Education and the American Dream
To begin, we need to know what the American Dream is, the American Dream is composed of multiple factors and cannot be summarized in one word. Rather, the American Dream is a set of values in which Americans believe in. The American Dream is composed of what Americans believe the American Dream is, whether it be homeownership, education, pride, the four freedoms, etc.
Other people think that the reality of America is that the country provides more opportunity to those of European ancestry and men, this due to the multiple laws that discriminate against people of color and women and the system that oppresses people of color and women. But I beg to differ, and the reason for this is the examples of Condaleeza Rice. A famous African American Republican who served as Secretary of State for President George W. Bush. We then have Deirdre Prevett, a 5th generation educator and Native American serving as a principal of an elementary school in Oklahoma. Condaleeza Rice is a woman of color, yet she was able to overcome the discrimination and prejudice of this American reality, as well as Deirdre Prevett, who is also a woman of color and comes from an ancestry that America was taken from and considered inferior. You may be wondering how they overcame white supremacy in America. Well the answer is simple; they did it through the hope and promise of education.
Education is a key point for all who seek the American Dream, though education does not define the American Dream, it is an important asset. We can see the value of education through Condoleeza Rice. Rice’s family came from a background in which they were oppressed by the white supremacy of America, but her grandfather received an education and in fact gave others education through the construction of a school. Condoleeza would then be inspired to continue this legacy and educate herself to find a way to evade the prejudice that fell upon her. Condoleeza was then able to become a key component to the stability of America, she became the secretary of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. We can also see the importance of education through Deirdre Prevett who is a Native American, a Native American who was able to become the educator of the next generation, in Oklahoma no less. Oklahoma which throughout history has been known for its discriminatory background. Yet at the end of the day, both these non European Women were able to make something of their lives and live their American Dream of education.
Of course many would argue that education is not a proper American Dream and does not allow everyone to have an opportunity. We may take the following article for example titled, Less than 20% of Americans say they're living the American Dream from the American news channel CNBC. This article speaks of a survey in which 2,000 people were asked if they were living their American Dream. Out of these 2,000 people, less than 20% of them believed they were living their American Dream. Now in this case, most people surveyed went for a more domestic approach to the American Dream. Most people who were surveyed believed the American Dream was one of these three: owning a home, starting a family, or having a fulfilling career. But they didn’t agree with just this, they also agreed with the fact that their American Dream was at risk due to consumer debt. But the main piece of evidence that I would like to elaborate on is later on in the article when it speaks of people who received education yet struggle financially due to their lack of understanding the financial system. Some may think that success that comes from education is about making more money, but I would like to argue that we don’t educate ourselves to earn a high income, we educate ourselves to provide support for others, to find a passion in ourselves, to know who we are as individuals and as a society, and why. But now we must further understand who these financially troubled students are. They are simply people who received high school or college education but struggle to make ends meet. Why? Well because most students graduate without understanding what the financial system is and how it works. But does this support the argument that education does not provide opportunity? It does not, in fact, learning about the financial system is a part of education. Of course some may have no interest in the financial system or business, but this does not mean that we shouldn’t have a basic understanding of it. It is important to educate ourselves in a way that intertwines with our goals and allows us to have a stable income. Education may not be the answer to everything, but it is an important piece of the puzzle.
Americans! We must wake up and understand the significance of education. We cannot learn who we are or what we want to do without educating ourselves. Through educating ourselves, we raise the opportunity to follow our American Dream with disregard to what others think of us. To educate ourselves is to understand one another. As a democracy, we all have a voice and must decide who has power. As a society, we must understand others and what they may be facing. As individuals, we must understand ourselves, to understand others and for others to understand us, we must understand ourselves. As Americans, we decide on our American Dream.