Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3476874 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Aren't We All African-Americans?
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (8)

I've never really liked the term "African-American". The term seems inherently divisive, rather than being inclusive. Besides, since Africa was the birthplace of homo sapiens, are we not all African-Americans, if we trace our lineage back far enough?

Why do I bring this up? I was listening to an NPR interview with Margaret Cho yesterday. She says people ask her all the time:

Person: Where are you from?
Cho: San Francisco.
Person: No, I mean originally.

She says she gets frustrated with the question, that it implies that she should be someplace else. (By the way, her parents are from Korea.)

So here it seems to me are contradictory perspectives on multiculturalism. With blacks, it is almost obligatory to associate the heritage with a continent that virtually none of them have even seen.

Cho, on the other hand, doesn't even want people asking about her ethnic heritage. She finds the question itself insulting and suggestive that she doesn't belong.

I think Cho's being vastly oversensitive, but her basic perspective is the more sound one. If you were born here and live here, you're an American. Ethnic heritage is really quite trivial compared to your cultural identiy as an American. It's a cliche, but what is most important are the things that tie us together, and not petty differences such as skin color or the shape of our eyes.

There's nothing wrong with remembering your ethnic background, but wearing it as a cloak of identity is basically living in the past, which is not nearly as important as either the present or the future.

Read/Post Comments (8)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.