If We Are Exceptional, Why Do We Not Care About Our Poor?

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America and Americans have always given the impression that we care about the poor. America was founded on the ideal that one can control his or her destiny here. Even on the Statue of Liberty, Lazarus (1883) states, “ ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore; Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’ ” (para. 2). These words have become symbolic of the American dream. The words told some new immigrants coming to America how their new country is exceptional and offers opportunities for the poor. However, the United States of America may not be as exceptional as we claim. When one looks at the facts, we may not really care about the nation’s poor. We have a consistent percentage of the population in America who continue to live in poverty. As a country that is founded on the principles that we can choose our own fate and that we are all created equal, we should care about this group of Americans. If one is thoughtful, informed, and rational, it is difficult not to have a love and hate relationship with America. The media minimizes the existence of American citizens who are living in poverty. This can be seen by looking closely at three examples that include adverstising, reality television, and news coverage. Once people look at how poor citizens are portrayed in the media, their views of the nation could change as they realize the United States may not be so exceptional. One of the facts that can change a citizen’s love for the United States is the country’s child poverty rates. According to Adamson (2012), “23.1 percent of children in America are living in poverty which ranks the United States second fo... ... middle of paper ... ...f Liberty but also because Americans are all equal and need to be treated as such. This is one aspect that does make America exceptional. Works Cited Krizay, L. M. (2011). Begging for Change: A Comparative Analysis of How the Media Frames Domestic and International Poverty. Student Pulse, 3(09). Retrieved from http://www.studentpulse.com/a?id=575 Lazarus, E. (1883). The New Colossus. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/stli/historyculture/upload/new%20colossus%20for%20displaypage2.pdf Ridgway, S. (2013). An Analysis of the Portrayal of Poor People in the Media. Retrieved from http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/poor-people-in-the-media/ UNICEF Innocenti Research Center (2012). [Figure showing the different rates of childhood poverty in economically advanced nations.] Measuring Child Poverty. Retrieved from http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc10_eng.pdf
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