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Proud to be an American
by Larry Wilson
Sep 01, 2008 | 412 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the two major political parties are about to finally adopt their slate of candidates for president and vice president, all the while pushing platforms that are steeped in change, I would hope one result in all this change would be that our citizenry would finally all call themselves Americans. I think it’s time to abolish the hyphenated American once and for all.

I would hope that our people would selfishly retain their ethnic heritage and customs unique to their families, but with this great wave of change about to overtake our country, let us all become Americans ever after.

I resent questions on various applications and medical documents that ask for your race. I put down “Human.” That’s the race I belong to – the Human race. I’m not Irish/German/ English/American. Neither am I white. White is the color of snow. I’m not white. Conversely to that, black is the color of crude oil or coal. Most blacks I’ve seen are not that color either. Besides, what does color have to do with your race, anyway?

I know why these questions are asked. The powers that be want to check the demographics of their clientele and that’s fine, but those kinds of questions tend to pigeonhole whole groups of people, whether intentional or not. I, for one, resent the pigeonholing in any manner or form.

Our forefathers spent a good deal of their lives, fortunes and sweat equity to insure that we did not suffer any discrimination. They did a pretty good job of ensuring that we would not experience those things. They weren’t 100 percent right on, but for more than 200 years, their work has pretty well stood the test of time when it comes to discriminations of our people.

Remember all the flags flying from every imaginable location after the 9/11 attack? That’s the kind of unity we need regarding our citizenship. We’re Americans and we won’t let anyone forget it, either.

I spent three weeks in Tanzania in East Africa visiting my oldest daughter when she was in the Peace Corps there. Does that stint in East Africa mean that I’m now African-American? No, I’m an American. When we visited Zanzibar, a truly Arab island, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more American. When we visited Tanzania and Zanzibar, it wasn’t too long after the bad guys had blown up our embassy in Dar Es Salaam, the capital. In Zanzibar, I know there were bad guys checking us out.

We all need to get over ourselves and soak up all the pride we can, stick out our chest and in unison say it so everyone everywhere can hear it: We’re AMERICAN and proud of it.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at lawilson16@aol.com.
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