Friday, January 4, 2008
dash - American
"An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry." - Thomas Jefferson
One thing that has frequently caused me slight irritation is the hyphenated American. I really don't understand this need for excess definition on something that is quite visibly apparent. For starters this need to be called "African-American". This term derived from the long ago ancestry of people from Africa and who now reside in America. But these people have since resided in America for quite some time now - I believe generations of families from Africa have been born in America making them American.
It's very simple. If you were born in Africa and later switched nationalities and became a legal American citizen you would be African-American. The same as a person born in Germany, later to legally become an American citizen would be German-American. I, myself, am of German and Scottish ancestry, yet I do not present myself as a Scottish-German-American but simply as an American, being that I was born in America. I've never been to Germany, as many blacks have not been to Africa, yet they are "African-Americans". Yeah right. My fellow Americans, you do not want to go to Africa, as your pampered American ass would not survive the plight.
The same goes for Mexican-Americans, chicanos. If you were born in America -- - - - You are AMERICAN. Congratulations and welcome. If you are keen to be Mexican, perhaps you should broaden your horizon and extend yourself to the south and enjoy the dirtiness of Make-sick-o City - where people are suffocated in a deadened fog of decay.
This obsessiveness to define one's ancestry just seems like an excuse to throw around the "African" card. Then the whole Atlantic slave trade seems to follow. Mexicans have just stumbled upon the African hyphen train and decided to jump aboard believing that they are somehow apart of something bigger. Sorry to disappoint, but while my brethren of black Americans deserve an acknowledgment of atonement for past misdeeds - Mexicans deserve no such apology.
The moral of this post is this: If you wish to be American, then be American. If you wish to be something else, then be something else - somewhere else.
And if this is not sad enough, the hyphen has now extended to Britain where black Brits are now "African-British" - Bloody hell, what a crock of shit. Wouldn't it be simple if people would stop looking for handouts? Where are the Irish-Americans?? Why aren't they crying poor-mouth and such and throwing their tribulations into the faces of modern Americans? Because the Irish don't need to ask for anything - they'll get what they need themselves and pull themselves from the bottom of the slums by themselves.