The House We Live In: Post-viewing Activity

After viewing Episode Three: The House We Live In, please respond to the following question:

> Central to the concept of the American Dream is the notion that anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded—that anyone can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” How has this been made more difficult for people not defined as white? What is the long-term impact of that denial? What difference does access to financial resources make in terms of your life opportunities?

22 thoughts on “The House We Live In: Post-viewing Activity

  1. The idea that anyone who works “hard enough” can move up the social hierarchy is just a myth for anybody who does not fall under the category of being white. One of the studies that I learned about in my sociology class stated that white men convicted of a felony were preferred over black men with no criminal records when hiring for jobs. This shows that how minorities specially the black community is being deprived of the equal opportunity of working “hard enough” and pulling themselves “up their bootstraps.” The long term impact of the denial is that minority groups are forever left struggling in the false hopes that one day they will achieve the American dream and would be able to afford a house, car and have a decent job.Being somewhat financially stable like getting a house that your parents owned or getting some sort of asset or money that can financially support you leaves a person with many opportunities in life. They tend to have better overall health as well as firm basis to build on whatever they already have. A person who gets a home from their parents would not have to worry about saving money for one and that money which he would have saved for the house could go towards providing him with other luxuries in life.

  2. > Central to the concept of the American Dream is the notion that anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded—that anyone can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” How has this been made more difficult for people not defined as white? What is the long-term impact of that denial? What difference does access to financial resources make in terms of your life opportunities?
    In my point of view, I think everybody that does work hard in the long term they do accomplish their dream whether they black, white or any other race. There is no differences in financial, I think the key is education. The more educated you are, you will have better opportunities in life.

  3. Unfortunately we live in a world where stereotypes play a major role in everyone’s life, specifically affecting nonwhite people. People tend to see the color of skin and with that they see all the stereotypes that come with that color of skin. I know many people that work 16 hours a day 6 days a week and sometimes the full 7 days who cannot buy a house, a car, or even afford the education of their child, their child has to work as well and cannot continue their education. This is the main reason why a lot of minority families cannot progress, they do not have the financial stability that most white people do. I have been blessed to be born into a family that was able to purchase a home, a car, and can afford to pay my tuition out of pocket. My mom got really lucky when it came to getting her citizenship. It was under the amnesty that Ronald Reagan passed that she could get her citizenship. I believe that is one of the main reasons my family has been able to move forward, of course with also working hard and long hours. But I do believe if there had been no amnesty my family would still be struggling the same way other minorities do. The fact that my family can pay for my education will allow me to get a professional career, something my parents could not do, and earn more money and make a successful name for my family. But this is not the case of many minorities. Certain people even with citizenship have been denied opportunities to succeed simply because their skin is a little browner than most.

  4. When we hear people talk about living the American dream in the U.S., it is just that, a dream for most folks. It is especially difficult for nonwhites because they are targeted for discrimination and they do not receive the same support from society. Nonwhites and immigrants tend to have the most demanding jobs and do not get paid nearly enough. We also notice that black people have a much more difficult time obtaining a job similar to a white person’s skill level. An example of this is that a white person with a criminal record is more likely to get a job rather than a black person with a clean background record. This then leaves them in a state of denial which might create stress, leading to severe health issues. Access to financial resources makes a huge difference in life opportunities because you have a better home, better quality of living, less stress, better choices of food, and better health.

  5. Whether you believe or not, white Americans have had more opportunities than non-white provided to them by our society. Whites were more fortunate and have had many advantages in life whereas non-whites did not receive. Even though Non-whites worked hard and mostly worked extremely dangerous jobs yet, they were not rewarded for it. They were always viewed as being inferior and forced to live in poor neighborhoods or ghetto because of racism. It did not matter if a white person and a non-white person had the same job, the white person would get the benefits initially. Even if a white guy was less educated yet he or she was able to get well suited job, unlike nonwhite who may have been more educated than them, if you do not have good financial resources, you will not be able to have many opportunities. You were more likely to have an advantage over someone if you had more money.
    The long term effect of living in a society with so many laws could lead to crime, and it doesn’t protect the majority of people when it comes to economic equality. In illustration, there are many people who are always willing to buy the house rather than paying rent for the apartment. However, they can’t buy the house because of their credit history as well as their classification. In a scenario, if one white or one black person would like to buy the house, and white person credit history is not as good as black person, he will still be more likely to have house in his hands since he is considering superior. In an another scenario, there are many students who don’t get financial support from the government even though their academic standing is way better than the students who doesn’t.
    Last but not least this statement lacks empathy for those not of a privilege background. Those who are born in a poor background are at a severe disadvantage because they are shown to be unfairly targeted by the police and not being born into money already does not provide many opportunities.

  6. I believe who work hard should be rewarded, but unfortunately not everyone benefits from this idea but mostly whites. We live in a society that still judges people by their race, and for certain minorities are treated differently and don’t get the same opportunities as do whites, and for that have to work a lot harder. The long term impact of the denial is a lot minorities are being left to constantly work long hours and work harder to achieve the American Dream. Since certain racial groups aren’t given the same opportunities their constantly working and proving themselves that they will achieve the dream to get a house, a decent job and better quality of life. When someone is more financially stable and accessible to better financially resources their are able to buy a house, instead of renting and adding stress to them. The person lives a better quality of life with being able to say this house is actually my home, have less stress and make better choices when it comes to their health and life style.

  7. Unfortunately, the concept of American dreams is not for everybody who works hard especially not for non-whites. I barely see people who working 7 days for more than 40 hours own a house, car or even better jobs. Well if we go according to the concept of an American dream everybody who works hard should be rewarded accordingly. The long term impact of that denial is the non-whites and immigrants who come to America to achieve their dreams and have opportunities. Unfortunately if you are not white then good luck whit that, because you are not getting those that easily, the percentage of non-whites are way less for those opportunities. The world we living in right now still looked and judged as skin color and hair features etc. There are still minorities that don’t get the same opportunities as whites. I remember in class when we were watching a movie, according to the recent survey white people with a felony tend to have higher ranking jobs than the black with a clean record. This shows racism, discrimination and stereotypes still around us. Access to financial resources makes a lot of difference in term of opportunities. You can own a house, car, education; have a better health and successful jobs. If you are financially strong you can get an education, once you have education you can get a better job. Then later you can buy a house, car and shop. However, after taking this class, my thinking has been changed in term of getting opportunities. I feel sad how racism and discrimination still in effect. Living with these thoughts can make you stressed. This should be changed so we all can live happily and healthy.

  8. Central to the concept of the American Dream anyone who works hard it isn’t guaranteed that he will be rewarded. Regardless, of how much he pull themselves up by their bootstraps. For example, in the video they talked about Eugene Burnett who fought for the country in segregated ranks he came to the America, hoping for equality and an American dream to buy a house with easiest credit terms in history. However, when they went to the salesman they were told that they are not sure if they are going to sell the house to the Negroes which was entirely racist policy or discrimination as to say. They worked hard but it was even harder for them to achieve a single house based on their race if they were white it wouldn’t have created any problems for them to get the house. A lot of people in America that work the hardest are mostly people that involve people that are non-Whites that include either immigrants, blacks, or people from other places. They work really hard but still whites are given all the benefits. In fact, I believe people that come from other places and settle in America face the most difficult times struggling and understanding their system, some have problem with language however, they learn it and still manage to assimilate into their society. They do more than whites have to do to get things done. The long term impact of denial will only create differences I believe. It will only create continuation of unequal treatments in jobs and who is benefited. It depends on an individual how much resources and financially strong he is to get the opportunities in his life but just as the race part 3 stated, that the more resources you have you are likely to pass it on to your generations and they are likely to get a degree which increases their chances of opportunities but regardless of what, racism exists in our society and they can still be neglected based on their race if they are not white.

  9. The concept of getting rewarded for your hard work is the American Dream wasn’t possible for many non-whites. The thought of the so called “American Dream” sounds achievable, however, some people struggle more than others to accomplish the American Dream. Working hard doesn’t always pay off the way we wanted because discrimination is still around and that makes some of us work even harder, especially minority groups. The long-term impact would be working longer hours or have multiple jobs for many years to try to reach that dream. Getting access to financial resources makes a huge difference in terms of opportunities. Getting financial resources provide an opportunity to get an education that allows you to get a better job and be financially stable, good quality of life, less stress, good living condition.

  10. According to the “american dream” during the 19’s and 20’s have been very difficult life for people who weren’t white or Europeans. During these period, there were inequality, race, patriarchal and the low opportunities of a great work for nonwhite people. In the documentary we watch during the class, there was hard time to buy a house for black or Asian or Latino community. As show in the documentary, white people have the privilege and the low cost in acquiring ah house. If you were white, citizenship and a good economic status you can effort a house. Meanwhile, as i saw in the video, an African American couple was trying to effort a house, then the person who was in charge to sell the house said to the couple “under the restriction of the term, the owner said that the house will no be sell to a negro.”. This is a hard situation to face. In the 21 centuries we continue having race but in different state, however, is not as strong as before. Little by little white people have been accenting nonwhite people. And i think there will never be a system that white people will accept the non-american because they think, we are here just to steal their land privilege as in better jobs, better education, better health, and better life.

  11. i still think that there are difficulties in living in the States if you’re not White. In the video, the neighborhoods that were primarily colored in green were the ‘good neighborhoods’ that were smaller than the red blotches that signified the ‘bad neighborhoods’ that expanded most of the map. I think that race is slightly less of an influence in the year 2016 compared to twenty or thirty years ago.
    The long term effects of white supremacy through the ages are slowly winding down, and the neighborhoods in New York are changing as well. The schools are changing also, with more diversity in high schools and middle schools but at a slower pace.

  12. The idea “American Dream” is what all Americans dream of and immigrant families as well. But unfortunately, this is a little harder to achieve for certain racial groups. Especially if you are not white, the society won’t gives you the chance to have the reward for your hard work. Because we, judge people based on their skin color. And most of the time a job that white criminal will get easily, a black innocent person will have less chance of getting that job or opportunity. The long-term impact is that immigrants and non-whites are left under the shadows regardless of their hard work and good behaviors. This also leads to racial poverty, this is why the majority of whites and Caucasians are middle to a higher class and other Hispanic and blacks are among the lower and poor population groups in America. Access to financial resources makes a huge difference in life and creates huge opportunities. A person with financial resources will have less chance of poor health, as well as living under stress, poverty and crime.

  13. The American Dream is a concept that is attainable if born with certain privileges. If your parents are successful, own their own house, and can afford to live in a good neighborhood, then you will likely to go to a good school. If you go to a good school and go onto college, you would be able to eventually find success. However, if you are born into poverty, it is very hard to move out of it. A lot of white people are born into a situation where they are able to climb up the ladder. For non-whites, it may be harder to find better opportunities if born into poverty. The long-term impact that anyone can achieve the American Dream is that people who are poor are simply “lazy.” When in fact, it is extremely hard to come out of poverty if born into it.

  14. The concept of the American dream that claims anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded has been made difficult for people not defined as white because they are born into communities that are segregated with people of similar socioeconomic status. This limits the opportunities of these individuals due to lack of resources in these communities and has been limiting them even today. The access to financial resources makes it possible to acquire great education, live a healthy lifestyle and secure a better future.

  15. This has been made more difficult for people who are non white because of the discriminatory policies that has been created to keep the colored person in a subordinate position. Examples of this the FHA/bankers redlining policy and corporations not giving non whites many job opportunities. The long term impact of denial is that nothing will never change, whites would continue to benefit off of this oppressive discriminatory system that was created to suit them. The access to financial resources means a lot because this allow me to help my future children inherit wealth from me through assets such as car and homes. This access will allow me to live life, give back, and go experience less stress.

  16. Central to the concept of the American Dream is the notion that anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded—that anyone can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” How has this been made more difficult for people not defined as white? What is the long-term impact of that denial? What difference does access to financial resources make in terms of your life opportunities?
    >>It has been made difficult for non-whites because the government claimed that certain freedoms that the Constitution naturally bestows upon Americans cannot be extended to non-whites, because being of colored skin (there were caveats, but mostly it boils down to one’s race) disqualifies one from being “American”. The long term effect of this will exist as long as governing policies remain antiquated, and the illusion that minorities have no control of their rights and privileges still persists. I believe that, all across the board, increased access to financial resources definitely makes one’s life way easier, that one is saved from going through hoops and bounds. And for people who are already restricted by regulations and red tape, it’s a welcome solution, but unfortunately, it’s usually them who don’t have access to money.

  17. The concept of “The American Dream” has been made more difficult for people that are not white because those people are not given the same opportunities as white people. In some cases, if you are not white you are seen as less important or likely having less opportunities to better yourself which put people in a hole where they have to struggle. And struggling for long periods of time will eventually cause health complications. In other words, it’s harder to work hard if you’re a non-white person in America. If everyone had equal opportunities and equal financial resources, then everyone would be able to live the life they envision for themselves and get a grasp of that ever desired “American Dream”.

  18. It has been difficult for those that were not defined as white to be able to pull themselves up because they are presented with less opportunities. If they do get the same opportunities as whites more often it is not of the same quality. an example of this would be the short clip of the show HOUSE that we saw in class. the man wanted the “white drug” that was to say that if the white people are on a certain medication then that must be the “good one, the one that works”
    it is more difficult for those not defined as white to pull themselves up by their bootstraps for several reason for instance some might just not have the resources (THE BOOTS) available.
    The differences that financial resources have on my opportunities is that it limits most of what you want to do. If there is not a strong financial foundation it makes life a little stressful, and throughout the course I have seen the impact that it can have on health in the future.

  19. It’s always been a struggle for immigrants (in my case) for my father to have his “American Dream.” Not because he wasn’t hard working but because he had nothing to start with. I feel like yes privileged families do end up being more successful than others, but that’s because they had a starting point and money and whatever they did in life would just be a add on to their parents wealth. What I am trying to say is, they would already have everything they needed in life because their parents provided it for them. Which yes it isn’t fair for someone else, but my dad always told me he wanted me to have a good education so that I could be set in life and my family wouldn’t have to struggle at all. The notion of the rich get richer is mostly true, but the way someone should think is; don’t let it stop you from continuing your own American Dream, it is possible for anyone to achieve it, and yes education is definitely key. Look at the privileged families and make that your goal, to be able to have kids and have them not go through what you or your Oren’s had to go through. Give them happiness, I feel like that’s the actual American Dream. Seeing your happiness through the smiles of your family even thou you had to struggle for them.

  20. Central to the concept of the American Dream is the notion that anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded—that anyone can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” How has this been made more difficult for people not defined as white? What is the long-term impact of that denial? What difference does access to financial resources make in terms of your life opportunities?

    The American Dream is a ideal dream that many Americans strafe for, some might succeed some might not, but percentage of success will go toward the white Americans. It is more difficult for people that is not defined as white because they will have a harder time to find well paying jobs, and they see as someone that don’t speak or understand english or American culture. The long term impact of this denial is that the non-whites will be left in the same social status while the white will gain more power, money and seen as a superior being. The non-whites will see that it will be impossible for them or will have to work like 100 times to get to where the white people are standing. The differences to access to financial resources is that whites will have a better financial status and resources for them to start, while the non whites have nothing to start out with and will have to work from scratch. While the whites have more financial resources they are able to start out with different opportunities. As for the non-whites they don’t have much opportunities to start out with, therefore they will have to work with whatever they have and start slowly.


  22. > Central to the concept of the American Dream is the notion that anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded—that anyone can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” How has this been made more difficult for people not defined as white? What is the long-term impact of that denial? What difference does access to financial resources make in terms of your life opportunities?

    The American dream has been made difficult for anyone who is not white. Throughout the years our government has denied citizenship to people to do not appear white to the common man, taking their property, and forcing minorities to live in poor conditions. The FHA has made it more difficult for non whites to own homes. Being able to afford a good education has also been made more difficult in the past, and these things have had a long term impact. Many communities still seem to be segregated, and because of the privileges that white people had in the past, white people have passed down their wealth down generations, while many minorities did not have any wealth to give to their children, which can make it seem like not much has changed. When someone has access to financial resources, they have access to better healthcare, higher education, and better lifestyle overall.

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