Everyone has a dream. As seen in John Lennon’s famous song, “Imagine,” he dreamed of universal peace. Though Lennon’s song was a protest against war and violence in the early 1970’s, his lyrics can still be applied to our society today. That everlasting dream of peace and love continues.
I am a firm believer that everyone should be treated equally. This means no matter what gender you are, religion you practice, color of skin you have, or sexual orientation you identify with, everyone’s right should be the same. With the adoption of the 15th amendment, African American men were given the right to vote. However, literacy tests were made more difficult for these men just because of the color of their skin. This racist act continued until the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Prior to this, segregation was prominent throughout the U.S. and racism continued to flourish in the South. Even though there are laws banning racist acts, some still believe that “white Americans” are the prominent race, which is a completely and utterly ignorant way of thinking. I’ve never been able to comprehend how someone could commit such violent acts and say horrible things to another human being like what happened during the Civil Rights movement. Yet, people today continue to commit the same crimes and say the same hurtful words that were supposedly banned over 50 years ago.
Prior to the 1920’s, women weren’t allowed to vote in the United States. Before this, women were seen as the “inferior gender” and weren’t as physically “strong” as men. Not until World War II did women begin to receive more of the same opportunities as men, as seen in the famous piece of propaganda, “Rosie the Riveter.” While the men were off fighting in combat, women worked in the factories making boats, planes, and other necessary materials for the war. Needless to say, the war couldn’t have happened without the help of women who took over the mens’ jobs in the factories. Yet, women are still being treated unequally today; their paychecks are still less than many men’s and are still stereotyped as “stay-at-home moms.” Frankly, the world seems to neglect the idea that not all women cook, clean, and take care of kids. There are plenty of stay-at-home dads, and moms who go to work in a corporate office. “Gender roles” are a thing that should have been left in the 1950’s, because in today’s day and age, anyone is capable of doing anything.
We live in a world where freedom is advocated, yet no one brings to attention the fact that so many people aren’t truly free. There are news headlines describing in horrifying detail the riots, shootings, murders, and unspeakable violence that is occurring across the entire globe. Instead of just watching it on a television screen, let’s do something: let’s speak our minds, share our thoughts, and voice our opinions just like the great leaders before us did. Let’s continue the influential ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and Lennon, going further than the obvious “equality is good” and “war is bad.” Imagine what a world of peace would be like, where every person could have their life be free of segregation and persecution. Everyone is human, so why do we often treat others who are different from us as animals? This is the generation of change, equality, freedom, peace, love, and happiness. As John Lennon sang in “Imagine,” someday the world will be as one.