During the month of February, the nation often reflects on the accomplishments blacks have made.
Blacks have contributed to building this nation. From the brutal life on slave plantations, to the railways that connected our coasts, to public service we can see their handprints in shaping our nation.
As we know, blacks were not always treated as equal to whites or even free to pursue the rights and freedoms that our Founding Fathers established in our founding documents.
Three generations ago our military was segregated, two generations ago blacks were segregated in housing, and one generation ago blacks could only aspire to lead a state – not a nation.
Today, we live in a very different nation. One in which every American can dream big, work hard, and aspire to achieve more for himself or herself than their parents had.
The American Dream is alive and available to every person. It’s the belief in social and economic mobility.
Unfortunately, there’s a cynical view that the American Dream is dead or off limits to certain Americans – particularly blacks and other people of color. Proponents claim that pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is impossible because the system is so stacked against young people.
This is a mentality of defeat. It’s untrue and uninspiring.
This is one of the best times in our history to be a young person and a black person.
Blacks have broken down legal, economic, and social barriers in education, business, medicine, entertainment, and more.
As economic opportunity grows, it is erasing income disparities between blacks and whites that over time will only bring greater equality.
If there’s one place on earth where a person from the humblest means can rise to lead a Fortune 500 company or a nation, it is America.
Perhaps a person dreams of owning a house, raising a family, living freely, and finding meaningful work. That dream should be celebrated too.
We should not give into the politics of victimization, but inspire our young people to aspire to greatness.