We are so worried about labeling people in this country that instead of being proud to be Americans, this generation and maybe the last is so worried about their roots and where they came from, that we have put the pre-fixes like Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Jewish-Americans, etc. on people when aren’t we all from somewhere else? But we are here now, and isn’t that grand?
Take myself . . . I have roots from Italy, Ireland and England and do not have any prefixes added to myself. I am just American. How many generations does it take before you consider yourself just a plain American and PROUD of it? I’m serious here . . . What happens when an Asian-American marries an African-American, what do their children consider themselves? I hope . . . American! Maybe when we are all finally gray and so inter-racially mixed . . . all nationalities, in the great melting pot that is and was supposed to BE America we will all just be plain Americans?
The reason this point was brought to the fore, and I’m not trying to be snarky or insensitive, I really want to understand where we will draw the line, is that when Glenn Beck was in the Middle East, South Africa, Egypt, and Jerusalem, Israel and was meeting people of all different “colors” and persuasions he did not know how he was supposed to address them or refer to them.
In America he knew we sensitively called people with ancestry from Africa rightly African- Americans, but what do you say when you are in another country? Duh, you wouldn’t say African-American to refer to someone over seas. True, true. I don’t know. Do you say African, or is that only right, obviously if they are from Africa, and how would you know, what if they aren’t? Do people say African-European to people in England? I don’t think so. . . that is only in the Great USA we do that. I bet you never thought of that. That’s how ridiculous we are.
It’s a conundrum that we’ve made more interesting perhaps with our political correctness in America. We may have over-corrected from the days of slavery and the terrible past of racism and derogatory name calling so that by trying to help we’ve opened a can of worms.
It is a slippery slope . . .as for me, not in the media, I probably wouldn’t be in this situation, I wouldn’t have to refer to groups of people, I would just say “HI!” Thank God, because I can make enough gaffes by myself just by talking!
Glen Beck is and as he was there he really didn’t know what to do. So when he came home, trying to report he brought this subject up and was misquoted terribly by the “Huffington Post”.
What are your thoughts, I’d like to know?
(C) Written by Evelyn Garone 8/31/11