Friday, January 04, 2008

Daily Soap Box: What the hell is up with ******-American??

This morning I was listening to NPR. They were talking about Obama's win in Iowa. I'm not going to go into the candidates or the upcoming election. What I heard was an analyst discussing how Obama is "African-American". Ok, so maybe that definition kinda works for him since his father is from Kenya, but his mother isn't.

Ok here is my rant; Why is there ANY *****-American title period? I have German and Swedish blood, so am I a German-Swedish-American? No! I'm an American. Obama is an American.

It's laziness and political correctness. People think they need to have descriptors for other people. Even Black and White are old and tired. Can't we all just be people? Actually that's a very idealistic view, I know. There remains and perhaps aways will be some cultural differences that will differentiate groups. Blacks, Asians, White, Latinos, Arab, etc... There are many features of these groups that are unique to these groups. There are also many features that are identical or nearly so for them all also. Opps, got off topic a bit.

Ok, here is the important distinction. If someone is American or English or French or Mexican, they are completely that (unless they have dual citizenship and how many people are there that have that and how would you know?). There is no prefix to your nationality. If you want to describe someone's cultural or physical appearance, then you are more likely to use terms like, White, Black, Asian, etc.

So back to Obama. He's not really African-American is he? He's an American. He's not really Black though. Not really White either. It makes me grin when I realize that this particular issue probably frustrates many many people out there. They want to label the man and they aren't sure how. How about just that he is a man?

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