work twice as hard.

Let’s not buy into the narrative of freedom and opportunity in a country that takes rights away from people because of their sexuality, because of their gender, and because of the color of their skin. When a white rapist can get away with their crime because a woman was drunk and when a black man is brutally murdered by the police and is somehow still labeled a “thug”; let’s stop pretending that freedom is for all in this country and realize that those with power, money and privilege are the only ones that are truly free.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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