|Although equality was one of the values that “fueled” America’s formation and progression, there is distinct evidence that shows how unequal contemporary America truly is. Although we all have many privileges as U.S. citizens, we also have a nation that is too complex for its own good. We have so many double standards and exceptions that you can almost always be partially equal, but hardly ever completely equal. When simply looking at common examples such as economic status, race, and gender, it is very easy to apperceive the true values America holds towards equality.
Considering our social class is based on economic status, the rich have a distinct advantage in almost everything; schooling, jobs, connections, even little things like the poor kid who gets bullied because he can’t afford the new clothing style that just came out. Not to mention the distribution of our nation’s income is completely out of whack. The Wall Street Journal reported that the wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of our nation’s income in 2005. Unlike the upper 1%, the bottom of the working class earned 12.8% of our nation’s income; down from 13.4% in 2004. Academic experts say that the last time the rich had this large of a share of national income was during the 1920’s. You know, the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller; when monopolies were legal and economic inequality was at its peak.
When it comes to racial inequality, it is true that we’ve come a long way from the 1600’s, however when simply looking at the incarceration rates and the poverty rates in this country, it is clear that we haven’t attained a state of complete racial equality. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 4,618 per 100,000 black males and 1,747 Hispanic males were put in state or federal prison when only 773 per 100,000 white males were incarcerated in state or federal prison. And according to the U.S. Census, 24.3% of blacks and 20.6% of people with Hispanic descent were in poverty when only 8.2% of whites were in poverty. As far as I’m concerned, this is far from equal.
Gender inequality against women is another common yet serious issue surrounding the gender equality movement. The two big inequalities, in this case, are the lack of political representation of women in our government and the uneven distribution of income in our nation. Though we have progressed, females still have small influence in government, especially when compared to the amount of men in power. And when looking at, once again, the distribution of our nation’s income, you can see that, according to the U.S. Census, the median income for males with a high school diploma is $30,868 when a female’s is only $21,963. The median income for a male with a bachelor’s degree is $ 49,982 when a female’s is only $35,408. As you can see, although we have come a long way, it is obvious that there is still a need for progress on the sexual equality front.
The fact of the matter is that America was set up by, for the most part, a bunch of white, aristocratic, slave owning males who said that all MEN were equal. They had a mind frame to where it would benefit them and their descendants, not their slaves, not their wives who they considered to be property, or any other minority that they deemed to be subhuman for that matter. Now, in no way; shape or form am I saying I can fix this problem or do any better. I’m just a guy who doesn’t stick to the term “ignorance is bliss”. I try my best to look at something the way it truly is, rather than painting a pretty picture. And when you take a good look at contemporary American society, the picture isn’t nearly as pretty as I was taught it to be.
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