The bogus land of Opportunity / by kevin murray

America has the greatest multi-media in the world, to which one is lead to believe that anyone can achieve or have those things that are so readily displayed in those formats.  If one is mobile and lives in or about a major city, in America you will thereby discover great edifices, wonderful houses, beautiful parks, and natural delights, that are truly awe inspiring.  While our streets are not paved in gold, the richness of America is fairly easy to behold, but there is a problem with this vision though and that problem is that this vision primarily holds for certain sections and certain peoples of America, but with others, many others, their vision is blurred and nightmarish.


From the day that you are born, you will discover that America is not a level playing field, and for way too many of us, you will start out behind, having no real opportunity to make up ground for being behind, and consequently you will forever be behind, forgotten, kicked aside, and shunned.  In fact, for far too many people there won't be even one day when you have personally lived in a land of real opportunity, your dream was aborted at birth, and in its place you have the substitute of pipe dreams, wish fulfillments, and lottery tickets.


There are a multitude of reasons why America cannot hold itself out as being a true land of opportunity.  For instance, there is the geography of failure, to which if you are born in an impoverished, underserved, dangerous, and forsaken part of America, such as certain sections of inner cities, you pretty much have signed a warrant which stipulates that you will be distinguished as nothing more than a menace to society and treated as such.  If you are born within an unstable family structure, such as a stressed-out single-parent household, or a dysfunctional family, or a family unable or incapable of making reasoned and mature decisions, those faults will transfer onto yourself.  If the school that you attend in order to receive your free public education,  isn't a real school at all, but is, in fact, more akin to a war zone, under budgeted, malnourished, and hopelessly inept, you will quickly fall behind, never applying yourself, and consequently giving up.  If your peers and mentors are people on the fringes of society with little of the pluck and virtue that make up great character, but instead are dealers of shortcuts, scams, and hustles, your vision will be circumscribed by what you see as the evidence in front of you.


America has done a great disservice to some of its citizens, by emasculating them, so that in return they can hand them food, shelter, and other entitlements without expecting or desiring anything in return.  It's a poor bargain for those citizens, because that trade effectively makes them wards of the State, with little or no marketable skills and nothing to realistically aspire for or to achieve.  Their dream of equal opportunity has been canceled out for these people; most of them having had their dreams effectively nullified upon their birth, in which they have committed no sin and no offense. 


For some, America is still a land of real opportunity, but for far too many, it's a house of mirrors, a fog of hope, and a promissory note forever unpaid, in arrears, and perpetually in default.