58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 36: Rasheed

My name is Rasheed Yusuf Hassan, and I have an immigration story to tell. My mother was born in Massachusetts, but my father is from Somalia. What I have gathered from my mother’s family was their family did not emigrate willfully from Africa many generations ago. My father and his family did emigrate willfully. My father left his town in the late 70’s to improve his education, and like his other brothers and sisters, many received scholarships for school here.  I am from Boston, but have been a nomad basically for my life. I have lived in 15 locations in three major cities across the country. I moved to California from New Orleans six

weeks before hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. I grew tired of the corruption, squalor, and extreme racism the city offers. I thought it was a nice change, and it has been. Personally, I would prefer heading back to Boston. I don’t like being in an area where my ethnicity accounts for 4 percent of the population. My high had 24 blacks out of 2600 students. With my ethnicity and name, I believe I still endure racism to this day. I used to live in a place where they told it to my face, and here I think it is just there. I get more awkward stares, and feel like talk is going on when I’m not there. Ever since 9/11, I get randomly searched very time. I hate to endure this racist society and hear people tell me this never happens while they do

it in my face. I have heard monkey jokes thrown my way, or people call me “homeboy”, and other nasty names.  What the picture shows me is people searching for their dreams. I see many ethnicities coming from everywhere. I see many Latinos coming in from Mexico and Latin America. The fence implies to me that not everyone can have the dream, which has been the case. The city on the hill is the promised land to my interpretations.  In reality, the concept of the American dreams dies a little more every day. Our economy is falling, prices are rising, the dollar is dropping, and the debt is rising. Few people never see their dream prosper because few have almost all the money in the country. Our administration

shows its shortcomings and hypocrisy even more. I believe one day, this dream will be no more. The day approaches even faster. What I say seems nihilistic, but I seen and experienced more than the average person. I say what I truly believe.