Many a Conservative with my skin tone has given their view on this matter. Here’s mine.
After reading “Black or African-American?” over at The Volokh Conspiracy Blog I figured I should explain myself in this regard.
First I pledge allegiance to the Lord Jesus and through him have salvation. Which gives me access to the ear of God. Beyond that I am an American. A member of a nation that still is able to pledge we are one nation under God. (God means different things for various individuals here and my nation is open to that. But for general use we claim God and everyone can decide for themselves from there. Those who feel there is no God are allowed to protest and usually ignored as they should be.)
I am not an African-American. My family has been here for well over 100 years. History shows that many people with my skin tone were here well before the Polish and other immigrants. So after how many years does one call one’s self an American and accept where you are? I am happy where I am and love America. Therefore I am an American. Given my skin tone and cultural upbringing within America I am also Black. That being a subset of groups within my nation I am an American. And yes I am also Black. I don’t call myself an American-Christian or Christian-American or Black-Christian or Christian-Black. Because I don’t play such games with who I am. I am a Christian, I am an American and I am Black. There are plenty of Whites that were born in Africa. They and folks with my skin tone that were born in Africa then came to American are African-Americans. So there are African-Americans who are both Black and White.
The history of my skin tone which is I term Black History here in America has similarities to issues Blacks in places like South Africa had to overcome. So I do see an association with other Blacks given our cultural and historical experiences. But I am not African and Blacks living in Africa are not American. We are all Black though just the same. It is a culture born out of skin tone classification. So there are proven similarities in the culture of Blacks all over the world. Yes parts of my DNA were transported as a slave from Africa hundreds of years ago, but far too long ago for me to feel that my being and culture is African. It is very much American. The parts of me that were from Africa were sold by Africans way back then to others that brought those parts of me to America. Those Africans were fine with seeing those parts of me leave them. So I have no reason to justify allegiance with Africa. (Although I wish them the best.) And while it is true all humanity did flourish from Africa, there are parts of me that have not seen Africa in a much longer time than others. I know and love America.
An American White man that likes Jazz is not African and neither am I. Although there are Whites I have cultural similarities with, that are born from Black History. Some elements of Jazz were first done in Africa, but today it is not African and very much American as I am. Many who did not want to be Americans already left. And I say to anyone that does not like being an American that resides here, they are also free to leave. My family stayed as will I. Because I love America!
I have lived in Georgia for almost 10 years and have no plans of leaving. So I consider myself a Georgian although I’m not a native of the state. I could claim Maryland where I was born, but I classify myself as an American from Georgia when traveling. I only mention Maryland when someone ask where I am originally from. I could say I’m both a Georgian and Marylander, but I won’t be moving back to Maryland and moved to Georgia because I identify well with Georgia’s culture. Gwinnett County is a county in Georgia so we call ourselves Gwinnitian . I don’t call myself a Gwinnitian-Georgian. I am a Georgian and a Gwinnitian.
I am also left handed. Plenty of people around the world are left handed. We have a shared experience given most people seem to be right handed and want to force left handed people to become right handed. In some places we are even considered to be bad or evil just for preferring to use our left hand.
I am also tall. Well everywhere I’ve been 6′ 5″ is considered tall. I have a shared experience with tall people around the world. We all dread commercial airplane flights given the small seat space. Were the Wright Brothers a couple of midgets or what ?
And I am also a man. I could continue this path of explanation, but I think you’ve read enough to get my point . Obviously I am an Independent Conservative too!
John H Mc Whorter offered his take on this matter in his article “Why I’m Black, Not African American”. Which I find to be a great piece.
Everyone else, you can call yourself whatever you want .
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