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“All men are created equal” is the notion that every human being is endowed with unalienable rights of liberty, life, and the search for happiness. During the America Declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson spoke of the lessons, which America learned in the Age of Reason (Enlightenment) during the eighteenth century. Enlightenment stresses on human progress and natural law (Wilson, 2015). Currently, gender and racial equality are one of the main issues in many sectors of the US, i.e., science, politics, art, etc. discrimination based on gender is highly protested by popular movements such as Black Loves Matter and Women’s March. Thesis statement: America has not achieved Jefferson’s goal of equality.
Racial discrimination is still evident in the film industry despite the recent popularity of black filmmakers, actors, and actresses. In 2016, the absence of African American nominees during the Oscars Awards led to the trending of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. In that year, several black actors excelled in their movie roles such as Denzel Washington, Nate Parkers, Mahershala Ali, and Will Smith (Dargis, 2016). In addition to this, women in the film industry have been fighting for equal pay for acting roles as their male co-stars. In 2017, the top ten highest paid actors earned $488.5 million. The figure is almost three times as much as the combined earnings of the top ten highest paid actresses, i.e., $172.5 (Robehmed, 2018). The highest paid actress in the same year, Emma Stone, earned $26 million; this is 2.5 times lower than the highest paid actor’s (Mark Wahlberg) earnings (Robehmed, 2018).
In the US government, gender inequality continues to be a problem. Women account for only 28.5% of parliamentarians in the country. The number is small compared to that of Nordic countries, i.e., 41% (GEM, 2017). There is also evidence of racial discrimination against African Americans by government officials as they respond to the needs of whites more than black people. Analysts sent approximately 20,000 emails to government officials in almost every county regarding the opening hours. One half used predominantly “white names” such as Greg Walsh while the others used names associated with black people such as Tyrone Washington. The results revealed that e-mails with African American names were 13% more likely to be ignored than white ones (Wolfers, 2017).
However, in the education sector, the US government has narrowed the gap between the gender composition as many female students have access to institutions of higher learning. Johns Hopkins University in Maryland is one of the universities with a 50-50 percentage regarding the gender of students (Minsky, 2015). The daughters of the university’s trustees raise funds for more women to study the institution’s renowned medical courses. In Washington, a Supreme Court Judge upheld the consideration of race during college admissions. The decision aims at providing educational opportunities to minority students and establishes ethnic and racial diversity in institutions of higher learning (Hurley, 2016).
Racial and gender discrimination continue to be an issue in the US regardless of Jefferson’s dream of equality. African American actors, actresses, and filmmakers rarely receive credit for their work as they were utterly shunned in the 2016 Oscars Awards’ nomination list. Another problem in the film industry is the significant pay gap between men and women. In the US government, racial an gender discrimination persists. However, the education sector has made steps to include minority and female students in its programs. The US is a world superpower regarding economics and military power. Nonetheless, the nation still struggles with racial and gender inequality. The US must fight to achieve total equality for giving up would mean that the country has abandoned some of its citizens.
Dargis, M. (2016). Hollywood, Separate and Unequal. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/movies/hollywood-separate-and-unequal.html
GEM. (2017). Women Have even Lower Representation in Domestic Political Leadership Positions. Retrieved from Global Education Monitoring: https://gem-report-2017.unesco.org/en/chapter/gender_monitoring_leadership/
Hurley, L. (2016). U.S. Supreme Court upholds Race-Based College Admissions. Retrieved from Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-affirmativeaction-idUSKCN0Z91N3
Minsky, C. (2015). Eight World-Leading Universities with a 50:50 Gender Balance. Retrieved from Times High Education: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/news/eight-world-leading-universities-5050-gender-balance
Robehmed, N. (2018). How Time's Up Could Help Close Hollywood's Pay Gap. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2018/01/17/how-times-up-could-help-close-hollywoods-pay-gap/#b45bf8a49ef5
Wilson, D. L. (2015). Thomas Jefferson and the Meanings of Liberty.
Wolfers, J. (2017). Pinpointing Racial Discrimination by Government Officials. The New York Times. Retrieved from The new Y: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/business/economy/racial-discrimination-government-officials.html
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