Monday, March 29, 2010

When do you become just an American?

Today I heard another story about hyphenated Americans wanting to be recognized. My question is, when does someone become just an American and not a Japanese-American, Mexican-American, Arab-American . . . How many generations do you have to be American citizens before you stop being an Iranian-American and become just an American?

People in the U.S. seem to need to identify with some other country even though they were born in the U.S. and have never been to that country. Take the Arab-American of the story. They wanted to be identified as an Iranian-American or a Puerto Rican-American even though she was born in the U.S. People want to identify with Puerto Rico even though the closest they have ever gotten to that island is watching some major league baseball player from there.

Diversity is a wonderful thing. But I think we will only become a great nation when the American Persons who make up the country begin to think of themselves as "Americans" rather the requiring a hyphen to make them feel special.