The Land Of Opportunity By James Loewen

956 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 4 Pages
In his excerpt entitled The Land of Opportunity author James Loewen highlights the invisible struggles of the middle class. Loewen’s chief complaint is that the segregation and exploitation of the working class has been marginalized by the American social elite and all but erased from high school history books. Mr. Loewen posits that the authors of our children’s textbooks “construe labor history as something that happened long ago, like slavery, and that like slavery, was corrected long ago” (Loewen). While it may be seen as insensitive to compare the labor movement to slavery, Mr. Loewen is joined by other authors and activists who argue against rewriting or marginalizing our history in order to preserve our “national identity”. In order for our nation to continue to excel, we must learn from our mistakes not hide them. American history has been tumultuous and rife with conflict; which has led to a shift in ideals, and thus aided in the elevation of the people as a whole – this struggle is necessary and must continue. The price of liberty is high, and in the pursuit of freedom from oppression the cost of war does not end when the last shot is fired. Today, children are taught about how the Colonists cast off the shackles of the Crown for the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. What these children may not be learning however, is the enormous cost of liberty, mostly to indigenous peoples and the labor force. As activist Elizabeth Martinez discusses in…
Open Document