My essay talks about two specific marginalized groups in America, the blacks and inmates.

There’s an adage that goes “you’re only as strong as your weakest link”, meaning that you can be the strongest person in your group but if other teammates are struggling, you’re only as strong as they are. The same can be said for the United States. The US is among the most powerful and influential nations in the world. But, despite this, the power of the US is portrayed to other nations with a slightly tainted image due to how we treat certain groups of our own people.

Throughout history, there have been groups of people who have been marginalized and deemed unimportant in society. An example of this in America would be the African American community. From the times of the transAtlantic slave to the civil rights era, America has stripped their own people of the most basic rights. Even though things aren’t exactly how they used to be in terms of violence against the black community, there have been new ways created to marginalize African Americans. A large portion of our community is confined in low income areas that are teeming with violence, crimes and drugs. On top of that, there are law preventing criminals from progressing in society.

We can even see a parallel with modern day with inmates. America is the leading country when it comes to incarceration rates amongst our population. These two marginalized groups in America say a lot about who we are as a country. From the outside looking in, it seems as if America does not have the best interest of all people that come from certain distinct groups. Yes, there are other areas where America excels as a nation, but our image is tainted by our past and current interactions with these marginalized communities of people. It seems that the country has created a class of people who can’t possibly ever fit into the image of America’s most fundamental guarantees. 

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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