The Falsity of The American Creed

Posted by Adam H. Michigan

This argument highlights and explains the way that diverse Americans (particularly immigrants) may view the false or fake ideas promised by the American Creed. The argument will delve into issues of incarceration and racism seen in America.

Today in America, the issue of racism or racial inequality is a growing epidemic that needs to be addressed. Even with 99% of Americans being descended from immigrants, there is still prejudice carried against those with different ethnicity. Incarceration is one of those instances where we can see the overwhelming truth that we simply choose to ignore. We can no longer avoid the startling fact that affect so many people's lives through unjust trials and tribulations. Diverse American may view this American creed as a false advertisement of freedom and democracy. Inequality is a big issue in America, with there only being "liberty and justice for some," and this view needs to be fixed for the good of our society.

A credible Piece of evidence that supports the notion of “ false advertisement” in America, can actually be found in The American Creed documentary shown on PBS. A Dominican-American author, Junot Diaz, who was an immigrant himself, elaborates on this current racial disparity in incarceration. Diaz explains that the rates of imprisonment are “incredibly uneven” implying that minorities make up a large portion of people incarcerated. Diaz uses his background and personal experiences of being an immigrant growing up in the 1970s with hardships in his life because of racial segregation. It’s definitely meant to argue for a change because he definitely carries some baggage on the epidemic. This makes him very reliable as he is featured in an unbiased documentary, and he has personal experiences that back up the statements that he made about racial inequality. There is even statistical information from the "Criminal Justice Fact Sheet" that shows minorities (Black, Latino, Asian and Native American.) making up two thirds of the incarcerated population when they only account for one third of the U.S demographic. This source shows true factual numbers that have been taken from actual imprisonment databases and it provides a look at the shocking reality with the grossly unequal rates of incarceration.

In "Racial Inequality" (an online database), Jeff Armour also provides insight to the reasons behind this unbalanced persecution. Armour Writes, “The factors that influence the imbalance of incarceration include racial bias, police practices, punitive laws and even the geographic factor that goes into the concentration of minorities in different areas.” This source is really trying to highlight the reasons behind the issue. It’s also written to inform because he also provides statistical numbers on incarceration and it has a very similar pattern with the “Criminal Justice Fact Sheet." Armour works well in tangent with many other reliable sources and is a part of this equality movement with other writers. 

A final piece of support for this issue is seen in a political cartoon illustrated I by Samuel Joyner. The cartoon depicts an African American man being dragged away by a paddy wagon that reads “police brutality” while he is holding a protest sign saying”only guilty of being black.” Amongst the plethora of emotions in this cartoon, a large newspaper title at the bottom says, “Liberty and justice for all…. What a cruel HOAX!” Some may argue this is a separate topic from incarceration, but this is really an accurate representation of the cruel criminal justice system to minorities in The United States. It also relates to the idea of false advertising our promise to these diverse Americans. This cartoon is meant to inform, argue for and highlight the issue of race discrimination particularly in police brutality/ prosecution. Even though Joyner is biased, many of the majority of Americans would understand the purpose and extent of his illustration, implying that there is still overwhelming racism in America today.

These diverse Americans have, in a way, been fed lies on our country's promise for them. A problem that affects these people possibly everyday, and a state of being that goes against the concept of “equal opportunity.” But the future doesn’t have to go this way. All we have to do is throw away those toils of prejudice and look on each other as the same people working for the same goal. It may sound like a Garden of Eden kind of deal, but it really isn’t. This color of a person's skin shouldn't decide their rights and no one wants to sit down during the pledge of allegiance to gain justices they should already have. Racism shouldn’t keep anyone from great opportunity, and, with incarceration, prejudice shouldn't rule the justice system, the color of a person’s skin is merely a part of their identity. All people want to be respected as a U.S. citizen so America must strive to cure this sickness. It will surely take a great deal of time and development, nevertheless, we should someday be able to say truthfully “...With liberty and justice for all.”

Published on Jun 3, 2019
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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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