The American Dream By James Baldwin

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How would one feel if they spent their entire lives working towards an unattainable goal? That goal is the American Dream, a term that can be loosely defined as one’s attempt at what they believe is success, whether it be a family, high-paying career, a beautiful home, or all three. The American Dream can be whatever one makes of it. James Baldwin and William Buckley strongly debated this issue with underlying similarities but ultimately Baldwin had a stronger argument. This House Believes in the American Dream is at the Expense of the American Negro, was a historic 1965 debate about society’s mistreatment of the African American race throughout history. Baldwin highlighted that white Americans innately believe they are still superior to African Americans and their pursuit of the American Dream holds more weight while Buckley attempted to discredit him. Baldwin drew scrutiny to the social injustices faced by blacks in their daily lives especially in their pursuit of the American Dream and attempted to direct white America’s attention to the issues that desperately need a solution. Baldwin opens his argument acknowledging the distortion of segregation for the segregationists. According to Baldwin, people who, since birth, have been taught to think a certain way towards the African American race. “The white South African or Mississippi sharecropper or Alabama sheriff has at bottom a system of reality which compels them really to believe when they face the Negro that this

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