With the onset of the 9/11 attacks, the nation underwent a significant change in policies and safety measures. During G.W. Bush’s presidency, the War on Terror represented the ongoing battle between America and extremist or terrorist groups. It was popularized through the media and many Americans begin to fear threats to the country and their own personal safety. The media used propaganda and scare tactics to denounce certain religious and cultural groups, which divided different groups in America. Thus, the ideal of the American dream of social equality and diversity had become distorted due to the perpetual denouncement of certain groups in America.Some groups, particularly Muslims, were viewed in a negative light following the 9/11 attacks. As the media perpetuated stereotypes among social groups, it shed a light on the inequalities of the socio-economic and political system in America. This also revealed the unequal social hierarchy where Muslims and other groups were placed at the bottom while whites remained at the top. Thus, due to the stigma against Muslims during the war, they were looked down upon by Americans and were deemed to be less patriotic. Thus, the American dream of social equality was definitely impacted as a result of the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror. Ultimately, people looked at Muslims negatively because most of the media coverage portrayed them as terrorists.
Moreover, the War on Terror further highlighted cultural differences among people in America. Most Muslims were viewed negatively because of the attacks. Airlines begin to profile many Muslims and require stricter restrictions on carry-on luggage. This only added to the fear and paranoia of many Americans about terrorist groups. The alienation and defamation of Muslim groups or groups who appeared to look like terrorists only further added to the distortion of the American dream. Thus, even though America stands as a patriotic symbol of equality and justice regardless of race or social group, the 911 attacks damaged the ideal of the American dream. Certain groups were isolated and stripped from equal rights and protection in America.
Although the American political system was created as a democratic system to represent all people, many people are still underrepresented. Racial, gender and social issues are still prevalent in the political system as evidenced by the lack of diversity in political offices. Thus, the interests and issues that affect minorities and other social groups go unaddressed. Thus, the lack of attention to diverse issues only discourages the participation of all Americans. Some Americans refuse to vote because they feel as if their concerns will only fall on deaf ears. Thus, low participation in the political system leads to many policies and laws that only benefit a select few and do not represent the issues of the whole nation.
In order for the political system to sustain, political leaders must bolster efforts to change the conventional, patriarchal system. More representation of women, African Americans, Muslims and other underrepresented groups will help to ensure that more diverse issues are addressed. Thus, when people start to identify with other people who share their distinct cultural values and issues, they will feel more secure and confident that their issues will be heard, which will influence them to become more active in the political system. Thus, the country has made strides to increase diversity in the political arena with the first African American president, Barack Obama. Also, with the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, many women and racial groups felt that their issues would be brought to the forefront. But, even though the American political system continues to be dominated by white male political officers, making efforts to diversify the system will allow America to become more democratic and socially equal, which will help to fulfill the American dream.
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