The term African-American was coined as a non-offensive alternative to the skin-color-based terms, considered disparaging, that were previously used for US people with dark skins. A nicer way to say that I’m considered not equal to you. Truth is, people with dark skins are considered inferior in fact and in law to this very day. Kind of like the rich hire “Call Girls” and the common man uses prostitutes. They both selling sex, one just sounds nicer.
I was born in the United States. I am an American through my culture, beliefs and experiences. My culture is a mix of the cultures of the people who came to this land hundreds of years ago and of the native people. Genetically, most of us are a mix of some of those different races. Should it matter that your 3% German? Should you now be referred to as “African-German-American” because one of your salve ancestors shacked up with a salve master? If everyone in this country had to be identified their ancestors races, the DMV would be twenty times slower.
I am American. No word in front or after. I am entitled to be recognized as such just like any Caucasian person born in the US. Am I denying my identity as a men of color? Not at all. Beside we all have been culturally De-Africanized centuries ago. I’m saying simply that we as a people will never be seen as equals in this country if we are considered or labelled anything other than American. The term African-American glosses over very negative connotations steeped in the past. As long as we continue to carry these notions along, we will never truly move past racism because that term keeps us segregated.
I am American. I love the United States of America and hope that one day how the states are united so can be the people.