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Lianne Yu 6 February 2014 A Better World, A Better Future More than 50 years ago, the world was a distinctly

different place; it was scarce of innovation and new ideas, and most importantly, society was less willing to accept these new ideas and change. The way people viewed themselves and the way they saw and acted towards each other was undoubtedly distinctive from the interactions in the world today. While many individuals in the past sought to modernize the world in their thinking and actions, others hoped to maintain the status quo, often in a negative way. Consequently, racial and gender inequalities prevailed dominantly in the 19th and 20th centuries. Fortunately, many of these inequalities have disappeared in the world now, and society is noticeably more open to change and innovation. Although a number of injustices continue to exist today, the recognition of freedom and rights of various ethnic groups, genders, and the general people manifests that the world is changing for the better and still has potential to further advance. Racism and discrimination continues to be a controversial issue that has been apparent throughout history. Whether it is a persons ethnicity or culture, individuals have the tendency to judge others based on the color of their skin or their beliefs. This has often resulted in violent events that still occur to this day. While racism and discrimination is still seen in current times, the degree to which it exists is drastically lower than that of the past. For instance, in the midtwentieth century, Africans in South Africa were burdened by apartheid and looked down upon by many of their white Afrikaan superiors. The Africans were labeled as blacks and deprived of their basic human rights. Any South African who attempted to speak out against the unjust system was imprisoned and forced to work excruciatingly strenuous labor. However, due to the work of activists such as Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, South Africa was eventually freed of its segregation policy. Today, black and white South Africans live with the same freedoms

and without the callous segregation policy. Therefore, the world has made drastic improvements and evolved from many of its discriminative features, ultimately allowing it to continually advance and progress. Not only did discrimination occur in South Africa, but it was also rampant in the United States of America. It is often difficult to appreciate the freedoms permitted in the nation and even harder to imagine a society without universal suffrage and rights. However, before the early 1920s, the nation was very much without universal freedoms, especially apparent to women. In the past, women were often only seen as weak caretakers of children and inferior to men. Furthermore, American women did not have the right to vote, prohibiting them from voicing their opinions and being represented in the government. Although the womens suffrage movement increasingly began to gain more supporters, many people continued to oppose the movement. Nevertheless, the nineteenth amendment was passed, and women were officially permitted to vote. Since then, women have gained their rights and are seen as equal to men. Numerous women have even served in prestigious positions that were once limited to men and have made up a substantial part of the American workforce. Above all, the rights and freedoms of the general population have increased and improved drastically since the 1800s and 1900s. While the world has witnessed great historical leaders who have brought innovation and revolutionary thinking to society, numerous nations have also been governed by oppressive rulers who did not hesitate to eradicate basic freedoms and censor opinions. Fortunately, many of these countries have been able to remove these malevolent rulers and establish regimes that act in the best interest of the people. This encouragement of change and modernization has allowed the world to transform and revolutionize.

Over the past few centuries, the world has changed for the better and will continue to transform in the right direction. Ethnic groups, genders, and the general population, who were once stripped of their human rights and freedoms were able to obtain equality through action and perseverance. In such a short amount of time, the world has been innovated and revolutionized in an interminable number of ways. With the remaining injustices left in the world, it is only natural that society will continue to head down the right path towards prolonged freedom and transform for the better and for the sake of future generations.