MENU

Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

'But every day I heard things that might not have been directed towards me, but still hurt'

Andrea+Gonzalez%2C+a+sophomore+in+Greg+Euchner%27s+English+II+class%2C+is+equally+proud+of+her+American+and+Mexican+heritage.
Andrea Gonzalez, a sophomore in Greg Euchner's English II class, is equally proud of her American and Mexican heritage.

Andrea Gonzalez, a sophomore in Greg Euchner's English II class, is equally proud of her American and Mexican heritage.

Contributed photo

Contributed photo

Andrea Gonzalez, a sophomore in Greg Euchner's English II class, is equally proud of her American and Mexican heritage.

Andrea Gonzalez, Guest Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Editor’s note: Andrea Gonzalez, a sophomore, wrote this piece as an English II assignment in Greg Euchner’s class. “We were asked to describe our American Dream and state how we were going to pursue this dream,” she said. “I’ve been living in Danbury for the majority of my life (almost 10 years). I basically grew up here, but the various trips I take to Mexico allow me to embrace my family’s culture and make it my own.”

The American Dream is truly nothing but an illusion sold to people across the world. You see, in some cases, the American dream means being able to eat a wholesome meal every day; in other cases, it means getting to be a millionaire with a fancy mansion.

When I lived in Mexico, the American Dream was living in New York City surrounded by beautiful skyscrapers and flashing lights. But the thing is that people never think about the suffocating smog that fills your lungs as you push past hundreds of pedestrians or the dozens of homeless people sprawled out on the streets.

Many of my friends in Mexico would also talk about the amazing opportunities that everyone got, no matter who you were and where you came from. In Mexico, you never really thought about the color of your skin. Instead, you paid attention to the neighborhood that someone lived in, because knowing where they lived allowed you to know their social status, and knowing their social status allowed you to stereotype them and their personalities.

It wasn’t until I got to the U.S. that I realized how important looks were and how lucky I was to “not look Mexican.” Everyone expects a Mexican immigrant to have tan skin, long, black, straight hair, and to have an accent. But because I have fair skin, curly brown hair, and you can’t usually hear my accent, everyone assumed I was white. Due to this, I didn’t face intense racism like my mom and dad did, and I didn’t have to fight extra hard to get to the same place that my peers were in.

But every day I heard things that might not have been directed towards me, but still hurt. The “American Dream” included me listening to a boy I liked say, “I would never date a Mexican, they’re the ones who always get into trouble.” It involved me having to listen to the president of the United States of America say that my people, my family, were rapists and drug dealers and having to be okay with it. It caused me to have to listen to one of my middle school teachers (who is no longer in the district) label all immigrants as uneducated and dirty and having to keep silent.

The American Dream is an illusion sold to people worldwide. Sure, if you don’t look like an immigrant this country is pretty wonderful, but for almost everyone else who comes in from another country and can’t hide that fact, the American Dream is shattered when customs officers stop them to do a surprise check of their luggage “for precautionary measures.”

The only people who truly get to live the American Dream are those who were born into it. Things can get better for others, but nothing is a guarantee. My American Dream doesn’t compare to others version of it because my American Dream is based on real experiences. I don’t plan to accomplish this American Dream. I plan to break free from this American stereotype and make my own dream, a dream that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m now living in another country.

This dream is a place where anyone can live their life to its fullest extent no matter their race, accent, appearance, or even economic status. Where everyone has their rights protected and not violated. I dream of a place where everyone can live at peace with one another. This would obviously be difficult to achieve since I’m talking about such a large scale, but by starting small, I could create a chain reaction that can impact everyone over time.

If I took initiative and stopped stereotyping people based on what they look like, then, ideally, others would start doing the same and the chain would go on. While the American Dream turned out to be an illusion, it really doesn’t have to be.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many”

  1. Ricardo Gonzalez Llera on March 30th, 2017 7:58 pm

    So proud of my Andrea! When a parent sees his/her daughter write like this and with such a strong message, one can only feel pride and accomplishment. A great feeling of knowing that, no matter what, this young lady will become a great woman. One that is ready to take on the world! American or Mexican, it doesn’t matter, she will accomplish her dream. Te amo pequeña!

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Archive

    Fall sports preview from HAN Network

  • Archive

    Welcome back to the 2017-18 school year!

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Student Announcements: Monday, June 19

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Despite cuts ConnCAP/Upward Bound summer program will continue

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Mrs. Mitten’s retirement party slideshow

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Senior activities slideshow

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Campus rallies to help the Tong family with their son

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Farewell retirees

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Dr. Diana Galletta-Bruno

  • Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many

    Archive

    Donald Tonic

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800
Op-Ed: The American Dream is an illusion for many