Author: Oscar Fletcher

How Has America Advanced Equal Rights In The Last 10 Years?

Discrimination has been a common thing in many parts of the world, with the women being more affected than the men. This is due to the misconception that women are inferior compared to men. America was among the places where discrimination against women was very common a decade ago. The rights of women were also a major neglected feature in many countries in the last couple of years. Due to the realization that all genders are equal, legal steps have been taken in the USA to ensure that all people are treated as equal before the law. The rights for homosexuals, minority groups and the physically and mentally challenged have also been regarded and increasingly valued in the last couple of years.

How has America advanced equal rights in the last 10 years?

America, being one of the superpowers had to step in and lead by example to eradicate segregation of people on their basis of their race and gender. Some of the steps taken to ensure equality include the following;

Representation by women to political positions. The political positions held be women are approaching 30% of the total political positions. This is a huge increase as compared to a couple of years back where women were not even allowed to vote.

Education and employment are also other key factors in equality. The number of women CEOs has been steadily rising every year. The International Women’s Day was to help advocate for women’s rights in workplaces. However, the day has also been diversified to cover the girl child education which has continued to rise even above the male gender.

Some laws have been put in place like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009. The aim of this was to enable women to earn equal wage as their male counterparts. Prior to this, women received an average of 80.4% of their male counterpart’s salaries for equal work done.

Rights of other categories of people including the gay and lesbians, mentally and physically challenged and other minor categories of people have also been reinforced. This ensures that all people have equal opportunities for employment, education, political positions and even social lives.


America still has a long way to ensure that all people are treated equally, but we cannot ignore the major strides that have been taken to this effect. America has been ranked among the top 200 countries in the world in human rights. Women, who were most affected now have the avenues to defend themselves by having equal opportunities as the male gender. Areas like politics and employment which were once a male territory have been diversified to accommodate women. Studies have also shown that the population of the female gender in education has supposed that of the male gender. Other marginalized groups like refugees, physically and mentally challenged, blacks and even lesbian and gay communities also have equal rights in all of the aspects. There is still a lot of work to be done on that, but America has made great strides to ensure fairness for all its citizens.

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Freedom of Speech

American greatness is founded on a couple of fundamental beliefs, some of which are enforced in the constitution. One of the most celebrated things about the U.S. is freedom of speech, which a First Amendment right.

But we all know that constitutional provisions and realities do not always meet. So, even though the American constitution clearly says you have the right to speak your mind, as does most other documents of this manner in the world, is there really freedom of speech in America? Let’s find out.

American In a League of Its Own On Free Speech
First of all, it should be understood that practically every other country in the world has nothing on America as far as freedom of speech goes. This includes many Western countries popular for their solid human rights records.

For instance, the US has no laws against hate speech, which is one of the issues that greatly undermines, and at times cripples, freedom of speech in many nations around the world. So, if you want to say whatever you want and have the best chance of getting away with it, then the U.S. is the place to be.

What Freedom of Speech Means in America
In America, freedom of speech includes the right not to recite the pledge, the right not to speak, the right to use words and phrases people might consider offensive, the right to promote controversial products and services (some restrictions might still apply), and even the right to using symbolism to express yourself such as burning flags.

What Freedom of Speech is Not
That said, the courts will not accept that you were using your freedom of speech if your words result in actions that might cause harm to other people. The distribution of obscene materials, and burning draft cards is also not considered freedom of speech – these are crimes.

Students also have a strong voice in the freedom of speech debate. But they cannot promote illegal drugs at school events, use obscene speech at school events or use school newspapers to print materials that the administrators do not agree with.

Why There are Some Restrictions, and their Limits
The reason the freedom of speech law is different for schools has something to do with the fact that the constitution is concerned with the government getting in the way of free speech. Therefore, being part of an institution that has restrictions that limit freedom of speech as provided by the constitution is not something the government can interfere with, unless that institution is owned by the government.

Nevertheless, the government can step in if businesses, individuals, and institutions infringe freedom of speech provisions fairly awarded by the constitution. For instance, employers cannot keep employees from being part of a union or disclosing how much they earn.

So, Is there Really Freedom of Speech in America?
All in all, we can say that there is freedom of speech in America. The country’s judicial system goes to great lengths to protect this right.

However, whether or not the public will consider some acts to be free speech is another matter altogether. For instance, failing to stand for the pledge might come off to some people as “un-American”, and draw a lot of criticism. In such cases, it is a question of whether you are ready to face the challenges that come with exercising your freedom of speech.

To sum up, free speech is not absolute in America, or in any country in the world for that matter. But America is unsurpassed when it comes to the protection of this right. That said, free speech does come at a price – the courts might not have an issue with the way you exercise your freedom of speech, but the public might react differently to your idea of free speech.

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What is the American Dream?

Generally the term American Dream commonly refers to life from an
American perspective. There is no universal meaning that can be attributed to
the American Dream. The American Dream’s primary objective to encourage
people to pursue happiness in life. But the definition of happiness has been an
ever-changing concept throughout the history of America. To describe the American Dream in the best way possible, this article will highlight the principles on which it is enshrined. Further, in understanding the American Dream, it is necessary to trace its origin and evolution.

Principles of the American Dream are as follows:

·  Equal and inalienable right to life

·  Right to liberty

· Fair and equal treatment of all people

· Equal opportunities for a better, richer and happier for all Americans.

·  Material empowerment: Ability to achieve wealth

Tracing American Dream’s origin

Adams Truslow James, an American historian, is credited as the first person to use the term American Dream. He used the term in his book titled: “The Epic of America”. During this period, America was facing the Great Depression crisis. Adams coined the term to explain issues to do with social/political expectation and religious promises.

The history of the American Dream

The founding fathers of America created a progressive idea which defined the American dream. The idea was based on the premise that every individual’s quest to pursue a happy life was key in creating a prosperous society. To advance this revolutionary idea, they established a government to safeguard every person’s right to pursue prosperity.

Meaning of the American Dream in the 1920s.

The Dream in this era encompassed acquisition of material possessions. This
notion was well stated by F.Scott Fitzgerald in his novel titled: “The Great
Gatsby”. As much as F.Scott advocated for acquisition of material possession in pursuit of happiness, he cautioned against allowing greed to influence achieving prosperity.

Meaning of the Dream after the 1920s

During this period, the American Dream still focused on pursuit of happiness on the basis of material power. Material power was viewed with respect to healthcare, decent housing, education and quality employment. This was emphasized by President Roosevelt during a state of the union address in 1944 when highlighted the components of an Economic Bill of Rights. His ideas were also supported by other US presidents. For instance, George Bush and Bill Clinton endorsed home ownership as a fundamental aspect of the American Dream.

The American Dream in modern times

Initially, the American Dream concentrated on material power as the key to attaining happiness. But that belief has changed over the years. Some people believe that the Great Recession contributed in changing the materialistic view of the American Dream which is impractical to attain. Presently, the dream is viewed more in terms of the desire to uphold American values such as:

· Meaningful contribution to the community and society at large.

·  Living a fulfilling life: living within your means and embracing a savings culture.

·  Spending quality time with family members and friends.

· Valuing and taking care of nature.

In summary, American Dream dwells on ensuring each person gets an equal opportunity to pursue happiness (everything one aspires to achieve). This is through pursuing a particular personal vision through strength of mind and hard work.


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What makes America different?

There are unique things about every country and I think it can be kind of challenging to see through the rose colored glasses when you live right in the thick of everything that seems wrong.  Here is an outsiders perspective on some of the great things about America.

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