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One of the deeply rooted characteristic values of the American society is the equality. This value is so pivotal to the Americans that to fully immortalize it, they have anchored on a religious foundation- the creation. Americans believe that everybody is born equal before God. This support for equality also found its way into the constitution of the United States where the founding fathers envisaged a country free from all forms of discrimination. This value also serves as a distinguishing for the American society. While copious other societies still haggle over status and rank, Americans are engaged in finding ways of making equality a reality in all its social and civic manifestations.
Equality in America meets the text book definition of value because it has been constitutionalized and cemented in the mores of the citizens. It equally distinguishes American society from the rest of the world. It is also characteristic of the social and civic patterns of Americans. All Americans have equal opportunity to participate in the political dispensation. Further, this quality is emphasized by the undesirability of its antonym, discrimination, in America. This quality is seen when Americans interact with other nationalities. It does not matter a person’s social or political standing in America. Foreigners are for instance treated equally, irrespective of their statuses back in their societies. Americans would also show much affection to the lowly placed in the society like the disadvantaged. All characteristic charity efforts of American society are the commitment to eliminate the perceived and actual inequalities in the population. This is further reinforced by a justice system that places all irrespective of status on the same legal position. Crimes committed in America attract full force of the law regardless of perpetrator. As seen in the current presidency, the notion of supremacy of one race over another was eliminated. It points to the fundamental value that being American is enough. The playground in all spheres of life is leveled and everybody has equal chance to achieve their dreams.
When the first version of the constitution failed to capture the aspect of equality among all Americans by focusing on the whites, courtesy of the provisions of the same constitution that allows it to be amended, the supreme document was so amended to grant equality to all American citizens, thus eliminating discrimination on the basis of color, race, sex or religion. Further, there are specific laws that protect the right to equality in various settings and forms including the workplace and the family. In the workplace for instance, the formal titles that communicate superiority are discarded with managers and superiors referred to by the first names.
Engaging in discrimination of whatever form is subject to a judicial punitive measure which can sentence the perpetrator to imprisonment. Discriminative individuals are also socially marked and can suffer stigmatization as a result of the public withdrawing support, interest and engagement with such individuals or institutions. Employer age discrimination is criminal in the United States and can attract substances, financial penalties with criminal charges preferable on the managers of the discriminating organization. The nature and form of discrimination inform the level and severity of punitive measures to be meted on the offender. It can be a financial penalty or imprisonment.
All these punitive measures leveled against discrimination point to the overriding value that the American society places on the value of equality. It remains one of the most potent of all the dominant values embraced by America.