To Be a Dreamer in 'Between the World and Me'
This is Between the World and Me rhetorical analysis paper, so in this memoir Ta-Nehisi Coates defines the absolute delusion of American History and the biased reality of the country. Individuals exist in a setting where being white is superior and a goal, but they aren’t aware that their country is formed throughout the tyranny of African Americans. More specifically, they are called Dreamers, who believe in the lie of how racial classification was invented, at the rate of Black Americans. For example, they believe the long-term effects are not the consequences of slavery. Fear is present in today’s society because of surroundings involved in ignorance of black people being able to have the same opportunities as white people. In America, the education system has hidden the reality of racism, its effects, and the truth of America’s growth and foundation, which is why Dreamers are shielded by racism. Dreamers do not experience and are blind to direct racism because they knowingly accept the violence against black bodies to implant white youthful innocence, in order to keep the power they have as “Dreamers.” Coates refers to them as Dreamers because they trust the false fantasy of American history and are not aware of reality, which is why they are “dreaming.”
Dreamers are trapped in their “Dream,” therefore don’t truly believe in the past and present racism, just to hold their worldly goods by using violence against black people. Those who believe in the Dream are confused and blatantly permit authorities to injure or harm black individuals because it gives black people a negative title and grants Dreamers better opportunities to dream of the perfect reality of being white. With fewer black people involved, white people can get be awarded all the benefits. Why would we risk our bodies being harmed if we can be white? The death or injury of a black individual will not affect the Dreamers because they “accept this as the cost of doing business, accept our bodies as currency” because it is normal for their bodies to be seen as objects or an animal. Being black is inexpensive, their bodies have transformed the “Dream” of becoming white. Treating black bodies as dispensable bodies makes a profit to white people, which leads to the realization of what being black in America is: losing one’s body. Due to how black bodies were treated during slavery, black bodies were turned into objects and a source of free labor with little value, and now “the Dream rests on our backs, the bedding made from our bodies”. The African Americans who built and paved the growth of America gave Dreamers the opportunities needed to reach their dream of being at the top of the socioeconomic ladder. Black deaths confirm the existence of racism, how African Americans face oppression, but luckily for the Dreamers, it gives the white supremacists a political stance. Dreamers “dream” that they hold the greater power, giving black people the lower-class title. American freedom is closely restricted to succeeding whites. The “Dream” incorporates the flawless opportunities available for individuals in the U.S. because the segregation and categorization of black people made it possible. These Dreamers have succumbed to the idea that some races are superior to others, which is why they believe in the unreal theory of equality in America. Coates calls this a Dream because it’s an unrealistic standard, this is what the Dreamers want to believe but really no race is superior to the other.
From an early age, young black people are not entitled to the same “Dream” as young “innocent” white people are. The innocence of young white children is included in the Dream. All the symbols of an ideal American childhood consist of “Cub Scouts, strawberry shortcake, and the suburbs”, but are categorically denied to black children. White children have been raised in the best living conditions, which makes them grow up to be Dreamers who aspire material success because it’s fairly pure. The denial of these childhood experiences is used to confirm racist events in favor of securing the safety of “innocent” white children. Innocence has become a privilege ever since the American Dream is the ignorant belief that America is now forgivingly innocent. This disturbs Coates because he observes his son fitting more “awake” of the racial injustices that surround him, like in school, resulting in the decline of his son’s purity. The education many of these Dreamers have received blocks the reality of African American culture because America has practically turned into white culture. Thus, resulting in Dreamers being blinded by the fact that white privilege exists in a society where only one specific race is protected by all means. Coates’s main goal is to advocate a change involved “to awaken the Dreamers, to rouse them to the facts of what their need to be white, to talk like they are white…” in order to make Dreamers realize the damage they’ve done. The education Coates received made students lacking the interest to wonder about the innocent lost bodies, schools are a major role in a racist pattern that aims for black people. But, to awaken the Dreamers and make them accept that the Dream is not real will be difficult because they acquire a personal opinion, which may last a lifetime. As African Americans continue to be segregated amongst White Americans, Dreamers are able to advance their ideas, command the liberation of non-Dreamers, and pin their struggle for themselves.
To be considered a Dreamer in our world today is to be invested in holding the power of, for some, attempting to be white. After examining and learning about the Dreamers and their so-called “Dream,” it is not a belief nor a lifestyle that I wouldn’t affiliate myself with whatsoever. Those who categorize themselves as Dreamers lack the education of American history, specifically the enslavement and brutality of African Americans, which pursues the idea of inequality in our country. Education prevents many black individuals from realizing the same Dream. The idea of “The Dream seemed to be the pinnacle…” where America is sought to be perfect.