Are We Living the American Dream? by Tieshay Skinner

America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, so why is it that many still dream of freedom? The mighty Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a world without segregation, discrimination and racism. As an American people have we accomplished this dream? If Dr. King were here today would he be satisfied with President Obama being a representation of his dream come true?

In today’s society the problem of race has been swept under the rug with hopes of ignoring it completely. We cannot ignore the fact that racism still exists. Although we may have a Black President, it doesn’t mean that the problem of the color line has been broken. If anything, it has become a barrier, a barrier between social class and professionalism. Many Young minority lives have been taken due to racial profiling. President Obama as a symbol of our nation is only a small sign of progress towards breaking the problem of the color line. It can also be viewed as a distraction from the ever present issue of race. More so, a distraction from the ultimate goal, the American Dream.

“The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” W.E.B Dubois prophesied this problem for the 20th century and it has carried over into the 21st century. Race continues to divide our people and our nation. The color line is also the double consciousness of being an African American. Being African American requires you to be conscious of what it means to know and distinguish your own culture from that of the dominant culture. W.E.B Dubois said “ An American, A Negro, two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals and one dark body whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

America is the land of dreams. Immigrants migrate here dreaming of a better life. Even Americans dream of a better life. We all want the “American Dream”. What is the American Dream? Is it prosperity, money, financial stability and wealth? Is the American Dream really attainable? The American Dream is the ideal that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative. Better riches for all and equal opportunity for everyone according to their abilities. If this is the American Dream and we still have the problem of the color line, is it really attainable? How can we have a dream that visualizes equal opportunities based on abilities when we have racial profiling? I don’t believe such a dream is attainable when America struggles with equality. Equality understands race is not equivalent to proper treatment; but human beings, despite their race should be equal. As long as the problem of the color line exists, how can we achieve the American Dream?

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