The United States has always been viewed as a land of opportunity, where one could achieve anything they put their mind to, no matter who they are. Freedom and economic stability are the factors that make our country appealing. People are hopeful that the opportunities the country holds will help them achieve the American dream. This dream consists of achieving financial success, but time has proven that the American dream is a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, ambition, hard work, nor perseverance are enough to be successful in America. No individual is guaranteed success or destined for failure, but it is apparent that women, people of color, and those born into poverty will face greater obstacles than others, despite being a greater part of the American population. Our nation is a land of limited opportunity; public figures and authors such as Gregory Mantsios and Barbra Ehrenreich prove that there is a struggle for success and that equal opportunity is not a reality.
Mantsios’ stance on equality is quite clear, he truly believes that not all Americans have equal opportunity. In “Class in America-2009”, one of Mantsios’ primary claims are that gender and race play an important role in our social standing. Not everyone in our country is considered equal, mainly because of the barriers constantly constructed by those who believe to be superior to others. Mantsios’ states that racial and gender domination is an uncontrollable force that weighs on an individual’s ability to succeed, “Regardless of their class standing, women and members of minority races are constantly dealing with institutional forces that are holding them down precisely because of their gender, the color of their skin, or both” ...
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...Though it is rigorous trying to achieve success in America, contemporary icons such as Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey are examples of individuals who have overcome the obstacles placed by their race and social standings. It may have seemed that the odds were stacked against them because of factors like gender, race, and social standing, but they are proof that in a land of limitations, anything can
be achieved. Barack Obama became the first black president in the United States, as a person of color, he overcame hurdles that may have stopped him from achieving success. Oprah Winfrey, a woman of color who lived in poverty, through her efforts she has become one the wealthiest people in the United States. Achieving success is possible for all, though there are some obstacles, one’s drive and spirit will ultimately indicate your ability to prosper in this country.
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