My American Creed
When people think of the American dream, they think of the freedom to do anything they want and be anything they want. However, there are obstacles to achieving that expectation with prejudice, poverty, and discrimination being some challenges to living the American dream. This is what we call the American reality. Knowing there are many realities since America is very diverse with people coming from different backgrounds and places; however, a good amount of Americans come from a generation or two before that made sacrifices so the future generations wouldn't have to do the same. With that said, the newer generations have the privilege to gain more opportunities. On the other hand, others believe that those who are not a person of color can only succeed in America since when we talk about heavy but necessary conversations about privilege, people look at whiteness being a privilege in this country. Education is, however, a way to get out of that American reality to instead live the American dream.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice, an African-American woman and Republican who served in office from 2005-2009 as the 66th Secretary of State of the U.S. for President Bush, had ancestors who were stuck in poverty; however, she now has access to many doors of opportunities because of education and her grandfather's sacrifice. Rice’s grandfather was a sharecropper who used those earnings from his job to attend college for one year, then he became a Presbyterian Minister to earn a scholarship since he couldn’t afford the expenses for his second year of college. Due to his sacrifice, future generations of his family are all now college-educated and this gave them the opportunity to get out of poverty. In the same boat as Rice, Zunita Cummins is another woman who is a person of color that is living her American dream as a business owner thanks to education. Being born in Panama, Cummins moved to the U.S to pursue an American dream of her own by taking ESL classes at a college. When she received her visa, Cummins went back to school to build her business. The opportunity to build her own business in the states led her to live the American dream which all started with getting an education. Both of these perspectives show how both Rice and Cummins value education due to how it creates more opportunities that can turn your American dream into a reality no matter race, skin color, social class, etc. Education gives everyone the same opportunity.
On the other hand, others may think that education is only about earning more money. But, in fact, this is really not the case. Education is about equalizing opportunities for everyone who can be educated. No matter how different we are in terms of skin color, race, gender, etc., education gives everyone the same opportunity. Education also helps you to think logically and reasonably about the decisions you make. With the many opportunities you are able to receive from education, you need to make a choice of what path you want to pursue, and by being educated, you can freely express what you want with a logical mindset. That being said, education is valued in America since you can find yourself by choosing logically which opportunities you want given by education.
Different perspectives from the PBS: American Creed Community Conversation - American Dream thinks that having wealth from education is vital. However, although they mention that wealthiness is the key to the dream, the same people who said that also value education since it gives them the opportunity to gain freedom and opportunity. An example from the video would be Ben Medina, who is an Executive Director of the Hazleton Integration Project stated that gaining freedom helps him to “be able to raise their family in a good environment, without having other people judge them for the color or for the language they speak.” This shows that education is a value that isn’t just based on earning more money, but rather, giving people an opportunity to express themselves however they want despite our racial differences.
I believe education is so powerful that it equalizes opportunities for everyone. Education opens doors to new advances in your life and helps one seek an opportunity they had yet to discover. With opportunities given by education, we can create our own future and destiny wisely with the logical mindset that the foundation of education gives. As Dr. Condoleezza Rice explains, "If you could be educated, then you had a kind of armor against prejudice, you had a kind of armor against barriers to opportunity.”