‘My dream for America’ is an interesting topic. If someone had asked me that on the street, or began a conversation with this question, I probably would have replied “peace” or for “nobody to go hungry.” But now, after really thinking about it, I realize that that wouldn’t be my answer at all. My answer is simple, yet it’s complicated. It should be easy, but it’s hard. It should be here now, but it’s not. My answer is, “Unity.”
The United States of America. It is stated quite clearly, isn’t it? How can one statement be so close to the truth, yet so far? We live in the same country, with the same laws, and the same rights, but ‘are we equal?’ is the question pounding in my ears. We say we aren’t racist, but it’s not true. We are all guilty of this sin. No matter how feverishly we deny this trait, we cannot ignore it. This attitude has been burnt into our minds and melted into our blood for over 200 years. We are judgmental: we judge people by the color of their skin, their heritage, and their religion. Sometimes we even judge based on things as petty as clothing, an accent or lack thereof – even something as unimportant as shoes.
Our states are united, but are their people? Are we one, or are we many? Our appearances may be different, but we are the same; we feel the same feelings, we share the same fears, we rejoice in the same accomplishments. How can we be different? We may come from Britain or Brazil or China, but we are all people. My heritage consists of a variety of places – Britain, Poland, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Canada, and America. I’m proud of my background – all of my background. Being from all of these places doesn’t make me any less American than the next person. This type of background is what makes America so unique.
America is the ‘Land of Dreams’, or at least it was. Is America still that same land, or have differences corrupted what we once stood for? Every day people are tormented by others because of what they are and what they are not. Our ancestor’s tormented immigrants in the eighteen hundreds when a flood of people braved the three months or so at sea to make it too America, to make it to a better life. The torture should have ended then, should never have started, but the evil words continued to spoil our word with every syllable spoken. And they will continue until we put aside our differences and see each other as ‘Americans’. Plain Americans. Forget the hyphenated American, there shouldn’t be such a thing. I’m not saying that we should forget our heritages, but we aren’t African-American or Japanese-American or Polish-American, but American. Race makes no difference in the ‘Land of Dreams. Or, at least, it shouldn’t, but, yet, it does.
Tell me, I plead, of a time when we will all truly be equal. When people from California aren’t ‘beach bums’, people from Texas aren’t ‘red-necks’, and people from New York aren’t ‘hoods’. With these stereotypes so firmly in place, can we ever be unified? Can we not find a common theme on which we can base a truly united nation? Unity will make or break this nation – and this world.