Hello,I am in seventh grade at a peace school and I need help.  My teacher wants me to prove and not prove that America has freedom, justice and equality. Can you guys please give me some help?  Thanks.

Expert Answers

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It is certainly possible to argue both that America provides and does not provide freedom, justice, and equality.  Let us briefly see how this is the case.

We can argue that the US provides all of these things because we can see many examples of each.  America provides us with freedom.  We are free to criticize our government as much as we want and in the harshest of terms.  We can practice whatever we religion we choose, or no religion at all.  We can say that the US provides justice.  We do not live in a country where a rich person can generally bribe a judge, for example, to rule against a poor person.  We live in a country where the law applies to everyone.  America provides us with equality.  Perhaps the clearest example of this is the fact that a man who is half African-American is our president only 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement finally gave blacks the guaranteed right to vote.  We have many non-white leaders in all areas of life, showing that there is equality of opportunity in this country.

One the other hand, we can argue that we in the US do not have any of these things.  We can say that people are only free to do things in the US that are not terribly unpopular.  Religious people are not free to act according to their beliefs with respect to gay people.  Muslims in many places are not free to have places of worship where they do not have to worry about being harassed for their faith.  We can argue that Americans do not have justice.  We see how police officers can kill young black men with seeming impunity.  We know that innocent people are convicted of crimes and even sentenced to death.  We know that people with money can afford lawyers who can manipulate the legal system to their advantage.  We can say that Americans do not have equality.  Women do not make as much money as men.  Non-whites are badly overrepresented among the ranks of the poor. 

From these things, we can see that is possible to argue both that Americans do and do not have freedom, justice, and equality.


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