Freedtopia

….it just might exist

AMERICAN NIGHTMARE

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What the American Nightmare looks like.

This image embodies everything that scares me about the power of the American Dream. There is no compassion, no connection, no concern, no love. I have always understood the American Dream as the pursuit of advancement…like a life upgrade, a spiritual promotion, a raise that you work for, strive for, dream of! But every time I think of the American Dream I worry! I worry that advancement means something else must suffer, that we can’t ALL be successful….something must give. This image reminds me that while some prosper in the sunshine (as the image shows), there will always be others suffering in the dark. That is the cost of the American Dream…that is the American Nightmare.

What the American Nightmare sounds like.

If you have time, listen to Bryan Stevenson’s TED Talk about social and legal injustice in America. This is what the American Nightmare sounds like to me…it sounds like history (the lingering effects of the Jim Crow South) and facts (1/3 of all black men in America will spend time in prison at some point in their lives). It sounds like the truth that everyone wants to ignore. It sounds like a list of problems that people feel too paralyzed to do anything about. Stevenson’s talk is scarier than any explicit image or video of injustice because it calmly and intelligently lays out the American Nightmare that we are presently living in, and we’ve still done little to combat.

What does the American Nightmare feel like?

It feels like hopelessness…the kind that never lets up, that never weakens, that never explains or gives reasons or is logical…it just sits on your soul with the unexplainable weight of the world and slowly suffocates the dream.

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