Throughout history, Americans have changed and become different in their values and beliefs. Equality, as an example, started out differently then it is defined now. The American writers from the past had a different idea of equality when they were making our country then we have today. For example, in the very beginning, equality was between the white men owning land in the United States, and over time it evolved to include more people, like freed slaves and women. These evolutions have occurred to face the changing times,and have affected how equality is seen today. Equality has improved on many aspects of it, such as voting, but we still have some work to do on others, like opportunity, income, and equal treatment for all.
First off, let’s talk about equality of opportunity. According to Arthur C. Brooks of the Washington Examiner, “ If you are the 70 percent majority, you believe that everyone should get a chance to succeed” (Brooks). This shows that the majority of people in America, want equal opportunity for all, including the choice to try or not. In America this doesn’t always happen which means that people that deserve to succeed because they worked hard, don’t always receive their fair opportunity in society. In order to fix this, we would need to allow equal opportunity for everyone while allowing the people who don’t want to try the ability to fail and learn from their mistakes.
Next, a big problem in our society is the fairness of income between genders. There is a big difference in income between men and women today in our society. In an article from Inequality.com it states, “Among full-time workers, women earned less then 81 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2016” (Equality.org). This shows the major gap in income between women and men in America. Even if we say that everyone is equal, women still get paid less for doing the same jobs and working just as hard as men do. This needs to be fixed if we are to say that we are equal as a country because if women can work the same amount or harder then men, then why can’t they receive the same reward for doing so.
Finally, discrimination in America has become a big deal lately, especially with African Americans. African Americans have come a long way from slavery to receiving their equality and rights in America. Yet, they still face some discrimination in society. One topic in the news that has been addressed a lot is police brutality against them. As stated by Lisa H. Thurau and Johanna Wald in their article, “In 2015, Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring analyzed 1,100 killings by police and found that the death rates for African Americans (and Native American) disproportionately higher than than their populations” (Thurau & Wald). The number of people who had been killed by that point and continue to be murdered today is unacceptable. We need to have stricter laws about people who break these rules, and better ways for police to handle those situations in order to prevent more deaths.
Equality, while improved from back in the day, still has a long way to go in order to be completely true for everyone. If we as a society and country could improve each of these examples and some other examples that we are lacking in, we could maybe reach the equality for everyone that we stated when we first wrote the constitution.
Brooks Arthur C. “American Fairness Means Equality of Opportunity, Not Income.” AEI, https://www.aei.org/articles/american-fairness-means-equality-of-opportunity-not-income/. Accessed 17 October 2019.
“Economic Inequality Across Gender Diversity.” https://inequality.org/gender-inequality/. Accessed 17 October 2019.
Thurau, Lisa H & Wald, Johanna. “Police Killings, and Brutality Damaging Mental Health of Black Community. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/spotlight/2018/09/14/police-brutality-damaging-black-communitys-mental-health/1218566002/. Accessed 17 October 2019.
Exploring Equality in America by Caroline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.