Independence Day: The American Dream – Myth vs. Reality

Paul Revere
The statue of Paul Revere in front of Christ Church in Boston. It was in the church that the lanterns were hung, "one if by land, two if by sea," that sent Revere on his famous ride, warning the countryside of the approaching British. (AP Photo/Abe Fox, File)
Paul Revere
The statue of Paul Revere in front of Christ Church in Boston. It was in the church that the lanterns were hung, "one if by land, two if by sea," that sent Revere on his famous ride, warning the countryside of the approaching British. (AP Photo/Abe Fox, File)

Independence Day: The American Dream – Myth vs. Reality

Every country has a founding narrative — the story a people pass down to spur patriotism and create national unity. The Fourth of July holiday is steeped in the American myth — from Paul Revere’s ride to the Boston Tea Party.

American schools teach students that the sacrifice of American revolutionaries made possible “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, as laid out in the Declaration of Independence. But what do these American myths say about our modern values, and is the American Dream available to everybody?

To discuss, we talk with Yasmin Nair, editor at large of Current Affairs and a queer feminist activist. She examines how American policy influences the day-to-day lives of America’s diverse population.