No America, we’re not all created equal

American history is filled with discrimination and bigotry. Between denying women the right to vote, the segregation of races, and the denial of rights for the LGBTQ community, our history is one tragic tale.

In the current political climate, we have made strides to correct the mistakes of our past and create opportunities for all American citizens. Our accomplishments include the legalization of gay marriage and the end of segregation. Despite this, the gender wage gap and constant discrimination against transgender people have remained in our country despite how our public tries to prevent it. Discrimination is often pushed back and many consider these times a triumph for social justice. As the year comes to the end, a phrase going around has been “It’s 2017. You can be who you wanna be.” But making progress toward a single goal should not be confused with actually achieving it. America is attempting to create a better sense of  equality, but there is still a lot of work that our government needs to do in order to ensure equality for all our citizens.

“We are making progress at treating everyone with the respect that they need, but I still think we have a ways to go in many places,” English teacher Rebecca Walker said.

Despite our efforts to counteract our racially unjust history, there are still many groups that face discrimination.Hate groups have been increasing since the 1990’s, the largest spike showing for anti muslim groups. According to “Mapping Hate: The Rise of Hate Groups in the US,” there were about 34 hate groups aimed at Muslim majorities in 2015. In 2016 that number increased to 101 groups. This totals to a 197% increase in these anti-Muslim groups as stated in the statistics of the article. The large increase in these hate groups show a tragic truth that we don’t see all groups as an equal.

“Minority groups still have a leg down on other people. We have a lot of police brutality and Islamophobia so that’s kind of a hindrance to all these groups,” senior Sarah Joseph said.

The amount of discrimination against race and religion has been on the rise throughout our history despite our efforts to discourage it. Another familiar inequality of our past that remains as prevalent as ever is the gender gap.

Gender inequality is still a major issue in our time, especially in regards to wages. The gender wage gap affects women in this country and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Regardless of a women’s education and knowledge, they are often given a lower pay compared to a male worker doing the same job.

In an article by the American Association of University Women called “The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap” surveys show that women make less than males despite similar education levels. The average woman with an advanced degree makes about $1,257 a week, while a man with the same education makes about $1,707 a week. The statistics get worse when they account age, as the older a woman is, the less they get paid. Women who average around 55-64 years of age make $812 on average per week compared to the $1,102 a man makes despite being around the same age group.

“Everybody is kind of lower tier and that’s how its been and how its gonna be for a while,” junior Marlon Curry said.

One of the more appalling forms of discrimination shown in our country is the discrimination against LGBTQ rights, especially recent actions taken against the transgender community.Among  the most jarring examples is when our congress attempted to pass a bill that banned transgender people from the military. Although judges blocked the transaction due to the outcry from the community, the fact that it could have gone through goes to show how much work we need to do in order to achieve equality.

“The transgender ban that we enacted recently caused a lot of controversy with the troops, so that I would say would be a big example of discrimination recently,” English teacher Bridget Shrode said.

We can see that when representing race, gender, and sexual identity, our government has a long way to go to achieve the equality that we all deserve. By fixing the many issues that we have in this nation, someday we can finally accomplish what our founding fathers promised when they said all men are created equal.

“If you’re going to bring it up, you need to bring it up in a positive way so we can push the world, your generation, and my generation into a better way,” English teacher Meagan Johnson said.