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Land of the Free?

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Freedom and equality. Aren’t these two words the exact words that this country, America, was built upon? Aren’t these two words the exact words that our founding fathers wanted most for this country? When people hear the word “America”, aren’t these the two words that come to mind? But what happened to this dream, this dream of freedom and equality? America is The Land of the Free, or is it?

“All men are created equal”. This is the famous line from the United States Declaration of Independence signed in 1776 by the fathers of this nation. At that time the word “men” referred to just that, men. Not women, nor blacks, just white males. As time progressed the word took on a different meaning, “man”, referring to any human being. So where is the equality? Equality is defined as the state of being equal, therefore having the same rights, the same opportunities as everyone around you. Equality and true freedom does not exist in this country.

If freedom and equality existed in America, women would be fighting wars right alongside the men. But they aren’t. No woman in the United States Army is dispatched into true warfare. They are always put on the “safer” jobs, working with the computers, the planes, always on the sideline. Why is it okay for a man to risk his life, but women may not even go into real warfare?

If freedom and equality existed in America, gay rights would be the same as anyone else’s rights. Who are we, the people of America, to take away someone’s rights, the same rights we fought for when we came here, just because of their orientation? Who are we, the people of America, to define “all men” as excluding homosexuals? When this question is asked, it’s always followed by the same answer, “It’s wrong”, “It’s gross”, or even more popular, “It’s against the Bible”. The laws and rights of “man” are not based on a religion and not everyone in this country follows the Bible. So why impose your religion on someone else to take away their rights because you find it immoral?

If freedom and equality existed in America, high school graduates wouldn’t have to stress over if they are a race that qualifies for a scholarship. If two students are both attempting to acquire a scholarship that would completely cover two years of their college career and they maintain the same GPA, they should both be equally qualified for the scholarship. However, they are not. One of these students is African American, Native American, or Hispanic. The other student has none of these racial backgrounds. So who gets the scholarship? That should be decided by the grades these students make, the extra curricular activities these students participate in, and the efforts these students put into getting into college. Instead, it’s decided on the colorful racial background the first student has. Why should a great student be denied scholarships just because they cannot check that special box on their application?

If freedom and equality existed in America, riots and petitions would not occur over such topics as these few examples. Equality and freedom in America; it’s a great idea, a great fantasy that will probably never be achieved.



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