Time for Americans To Be A Family
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.
I’ve 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? I’ve 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 can’t 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.
I’m not knocking what people want to call themselves, it’s the mixed messages
I’m 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 I’m 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 don’t know about you
folks but, I was born here in the U.S., so logically, I’m 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 aren’t.
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, wouldn’t that serve
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
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.