The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Drop the hyphens; we’re all Americans

Viewpoint by André Green/se news editor

As the dust was settling following the NFL conference championships, I found myself both elated and dismayed.

I was elated because I was witnessing history; two black head coaches are going to the Super Bowl.
But I was dismayed because it was emphatically broadcast that two African-American head coaches were going to the Super Bowl.

I cannot tell you how much those two words bother me. I am not an African and neither is Tony Dungy (Michigan) or Lovie Smith (Texas).

I’ve never been to Africa, nor do I have any relatives who have come across the water with a shoebox full of mementos detailing a family history spanning generations.

I was born in Indiana and moved to Texas when I was only an infant. There were no refugee boats, humanitarian missions or a need to escape severe destitution involved in my relocation to the Lone Star state.

I have nothing against Africa or Africans, but I do have a problem with the labels attached to people of color who have essentially been in this country as long as their European counterparts.

Many may not share this sentiment, but when I see any name with a hyphen before American, it seems like those hyphenated people don’t belong. I liken it to being an attachment to something without ever getting full benefits. It’s almost as if you’re attached to something and you’re never going to become a full member of whatever it is you are trying to be a part of. 

When I think about the term African-American, I think of someone who has just moved to America from Africa and become a citizen.

When black Americans are called African-Americans, I think it appears they (blacks) happened to come along after the country was up and running, which we all know isn’t true.

You have African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latin-Americans, etc. My question is how did the Caucasian-Americans become just white? How did they escape the label maker?

What’s good for some should be good for all. If some of us are going to be labeled, then we all should be.

The ones who should be doing the labeling are the true Americans. If you don’t know who they are, take an hour and a half drive up I-35 and meet a few American Indians in Oklahoma.

As the great poet Popeye the Sailorman would say, “I ams what I ams.”
And I am and always will be an American who is black.

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