Black American Is Divisive

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Pages: 4

"Why do you call yourself a Black American instead of an American?" Only white people have asked me that question, and it's a question only they are rude enough to ask. Why do I think the question is rude? Think about it: Would you ever ask someone why his name is John and not David? Of course not. It's a peculiar question to ask. If someone's name sounds like she was born in a Hippie commune, like Rainbow, you may ask how her parents came up with the name, but not ask why her name is Rainbow and not Renée. But what if the name sounds exotic like my name? In my experience, only a white person will ask why my name is Muata and not Steve, and will try to call me Steve.

This actually happened to me more than once. One incident that comes
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I find it revealing what whites consider divisive. This is coming from a group whose ancestors separated us by law from society for the overwhelming majority of American history. That's divisive. And the descendants continue to separate us. Calling myself a Black American is divisive, but not the police killing unarmed black bodies. Calling myself a Black American is divisive, but not targeting black bodies for mass incarceration. Calling myself a Black American is divisive, but not giving white ex-felons the opportunity for employment over blacks with no criminal record. Traditional white behavior against blacks is far more divisive than choosing to call myself a Black …show more content…
The first president of the twentieth century and white supremacist Theodore Roosevelt, who was an outspoken opponent of hyphenated Americanism, said that hyphenated Americans were not Americans at all and that America had no need for them. Many whites subscribe to Roosevelt's thinking. I, however, don't care about the stupid rants of white racists. If I am anti-American because I don't share their white nationalist conception of America, then so be it. I wonder who made these white Johnny-come-latelys the arbiters of Americanism anyway. My family has been here on American soil for at least six generations according to my genealogical research; we and many Black Americans have been here longer than most whites. Yet, these whites who just got off the boat recently have the nerve to give me a lecture on the meaning of America? Whites who argue this point are racist and lack imagination. They can't imagine a society where being black and being American can harmoniously exist at the same