The ideals of America have formed over centuries, through wars and economic hardships, built on the foundations of grit and hard work, and on the back of immigrants as well as people of color. But it is primarily the people who America owes its success to is whose rights are continually violated and stipped. Although non-white Americans pose the ability to move up the ranks and create a name for themselves from essentially nothing, the American Creed, which ensures freedom and equality for all is never definite for these groups.
While the Bill of Rights ensures the protection of freedom to all Americans, there are many examples on a daily basis where these freedoms are infringed. One example of this is the Travel Ban, or Muslim Ban, which was passed by Donald Trump early in his first term and prevented travel from a number of countries in the Middle East, where everyone is apart of the Islamic faith. This affected thousands of Americans and Middle Eastern people who wished to come or go from America to visit family, learn, or find jobs. This affected families like the Shariftabrizis who consist of one American oncologist, husband, and an Iranian immigrant, wife, who would be forced to leave the country, having her freedoms wiped away(Yeganeh, 2018). The freedoms of people of color are no better off, as the incarceration rate of African Americans, as well as Latinos, is far greater than that of White Americans, as their rights are cleared and placed under new terms which the prison system deems acceptable. African American males are five times more likely to become incarcerated than white males, and African American women are thirty-three percent more likely to become incarcerated than white women(naacp.com, 2019). People of color are continually being broken by the system and when or if they get out of prison, the lasting effects of prison place reigns that are unshakeable through tools like disenfranchisement taking the ability to vote. Freedoms that should be a fundamental right for all Americans, but continues to be an issue for the people who are not in the majority.
The statement, “All men are created equal,” is one which America’s structure was laid around, but the statement is truly ironic, in that, the only people who have experienced this statement throughout American history is white men, leaving all minorities socially in the past. With skillful planning, the majority has continually developed tools to keep others out, limiting their outreach for their communities and accessibility to basic American rights. For example, redlining of homes and properties which was established in the 1950s and consisted of the refusal to give services and bank loans to citizens in a neighborhood that was predominantly African American and poor, which still has lasting effects on communities of color today. Through redlining, “troubled neighborhoods” rose, thus leading to effects like police brutality where unarmed African Americans are getting beaten and shot, and while many in the majority never have to worry about problems like these in their lifetime, it is a daily reality for many people of color. The education system in these troubled neighborhoods are generally subpar, making it hard for the kids to move on to higher education and earn high-paying jobs, and if they are able to earn the high-paying jobs, the wage gap creates new hardships. While it’s written that all men are created equal, time and time again the actions say otherwise, negatively affecting people’s lives based on predetermined biases that are centuries old.
While America tends to struggle with many social aspects, the numerous economic pull factors and the ability to climb up the ranks and create a name as well as a family. With a widespread of jobs and minimal warfare, America is a prime place for immigration, which ultimately why so many people choose to come here. Like Andrew Carnegie, who came to America and became one of the most successful and influential people ever. As migrants in the country become an increasing factor in the country’s economics and politics, their role will inevitably become larger, no matter how the majority tries to stop them.
In the end, minorities in America have endured centuries of discrimination, so I call on anyone who feels that they are beaten down by factors unknown, to get back up and persevere. The only way we can get through this is together via vocalizing our issues, so I encourage everyone to advocate for change and true freedom and equality in America.
“Criminal Justice Fact Sheet.” NAACP, https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/.
“U.S. Denied Tens of Thousands More Visas in 2018 Due to Travel Ban: Data.” Google, Google, https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1QF2KF