I’m not anything hyphenated
Oh, I know it’s been popular for sometime for Black-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-American, Mexican-American, Arab-American, Muslim-American, Asian Pacific Islanders and Native-Americans to identify themselves and each other, and for many overly self-conscious social elitists to label people in a sensitive, caring, self-righteous way.
I could be, I suppose, a Norwegian-American by choice like many who choose the part of their heritage they prefer. In reality I’m three quarters German and one quarter Norwegian. I must confess I had thought of it some years back when completing those optional race surveys attached to so many governmental forms.
It irritated me that of all organizations, the government was perpetuating the use of racial descriptors while proclaiming racial names inappropriate and loosely connected to hate speech.
And being a fifth generation American I began identifying myself a Native American 15 years ago while in government service on forms with the race identifier option, and no signed declaration of truthfulness, without any qualms. It occurs to me now that German-American or German-Norwegian-American would have been accurate and more in the spirit of these hyphenated times.
Recently in a telephone survey about
politics I was given the option to race identify at the end of the survey. I had the surveyor repeat a long list of socially insensitive race identifiers a couple times. To my continuing consternation about sixty percent of California ’s population was lumped into one category; “White”. It just didn’t seem politically or hyphenatedly correct enough to me. So I told the interviewer an unhyphenated Native American without hesitation or a twinge of untruthfulness. California
As if these absurdities aren’t enough, I’ve notice lately a kind of disclaimer race identifier like, non-Hispanic Black-American, non-Black Hispanic American, and non-Asian Pacific Islander, or maybe a non-Black African?
I was hoping that if anything good came from the passage of “Hate Speech” laws they would eliminate the use of race and ancestral nationality identifiers, but alas, it’s only gotten worse.
We recently visited the African continent; Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa for three weeks and in cities and in the bush, meeting and talking with many Africans, I never once heard any of them referred to as Black Africans or White Africans, and there are quite a number of other variations like Arab Africans and Asian Africans. There are noticeable numbers of fourth and fifth generation White-Africans, but not once in three weeks did I anyone refer to themselves or others with any hyphenated race names.
It should be abundantly clear by now that I find it utterly ridiculous and completely unnecessary to race identify people. And I’m not sure that nationality identifiers are needed, but if they are, I’m pretty sure that only one nationality name is necessary. You either are a
US citizen, or you are from some other nation, like Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Bolivia, Australia, Egypt, Japan, China, Peru, United Kingdom, France, India or or of some other nation, whatever your country of birth is, or wherever you are recognized as a citizen. Or if you wish, you are from a continent, like North American, South American, Asian, European, African, Australian, or perhaps a region like Middle Eastern or Central American, or however you would like to be geographically attached. Canada
You can only be born in one place, therefore;
I do not believe you should be anything hyphenated!