The Land of the Free

James - Sperryville, Virginia
Entered on May 10, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: freedom
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that though the U.S. has made great leaps in the idea of freedom it still has a long way to go to be considered truly free. In fact to be perfectly honest I do not believe that we can truly be free. For we need rules to give us some type of order and to restrict ourselves from doing something we may regret. If we look into the past of the U.S. we probably had more freedom to do stuff than now if you think about it. Now freedom in the past did not apply to everyone, but only a select few who were usually among the elite, and of those elite it was mostly the white males. But since the beginning of the U.S. short history we have made leaps in the idea of freedom and letting everyone share that idea. In the past the U.S. has subjugated the poor, the blacks, immigrants, Native Americans, and women because it could. But in 200 years we have risen far compared to most other countries though I don’t think we will ever quite make it there. With revolutionary leaders such as Martin Luther King, Susan Brownell Anthony, and Russell Means all people who have fought for the rights and against injustices that were being imposed upon them. In today’s society most events we think of when we think about civil rights are Bloody Sunday, Little Rock 9, and the bus riding incident of Rosa Parks all incidents which happened for the rights that they were being denied. Some of the people who have lost rights and freedoms are some we barely ever think about it such as the prisoners. They have received injustices along with everyone else being denied rights that they are alleged to have resulting in incidents such as the Attica prison riot which cost many lives and afterwards many of the prisoners’ rights. In the past and the most likely the present rights that we are granted for being human are constantly being challenged if not by the government then most likely by the individual. For no matter how many laws we put out there and how strongly we enforce it human beings are by nature arrogant beings and sometimes that can manifest itself into a group of people declaring that they are the master race or a group of people or inferior. Also with the more laws enforced it seems the more freedom that is taken away though at the same time if we have no laws looking at the past a group will subjugate the others. The only possible way to combat this in my mind is to educate everyone but not even is possible for some cannot go to school and some just don’t want to. Though we call ourselves the land of the free if you look in the past you will see both segregation and racism and even now you can see a little of both if you look hard enough.