Junot Diaz observed that a nation reveals its true colors not by the way they present themselves, but by the way they treat those individuals who are in the farthest edges of society. This essay is in response to Diaz's observations.

Junot Diaz's observation that nations reveal who they are by how they treat their most marginalized areas is correct, especially in the United States. America is seen by many as a country that offers equal opportunity to all and that everyone has a chance to become successful. However, the truth is that there are a lot of flaws in society and these issues are not really highlighted nearly as much as they should.

One of the places where not much attention is placed by American society is the levels of homeless individuals. Unfortunately, in almost every major city there are high levels of people living on the streets. In large “developed” cities, such as Las Vegas or Los Angeles, there are streets filled with pop-up tents, blankets, and other supplies that show where they sleep. These types of scenes are not displayed on news networks or they are not even talked about by those who live in the cities. There are also those individuals who have become so used to driving up and down these streets that they often ignore the homeless and act like they are not there. Situations like these in which a majority of Americans treat the homeless as if they want them to figure it out on their own and are reluctant to help show how Diaz’s observations about nations is correct.

Diaz’s claim that a nation reveals who they truly are by the way they treat the exterior areas is also proven with the fact that not everyone in America has equal access to the same opportunities. For example, as Terrence Davenport and Leila Janah explained in the clip from American Creed, there are a lot of people in America who do not have equal access to the same necessities. A person who is living in a rural area of America is going to have a more difficult time finding access to a library or the Internet than someone who lives in an urbanized or developed city. Then, the students who had a better education are going to have a better chance of going to better colleges and finding high paying jobs; the individuals who did not have these chances are going to be further marginalized as they get older because society is going to scold them for being “uneducated.”

Using Diaz’s observations as reasoning, America is showing its true identity by choosing to treat those individuals who do not have equal access unfairly and by praising those individuals who had all their needs set out for them. 

Students responded to the prompt: In 2016, Dominican-American author Junot Diaz observed, “As a nation, you don’t know yourself because of what you’re doing in the heart of your power. You know who you are and what your values really are by how they play out at your farthest farthest edges.” Diaz claims that nations reveal who they are by how they treat their most marginalized areas. Write an essay that argues your position on the extent to which Diaz’s claims are valid. Use appropriate examples from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument.

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