Last Word: The pipe dream of America

Rachelle Jones, Contributing Writer

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     Every country attempts to provide opportunities for the citizens who reside in its borders and attempts to ensure that all individuals in their state can succeed. However, no country comes close to offering the opportunities that America, the greatest country on earth, provides for its citizens.

     The University Democrats analyzed the American Dream, explaining that such a dream has not been attainable, and still is out of reach, for certain types of Americans. While there is no doubt that the American Dream has not always been available to African Americans, women and other minorities, I disagree that the dream is still unattainable due to discrimination today. America is the land of opportunity. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender or race all Americans can pursue the education they want, obtain the job they are qualified for and raise a family in the manner they choose.

     First off, the American dream is attainable to women. Although discrimination does occur, institutional sexism does not exist and is not holding women back in America. We are the century of strong women. We work both outside and inside the home as we provide for our families and strive to accomplish our professional goals. We are the era of tough women like Ivanka Trump, Serena Williams and Niki Halley.

     Through hard work, women can achieve everything men can. This does not mean women do not have barriers to overcome. Society must address concerns such as sexual assault and human trafficking. However, all in all women are afforded the same opportunities as men and have just as much a chance to live the American Dream. If anything, women receive unfair advantages due to affirmative action policies.

    Secondly, the successes of African Americans prove that minority individuals are achieving the American Dream just as whites are. Take the story of Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate. Carson was born in poverty and his parents divorced when he was a child.
Carson, through education and hard work, broke free from poverty and became an American success story. Furthermore, Barack Obama, Mia Love and Tiger Woods are testaments that the American Dream is attainable for all. However, there are concerns that must be addressed in our African American communities.

     One concern is poverty, often stemming from single parent households. A second concern is abortion, as this is a leading cause of death of African Americans in the US. African Americans are three times as likely to be aborted as white babies, and abortion clinics target these individuals. Around 80% of all abortion facilities are in minority areas (Black Dignity). If you do want to talk racism, abortion is the key area in which African Americans are targeted.

     I believe that our LGBT citizens can also achieve the American Dream. Gay marriage is legal and the Republican Party is becoming more supportive of gay marriage every day. Anderson Cooper, Robin Roberts and Ellen DeGeneres prove that sexual orientation is not holding LGBT individuals back from success.

     Overall, the American Dream is attainable for all, regardless of characteristics such as race, gender, orientation and other factors. However, discrimination does occasionally occur against minority groups and it is up to all American citizens to stand up for those being treated unfairly. Furthermore, it is important to understand your rights under the law. The women who inaccurately note the fake wage gap seem to forget that in the rare case they are being discriminated against in terms of pay, they have a legal right to take action.

     On the topic of protests, I feel that protesting the national anthem is a poor way to express your feelings about police brutality or discrimination. Yes, it is your right to do so under freedom of speech, and I do not believe that right should be taken away. However, if you are making $2 million a year and driving a Lamborghini, calling yourself oppressed is laughable to people in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. Furthermore, when you protest police brutality but get arrested for domestic violence, as in the cases of Reuben Foster, your argument becomes extremely weak.

     While discrimination has certainly occurred in the past and is not eradicated in the present, everyone can achieve the American Dream. From Caitlyn Jenner to Condoleezza Rice, diverse individuals have reached milestones and have broken barriers. America is the land of opportunity—regardless of where you are born or what type of family you are born into, you can move up through hard work. America is truly the greatest country on earth, and if you believe the American Dream is not attainable to you, stop making excuses and work harder.  

Rachelle is the President of the BU College Republicans. She is an Education Major.