The melting pot will win in the end . . .
I watched TV where a beautiful woman, who had been a ‘grandchild’ on the old Bill Crosby TV Show, was being interviewed and where, quite politely, she interrupted the Host as he introduced her, telling him that she was not an African-American as he had introduced her as being, but is an American. The Host nodded, but was not pleased with the change.
But I see that young woman’s point of view, and agree with her. See, my father was born in Sweden and so I’m a first-born generation American, and, have never, never, ever, not even once been asked to identify myself as Swedish-American. My birth name was odd enough to warrant curiosity, (Ohlin) and when giving that name, I learned early to be ready with the spelling. Every time, but never ever once, to identify the nationality.
The law is, if you were born here, you are an American with the first breath you take. Period. No argument. However, if you were born elsewhere, came here and completed your immigration papers, you became, as my father did, an American. Again, with no if’s, and’s or but’s. The same as so many others have done, my Dad. Carl Gustav Ohlin became . American. With no comment or argument.
Yes, because with the exception of American Indians, everyone one of us is a descendant of immigrants. America is a nation of immigrants. And very recently, it’s become not only interesting, but ‘big business’ to pay someone to trace one’s lineage to find out exactly where we did come from. It’s making a good TV show.
And now, for some reason, some one is trying, again, to make a big deal of the term African-American The majority of Blacks here in the USA have been here since before the Revolutionary War, and no one can argue that fact, for we are the ones who brought them here. They did not choose to come, but we wanted them, and Abraham Lincoln’s words of Emancipation, yes, yes, that far back, gave that race all the rights of all other American citizens. Each and everyone of them, too.
They have fought, been wounded and died in all our wars, including The Revolutionary, The Civil, and every war since then. Bar none.
My father was born in Sweden, came here as a nine-ten year old, and was never called a Swedish-American. and all others, from the Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Mexicans, all became plain, ordinary Americans and not a two-word label of identity.
I agree with the lovely young woman, whose name I do not know, and wonder why the TV host was irritated. His facial features made it obvious he came from a foreign race, and it wasn’t Indian, and he now had a good interesting job and able to make a name and fortune such as he would have had a hard time duplicating where he had come from. That’s American. It was so obvious, that I couldn’t help but wonder why he stressed the racial facts so much.
Or is he and others, for some reason I don’t understand, striving to continue that difference and identification, once known as “The Color Line,” alive? Is it to someone’s monetary advantage to keep the division alive??? Money is usually behind all such endeavors.
And, if not, it’s time we drop all labels of what we were, and concentrate on what we are and are becoming. AMERICANS. Just as Jefferson so boldly stated, and Lincoln emphasized, that all men (humans) are created equal, and have the same rights and privileges.
It’s why people of the entire world dream of coming here. To be American. And NOT to become half breeds wearing some superimposed two-word label. To be President of the UnIted States, it goes without saying, that person must be an American. But is President Obama going to go down in history, (as some odd-balls seem to want) with the label as being half-American.
History, that of putting Obama’s name in millions of history records and books telling of his personal biography. Let’s get it right. He is an American, born of African lineage, yes, yes, yes. But he is an American. And let’s keep our history books true to our actions. No hyphenated two word label as to his genealogy.
We thought that skirmish was over four long years ago. but now we hear the rustlings in the edges again. And if so, if we put a two-word label next to his name, then we must go back and re-label everyone of our of Presidents, for everyone of them, from first to last, is and was a descendent of Immigrants.
Just like You. And just like me. Oh, not President of the USA, but we are all immigrants. And it’s great that it is so. A fact that makes every person in the world want to be one of us. And just like us. And thank You God.