By D.C. Burch
It seems to be a time for Americans to try and be a family again. Maybe a quarrelsome and restless family not entirely happy with each member all of the time, but a family nonetheless.
OK, I admit it. I am confused and perplexed by the storm of political correctness sweeping throughout the nation, raising dust-devils and tempests; leaving destruction and chaos in its wake.
The English language is being transmogrified to quell and satisfy members of the American society who feel they should somehow, be special; apart from our citizenry. Thus my confusion.
I¹ve been called a privileged white-boy by some, honky by others, and cracker by others still. All this because I grew up in a middle class family in Toledo, Ohio? I¹ve never considered myself to be anything special, certainly never superior to anyone or anything by virtue of my ancestry, just your basic, run-of-the-mill guy who wants to do the right thing.
From the time I was little boy, I have seen one particular group called colored, Negro, black, and now, African-American. I can¹t seem to find a consensus out there in any media, one moment the reference is to blacks, and the next to African-Americans, when they are referring to the same group of people.
I¹m not knocking what people want to call themselves, it¹s the mixed messages I¹m getting and the inaccuracy of the terminology that frustrates me.
Look around and you will see there is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Black Muslims, and African-Americans.
All of these terms are used to refer to members of one group of people. Is it any wonder I¹m confused?
I have particular problems with the term African-American, a misnomer which would lead me to believe these people somehow hold dual citizenship with another country, or even worse, lead everyone to believe all those who use that term to describe themselves are of African origin and are exclusively black in color.
As we all know, there are white Africans, too. Should they choose to come to the U.S., they too, would be eligible for the label African-American, which would further confuse the issue.
Enter the U.S. Census Bureau.
Rather than help clear up the mess, they perpetuate it by requesting racial information and make-up of families that does nothing more than perpetuate the lies we tell one another. At least with the Census Bureau, their are Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Other, and Whites. I don¹t know about you folks but, I was born here in the U.S., so logically, I¹m as native an American as one can get.
Why do we continue to confound ourselves with inaccurate and self-serving terms? Why perpetuate lies? Either we are Americans first and foremost, or we aren¹t.
There really is an easy solution to this whole problem, those of us born within the boundaries of the United States are Americans, period. Should we choose to identify ourselves as being Americans of a given ancestry, wouldn¹t that serve the purpose?
Those who have emigrated from other countries should continue to refer to themselves as natives of that country until such time they choose to become naturalized citizens of the U.S. Then, they too, are Americans.
Separating ourselves into groups and isolated pockets of society will only serve one purpose, it will allow others to divide and conquer us all that much easier.
There was a time that we were all considered American, we had a common goal and destiny to fulfill. We had a message to share with the rest of the world ‹ that of hope for a tomorrow that would be better for all of us if we would just put aside our differences and work toward a common goal: Peace in our time ‹ for all time.
Have we achieved that goal? No, not by a long shot. But we have made significant steps in the right direction.
For every step of progress we make toward that end, I think we slide further back by accentuating our differences rather than focusing on our similarities.
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