Thursday, November 19, 2009

With Liberty and Justice for All

The video interview above inspired me to practice my writing skills for the GRE. Please bear with me, because I have not written in awhile.

In Arkansas a ten year old boy refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. He contemplated the meaning of the Pledge one weekend and decided that he would not say it until America provided equal rights for gays and lesbians. He goes on to further clarify that numerous other groups in American do not have equal rights, race inequality, and gender inequality. Since the beginning of time there has been inequality, however each generation will become more aware of inequality due to the previous generation teaching acceptance.

Inequality of race, gender, and affiliation have been around since the beginning of time. Pick up any history book, or the Bible, and numerous stories of wars over religion, and affiliation fill the pages. In the 1960s, racial inequality was at the forefront of America. Rosa Park was one of many people who took a stand against the racial inequality, and urged things to change in American. This young Arkansas boy is just one such example that will go down in history.

Each generation is more progressive than the previous generation. The Color of Water by James McBride is a beautiful book about a white, Jewish woman who was impregnated by a black man, and mothered twelve interracial children. Mrs. McBride grew up Jewish in the 1930s when race and religion inequality defined everything from the type of job you held to the neighborhood you lived in. Mrs. McBride's father owned a convenience store, and changed people according to the color of their skin. Needless to say when Mrs. McBridge ran off with a black man, her family disowned her. Mrs. McBride was more progressive than her father, and James McBride was more accepting than her mother.

If parents teach acceptance of difference America would become closer to equal rights for all. James McBride's mother taught him to look past the color of one's skin, and look deep, and see the person for his/her character. McBride tried to retrace his mother's past and came up short numerous times because of the color of his skin. Along his journey, he realized why his mother ran away from her family, because of their hatred of people because of external characteristics. Mrs. McBride was able to see a person because of what was inside and instilled this into her twelve children. If each generation teaches the following generation acceptance, America is one step closer to equal rights.

Inequality has always been around, and will continue to be around for years to come, but with each generation and brave people the inequality will become less. America may not see inequality in the next 50 or 100 years, but the steps are being taken each day. These steps may be small, but eventually they add up. Lao Tzu said, a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Prior to Parks refusing to move on the bus, and after the Arkansas boy has refused to say the Pledge, more steps will be taken and the journey to equality will be reached.

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