The story of Stephen Cruz by Studs Terkel explains that the American dream may not be the same for all Americans. Stephen Cruz talks about his experiences being Hispanic in the business world. He explains the problems he faced and how he tried to fix them. He was making good money working in management as long as he fell in line and do not rock the boat. They wanted him because he was a minority but not black. He wanted to believe that the American dream was for everyone, but he found out that it was not.
The first problem that he had was when he was young. He explains that his family was fairly affluent but they lived down where all the trashy white people lived because that was the only housing they could get. He could not understand why because they did everything right, they did not have Mexican accents and they was not on welfare.
His father worked hard and instills that pride into his children to work hard and Stephen still carries that pride even today.
The next problem was after he got his degree he was looking for a job and he got fourteen job offers and could have more if wanted to look around. He was self-confident enough to feel they wanted him because of his abilities not because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After working for Proctor & Gamble for about two years they promoted him saying that he was one the best supervisors that they ever had.
He started noticing that his office was glass enclosed while the other offices were closed so that you could not see in them.
He realized that he was the visible man that he was acceptable because he was not really black. He tried to hire blacks but when he did they were fired with no good reason and that was when he started to question the American dream. He left that job and move on another company hoping that this one will be different, but it was like the last one. Each job that he held in the business world was the same he was the visible Minority and that is all he would be. He tried to bring together some minorities, but that did not work out at all.
The Orientals never really got involved and the blacks misunderstood what he was representing. The management knew that this would not work and just smiled when it failed. He then started asking other minorities that had made it who do you owe your success to and each one of the answer the same, that they do not owe their success to anyone but themselves. This journey was showed Stephen Cruz that the American Dream is getting more elusive and that minorities are still the minority when comes to the business world. He also talked about how that the small business cannot survive in the business world because big business is getting too big.