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Why Do I Have to Be Anything?

Why is it that white Americans are simply "Americans" but the rest of us have to specifically be from somewhere else?

I am not from Africa. I was not born there, nor was anyone in my family for the past 10 generations, just about.

Why should I be called "African American"?

I AM AN AMERICAN. Period. I am, technically, a native to this land. I am not from anywhere else.

It's not fair. I think if I have to have that sort of label, then whites should be called Irish-American or Polish-American -- even tho they, their parents, and the past 7 generations of their family, have been right here, on this soil for the whole time...

dreamgyrl360 dreamgyrl360 26-30, F 16 Responses Apr 8, 2008

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White people are known as white Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, etc. I'm not sure where you got the impression that we are called African Americans all the time. However other races are often referred to by their ancestry, but not us so much.

I total agree "Labels"are like a status symbol of Americans.its either color,religion or sexual preferance. And we still wonder why people are desciminated against

I agree. There is a certain negativity associated with this. Worse yet, using the term "black" is so evil sounding. Black suggests evil and darkness. Why somebody came up with this, I'll never know.

Dream

I call myself a mut. I am many different nationalities. I am not prejudice to race or sex etc.

I do not have an African blood line that I know of...

I do not think of myself as any one nationality. I never looked into their individual traditions. I am myself. I will not label myself as a whatever...

I think there are many people who proudly boast their nationalities. When this happens, it causes segregation.

Because I am now a Torah observant person, I can say that I am Hebrew because I came out of Babel. I can also say I am an Israelite and a follower of Messiah.

These are the only titles I will claim proudly, because I know that all nations and all peoples are called to "Come out of Babel."

This is the unity I long for.

If you do not want to be considered as an African American, the next time you fill out a form that asks your nationality, write Americian in the "other" section.

There is nothing wrong with proclaiming your identity if it is what is in your heart.

An American is one who agrees to the terms of the founding father's of this country. There are many people born here who really are not Americian at all. Many of them politicians.

And it's people like you that will allow all of this to go on .

People can hate me however they want. But they need to respect me on the same level as everyone else. And that's what I'm promoting is respect. And who cares about Kramer and Paris, etc.? They were shunned by their "own people" for speaking so ignorantly -- so what does that tell you? Currently they are in the minority.



Look -- my name is Rebecca. That is my name. I don't like Becky, I don't like Becca. I don't like Re-Re, Reba -- none of that. I am REBECCA.

And of people try to call me anything else, they are told "Look, call me Rebecca. I'm not a Becky."

And, whether they love me or hate me, they have to respect that.

And, by the way, being gay is a sin, being black is not. So, while I feel that people should be able to do whatever they want to do, I do not fight for gays to be able to marry each other.

Slavery was over around 150 years ago, and, while I'm p!ssed that people try to tell us to get over it, I can't moan about when it was over. It was ended when it was ended. Period. So why would I dwell on that? All I want from the country on that note is a fricking apology. I don't want any money or anything like that. Just an I'm sorry from the American government for not only slavery but the years afterwards that black people were still treated as THIRD and FOURTH class citizens (up til the "Civil Rights Movement" and then we were 2nd class citizens).

And it's not about "asking". I don't know why people "ask" these types of things. It's telling. CALL ME AMERICAN. Don't add this extra piece of "African" or even "Black". I am an American who is Black. There are Americans who are Asian, there are Americans who are Hispanic, there are Americans who are Caucasians.

But we are AMERICANS. And all of us who have been on this land more than 3 generations have the RIGHT to be referred to as such. Not as some "spin off" of Americanism.



To think and to promote that white people are the face of America and, therefore, are privy to the title American or "All-American" is to disrespect the ancestors of many other races that contributed to this land and what we all have today.



Hate me but get the name right. When Bin Laden became popular (after 9/11) people didn't know how to pronounce his name. You had people saying Osama, Oksama, Usama. Bin Laden, Bin Lay-den.

But we respect him and we wanna get it right. So people researched, people listened to the Islamic population here and abroad, and were told "It's Oh-Sah-ma Bin Lah-den."



If he can get that kind of respect, knowing that he HATES us and because of his hatred WE HATE him --

we should be able to get that kind of respect as well.

yah...we see how it has helped us to tell people to stop calling us *******...kramer..paris hilton..brandon davis..shall i go on??? there are bigger issues you know..gays can not marry unless it is passed by gov authority...slaves where not freed until passed by gov authority...now think about the bigger issues than people calling us some political corret name or whatever..life is to short to care what people call you...we will always hate eachother...asking people to call you someting is like tellling every single person in the world to do the splits in pink tights at 5 o clock...not gunna happen..i feel as though if people are this worked up over something that small..they dont have alot going for them...im not saying you becus i dont know you..im just saying lots of people who fixate on things they can never ever change..you can change maybe 100 people..but think there are like 50 million people born in 4 minutes??? or something outragoeus like that...humans are born to live and die and have conflict with eachother....it will never go away because we thrive on it..here we are talking about it know..humans love conflict..

It will change when we make it change.

I was taught the truth of the goings on here in America.

I teach my children the truth.

Hopefully they will continue the pattern.



If I DONT harp on it -- if I am NOT angry about it -- if people NEVER hear about the wrongs of this society -- then people will never know that there is anything wrong.



It used to be alright to call black people n!ggers. It was fine to call Asians and Indians Coolies.

No one knew it was a problem until people SAID it was a problem.

The same can happen, in any situation.



To say that I'm "Just one person" is to underestimate myself. Already this "story" has been viewed 97 times. And, whether people agree or disagree, what I've said will be thought about, even if only for a moment.

no.... i know what you are saying dreamygirl...but im saying you cant do anything about it...i understand what you are saying..because i do not look african....my skin color is difffrent and my facial features..and our nationality is american...but white people are the only ones seen as american even though they are european...what im saying is that yah we can be upset..but how can anyone hange that view of that subject in our society?? we are so low...in the way that we hate each other..i dont think we are all out for calling eachother by our nationality correct origins and such...im saying that black people are still going to be called african americans, and asians asian american and so on..

How about I harp on what I want to harp on?

I don't hear white Americans specify anything on nationality until the subject comes up. Otherwise, White Americans are looked at simply as White. And if you don't see it, you're lying to yourself.



And, while I KNOW that "Indian" Americans are considered Native Americans, when you are born and raised in a place -- when your family has been here over 5 generations, like mine -- I feel that you're a native, babes. What other land does my family know? Where else have they lived? NOWHERE. America is it. We are Natives of America. No where else can we be called Natives.



We can't be called Africans because we don't even LOOK like Africans. Black Americans are too mixed; if I went to Africa I would stand out.

the true native americans are native americans..aka indian americans...duh..and yah everyone who is here ...from italian to spanish to african...they put american on the end because we become native of this country..being born here...which makes since. i mean they are labels...they just arnt going to go away if we all do something about it...its never gunna change because you cant get all african americans or whoever to decide about something and all have the same view...it goes with anything in this country..you can not change something unless you are the president to be honest...and who knows what he can do...so instead of harping on it..lets lay back and chill :)

I like this story. We should reject these stupid labels and just be people. Why is there still so much fuss about color?



One thing that made me mad years ago was an application for a scholarship. It asked for any special qualifications such as being a minority. The scholorship application was asking what color I am! I think it is racist to ask such things. Who cares?!! It is irrelevent.

Look.

First I'll apologize for assuming you were white.



Second, what do you mean intelligence level?? What do you mean, "smart"?



Are you saying black Americans people DONT embrace their AMERICAN heritage? Since that's all they have, since they're not from the West Indies NOR are they from Africa? They embrace it as best as a group of people who just got out of slavery less than 200 years ago can. They embrace it as well as a group of people that continued to be openly oppressed up until 40 years ago can.



The West Indians were liberated long before the blacks on American soil were. West Indians got to pretty much govern themselves in a place where they ARE the majority. And the Irish were never slaves.



So you don't get it.



And, you know what? I MAY generalize. But guess what -- it's MY story. I wrote it from MY point of view. I can only speak of the world from that.



I'd say more but I have to go; I have a house to maintain.

"It's not like you're not the majority. "



Huh? What majority am I?



"It's not like you're not the ones who use it."



I'm not sure what "ones" you are referring to. Please clarify.



"All I hear on the television in reference to black people is "African Americans". "



Blame Jesse Jackson, and everyone who picked up on it after he started it.



"Because you (all) don't know what to call us when referencing us and don't want to offend."



Just who is the "you all" you are referring to?



"All the PC crap just kills me. "



Me too.



"Since I don't hear any of you standing up and saying 'this is ridiculous, why should they be called that when we are all Americans?' --"



I say that we are all Americans all the time. Who is "they"?



"Since I don't see anyone on television who is NOT separating Black Americans from the Americans themselves -- "



So go get on tv. Do something to change it besides whining about white people on a message board.



"If that's the way it's going to be then let's not stop there. Let's not stop calling people like me African American, or the Asians Asian American."



You really do need to learn how to be more proactive instead of reactive.



"Let's break down the white people because they're not just "white", they're from alot of places. Let's call all those with Italian ancestors Italian American."



You really aren't making much sense. You want to punish white people because of something Jessie Jackson started and caught on really quickly among black people? Where are your critical thinking skills?



You are also missing a critical distinction. The majority of white people embrace their ethnic heritage. Jessie Jackson coined a phrase based upon skin color rather than ethnic heritage.



I am of Irish and Jamaican ethnic heritage. My nationality is American.



When anyone dares to call me anything but American, I nicely correct them and say "I'm American, and I'm not from Africa. I'm from _____ ."



My family and friends do the same.



"Come on. I'm not just talking about me and my people."



YOUR people? Are you insane? People are individuals, and you haven't been appointed anyone's leader.



"I used us for an example but we aren't the only ones done like that. Did Jesse Jackson coin phrases like Asian American? "



Didn't you mum ever say to you "If ____ jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" Apply that scenario to this situation.



"If he didn't, then who did? Why does EVERYONE in this country wear a label except the white Americans? Why are they simply American? "



Two words: Critical Thinking.



"Why are they exempt from the labeling system?"



Because they were smart enough to reject it. They embrace their ethnic heritage, but reject a label because they are proud to be Americans. Smart.



"Don't tell me you don't notice it."



Notice what? Intelligence level? Whose fault is it that a large group of people took hold of a bad idea?



Has anyone ever mentioned to you that you generalize rather than analyze?

I'm white and agree w/ you Dream.

It's not like you're not the majority. It's not like you're not the ones who use it. All I hear on the television in reference to black people is "African Americans". Because you (all) don't know what to call us when referencing us and don't want to offend. All the PC crap just kills me.



Since I don't hear any of you standing up and saying 'this is ridiculous, why should they be called that when we are all Americans?' --



Since I don't see anyone on television who is NOT separating Black Americans from the Americans themselves --



If that's the way it's going to be then let's not stop there. Let's not stop calling people like me African American, or the Asians Asian American. Let's break down the white people because they're not just "white", they're from alot of places. Let's call all those with Italian ancestors Italian American.



Come on. I'm not just talking about me and my people. I used us for an example but we aren't the only ones done like that. Did Jesse Jackson coin phrases like Asian American?



If he didn't, then who did? Why does EVERYONE in this country wear a label except the white Americans? Why are they simply American? Why are they exempt from the labeling system?



Don't tell me you don't notice it.

First, blame Jesse Jackson.



He's the one who popularized that spectacularly innacurate separatist phrase.



Second, blame each and every person who embraced a term that glorified a disjunction between people of a single country based upon skin color.



Personally, the term horrifies me. The whole idea horrifies me. We are one, made up of the many. It doesn't matter where we each came from, or when. What matters is that we are all here, right now.



I'm curious as to why you feel all white Americans should suffer because of what a outspoken black leader and all his followers did by promoting that phrase.