Demise of the American Dream Essay
The idea of the American dream is old and dates back to the 1600s. During this period, the founders of America had different but hopeful aspirations regarding the American continent as a whole. They started dreaming of prosperity that would lead to happiness. With time, the dream kept growing as different generations worked towards improving on the past. However, the concept of American dream became obvious in the 1930’s. The American dream is the vision of an America in which life will be better for all and all Americans will have equal opportunities to achieve their goals. The American dream is where the diverse group will enjoy equal treatment and be able to achieve whatever they want irrespective of their gender, race, ethnicity, or physicality. All will be free to achieve their goals and raise their grievances, which will be addressed without fear or favor. Initially, the American dream was envisaged to create a new America where there would be great opportunities and appropriate environment for achievements. Actually, the American dream was associated with success, freedom, and happiness for all Americans. The concept of the American dream appears to have diminished over the last few decades. This essay argues that the American dream is no longer living but is just a fading memory in the American’s mind.
Although there had been growing aspirations, which are considered the basis of American dream, the term American dream was first used in 1931 by James Truslow. Although many American still contemplate of the American dream, the dream is different for everyone. The dreams of the Americans are very divergent and some are not even associated with the initial American dream. The American dream was meant to provide success, happiness, and freedom for all. The above would result from availability of equal opportunities for all Americans to achieve their goals based on their ability but not diversity. However, some have not achieved any of this. Initially, most Americans interpreted the American dream as the ability to possess excessive wealth in terms of motorcar and extraordinary wages.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jnr, gave his opinion regarding the American dream. In his dream, Luther envisioned an America that was free from any form of discrimination. In Luther’s opinion, achievement of American dream would come about when the descendants of slaves would be able to live together with the posterities of the slave masters. In Luther’s opinion, American dream was a concept in which justice will reign over racism and oppression. Equal opportunity meant a justice system where people will be judged by their character and not their skin color or nationality. In this concept, the American dream is far from being achieved. Years after the launching of the American groups, several individuals are still struggling as they attempt to convince the American authorities that they are Americans.
Although some aspects of the American dream have been achieved, much of the dream is long dead. In other worlds, some aspects of the dream are still a dream that has not been achieved. The American dream is only alive in the minds of people. For people like Sami Al-Arian, who suffer because of their ethnic identity, the American dream is dead. The American dream was supposed to bring justice to all. However, people Like Sami Al-Arian, face charges for crimes they did not commit because of their religious beliefs and country of origin. The American dream envisioned an America where all people were free to enjoy their freedom irrespective of their nationalities. However, people from certain regions of the world or certain religious beliefs are treated with impartiality. They have to keep attesting that they are not terrorists (Al-Arian, 2012)
The dream of an America with racial equality is no longer living. Impartiality towards minority groups remains high. The opportunities to share in the American dream are becoming unfeasible for immigrants. Minority groups such as Hispanic and blacks have to toil harder to achieve their goals. This is different from what Luther (1963) dreamt of when he wished for an America where all received equal treatment irrespective of their race religion or sex.
Lohr’s (2012) article is a clear depiction of how the American dream is increasingly becoming impracticable for the American Immigrants. Though born in America, Angel Luis Cruz has to keep proving that he is American. If he had a white skin, he would have nothing to proof. He has to withstand frequent stops from police to proof his citizenship. For Cruz, the American dream is far from being realized. In his opinion, the American dream required the States to embrace all people irrespective of their diversity. Although he is a devoted American who has even served in the American army, Cruz is still considered an incomplete American. Though Cruz knows he is American, and he should be proud of it, he is not proud since his ethnicity makes others view him as Hispanic and not American. Although he believes he will still attain the American dream, he knows it will take him longer, because he is not a white American. Moreover, he lives in fear that his children might face the intolerances created by the immigration law that he himself endures even though he has been born in America.
The American dream intended an America where all children would access equal education opportunities. Luther (1963) envisioned an America where black and white children would attend the same schools and play together. However, discrimination is still high in the schooling system. The minority groups are still struggling and cannot afford to educate their children in the same schools as the whites. Moreover, racial discrimination is still high in schools. The American dream of a United America is far from being achieved. The division between the whites and minority groups is still there. People are still being treated depending on their skin color or nationality. Though there are affirmative laws meant to address the issues of inequality, the situation is still decadent.
Although the idea of the American dream has driven the ambitions of many Americans for a long time, the dream is far from being achieved and is fading slowly. The American dream was a representation of American hopes and aspirations. It was a vision of an America where all people would have equal opportunities to achieve based on their abilities. The dream envisioned an America where people will be happy, free, and successful irrespective of their nationality, race, or ethnicity. However, most Americans misinterpreted the dream and assumed that it meant possessing great wealth.
Nevertheless, Americans such as King Luther interpreted the American dream as that which would create equal opportunities for all irrespective of their races. Luther’s understanding of American dream is far from being achieved. Discrimination is still high and minority groups have to struggle harder to achieve their goals. Additionally, minority groups are still struggling to gain acceptance as Americans. For the descendants of immigrants, living in America is increasingly becoming intolerable, as they have to keep proofing their citizenship. Therefore, the American dream foreseen by our ancestors is dead and only exists as a memory in the minds of the Americans.