I Am an American

February 10, 2010
I consider myself to be an American, but due to “political correctness” I have been labeled an African American. Why am I an African American? I was born in the United States; I have never been to Africa. Judging by my hair and skin I may be of African descent from generations ago. But I could just as easily be of Jamaican descent as I share many traits with Jamaicans as well. But Jamaicans were originally brought from Africa as slave generations ago, so would they not be African Jamaican.?

By labeling a person based on their heritage, you classify them as being different from you. Americans with darker are constantly referred to as African Americans and Americans with lighter skin are referred to as Caucasian. Thus, when speaking in general terms, you can say “African American people” or “Caucasian people”. However, often one may refuse to acknowledge two facts: 1) In both phrases is a common word, people. Both groups are people, so cannot both groups be put into one group and just call them people? 2) By saying “African American” and “Caucasian” often the word, American, is forgotten on the end of Caucasian. Should it not be “Caucasian American”? And by calling somebody a “Caucasian American” of and “African American” the “African” and “Caucasian” become excessive as both groups of people can be classified as one group of people, Americans

Dr. Martin Luther King jr. once said “We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools”. This is a profound statement; not only did it apply to the Civil Rights Movement forty years ago, but it applies to society today. No matter how often somebody expresses this message, it never really seems to stick. So for the time being, I will skip past the boxes on surveys labeled African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, or any other space consuming label and simply check the box next to other.

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Gradschoolgrl said...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 9:30 am
What a great quote. What drew you to use that one to support your argument?
Jordan#13 replied...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm
It's just my favorite quote, so instead of searching online for quotes like I usually do, I just thought of a way to make that quote work. Thanx
Jordan#13 said...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 7:32 am
thanx for commenting
Pensive?Gurl replied...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm
wow. i can really get what you were saying here. this article was nicely written and very well thought out. I can't say that i ever really thought about it like that. very nice job. i give you a 10/5
Shahed said...
Feb. 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm
You know its never about the color or what ppl refer to you as.. dont ever think that your color/race would stop you from anything..
Angel*music*lover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 8:58 am
I agree with Shahed. I don't think you should listen to what other people
Site Feedback