Friday, May 23, 2008

How Are You Classified?

In the U.S. people seem to ponder the proper way to describe an individual. Here is what I am talking about. If one is of Irish ancestry, they are referred to as Irish American. If they are from Italian stock, they are referred to as Italian American. You get the picture, right? Well, we have a problem.

I was born here in the U.S. I am actually of a mixed breed but, because of the color of my skin, I am classified as an African American. This is not correct and I will tell you why. If a child born in Africa comes to the U.S. to live, then becomes an American citizen he would then be classified as an African American. So where does that leave me?

My great-great grandfather was a mix of Seminole Indian and Black. He married a Caucasian woman. Their children all married what were called Negroes then. My mother was part of those siblings. So again I ask you what does that make me? I was born right here in the U.S. and not Africa.

So if you think about it, everyone is attached to their ancestry. Notice mind is definitely not just one. But if I am to be classified by my skin color, then it should be Black American and not African American because that would cheat those from Africa out of their right to hold true to their ancestry when it comes to classification. And I am offended because it is not done to any person with lighter skin tones.

No matter which country your ancestry is part of; Korea, China, Italy, German, England, Spain, France, India, etc, they are all classified as __________ American (you fill in the blank). And another thing, those of Indian ancestry here are referred to as Native Americans. Notice they were born here and are allowed to designate that. WAKE UP AMERICA! Think about it. Am I really an African American or like Obama, a mixed breed who should really be known as Black Americans or possibly just Americans; for we are truly the people with an ancestry background in the United States of America.


Anonymous Holly Bowne said...

EXCELLENT point, Sylvia! I too am of mixed ancestry--and I refuse to allow myself to be labeled as one category over another. For me to claim to be only "one" thing is to deny the rest of my ancestral background. I prefer to call myself a "Melting Pot American." How's that? :)

8:05 PM  
OpenID idadi said...

I have a Blog entry on deck that speak exactly of this point! To call a spade a spade, every natural born citizen is of "mixed ancestry", and it's about time for all the labeling to stop. It's one thing to be proud of you lineage, but to be classified as anything but American is an insult, in my humble opinion, when we're taxed like "regular" Americans for everything.

I, for statistical purposes, am "OTHER" whenever I'm asked, because there is a whole other side of my ancestry that hasn't been discovered yet, and I refuse to be classified based on what's most prominent to the eye.

AngelaMichelle *wink*

5:07 PM  

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