Thursday, November 8, 2018

Let Us Be Americans First

Yesterday’s stream-of-consciousness writing sent me on the issue of being American. What set this off was continually hearing news reports about African Americans and Jewish Americans, and then there’s Chinese Americans, Native Americans, etc., and you could even add man or woman to that. African American woman, Chinese American man … And I thought:

What if we are all Americans first? People with wants and wishes the same as many others.

People often ask me if I’m Native American. My first shocked thought is, “Why would you ask that?” On one hand, that’s something to be proud of. On the other hand, does that make me different? Does it make me stand out to be ridiculed? Does it put me in a category where I might be seen as … whatever someone else might think?

Think about it. What comes to mind when you think of any of these ethnic terms? Are your first thoughts on what you last heard on the news about others of this ethnicity, something you read about these people in history, or are you looking at him as an individual person?

What would people’s reactions be if others started labeling themselves as White Americans? That would open a whole new can of worms. There are probably many who already think that way. It’s one thing to think it, another to be saying it publicly.

The minute we start differentiating between people due to color, religion, or whatever, division occurs. The minute we start labeling others, it either makes them like us or different from us. When there’s a division, people take sides. One side is better than the other. That side gets more benefits. The government gives them more freebies. That one has life easier. Those get better jobs. Whatever it is, emotions stir; and sometimes when emotions get involved it can be over something that’s not even true.

I’m not putting down anyone’s ethnicity, heritage, or religious beliefs. We all have the right to hold onto our family histories and beliefs … if we want to. Everyone should have the right to work hard to make a good life for ourselves and our families. Everyone should respect one another’s beliefs.

It’s about time people started putting these differences aside and work together as people wanting to live in this country.

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