reflecting on america?


obviously im a black American or African American, my dad fought in Vietnam and return home never to be the same. but there were times when i was growing up, i felt like he was not treated "American". So.......

Honestly, Do whites in the U.S. see blacks in the U.S. as Americans at all? as blacks in America do we feel American? do we feel like America represents us in anyway?  & what makes us American? 

Apr 18, 13 4:18 pm

Nationality, like color, is just another way to divide humanity. But only if you buy into it.

Apr 18, 13 5:49 pm

Miles, who is dividing humanity?

Apr 19, 13 12:12 pm

s=r*Θ, you tell us

Apr 19, 13 12:14 pm

As for the OP, my answer is yes.  You were born here and your ancestry is here.  There are aspects of a different subculture, with specific traditions, dialects, and ways of thinking,  which the African American community keeps intact, but it's just another slice of Americana.  I'm sort of disappointed that you think Americans think that way.  They don't.

I'm first-gen, and we have a slightly different experience.  We were born here, but our ancestry is NOT based here.  Still, by our appearance, actions, accent, and mindset, we are definitely perceived as Americans by anyone who comes into contact with us.

The answer:  you choose to divide yourself.  It's YOUR choice.

Apr 19, 13 12:47 pm


1st generation what?????

I was born in Missouri but grew up in Chicago, when i visit Missouri, the town folks know im not from there, i dont say "i reckon" i say "i guess" and i don't call it soda. Its the way i think most African Americans feel about being American. If we don't have the right or a sense of entitlement to pursue the American dream, and not treated like im trying to steal someone else's idea and i should just do like the late great Micheal Jackson and "beat it!"

Apr 19, 13 1:19 pm


also technically my ancestry is not all here

Apr 19, 13 1:20 pm


Huge difference between a handful of generations ... and none.  You can play that card if you want.  So can the Irish and Germans who came over here slightly before 1900 and did menial or skilled manual work, but they don't.

Apr 19, 13 1:22 pm


As a Black American i understand what you mean but as a West Indian American I have been told from black who's ancestry dates back to slavery that I'm not a real American because my parents are from the caribbean.

I understand how you feel but I would say like curtkram said "you tell us". Do you feel American? Would you go to war and defend this land or would you hide and Canada?

Not to offend anyone here but this is a true story but wanted to share this::

I was in a store and a white old lady came up to me and said while looking a hasidic jew " Those people should not be here".

Apr 19, 13 1:46 pm


I think you are smart enough to know that Irish germans & africans arrived here in differently. Thus hence the sense of ownership as far as country. I understand  initiating a dialogue with the premise of race, politics, & religion is to much for some so i will close with

thanks everyone for your valued response

Apr 19, 13 2:02 pm

when our president gives speeches with lines like this: 'I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters.' then it's no wonder people like s=r feel the way they do.

little kids being taught they are part slaves .. come on.  sasha and malia, you are not and never will be slaves.  please be free, be just the americans that you are.  NO LABELS!

Apr 19, 13 2:41 pm

FRaC, i feel like you've done a really good job of getting to the heart of president obama's beliefs and his message without any one-sided right wing lunacy from Fox News.  you're a very independent thinker without an incredibly obvious bias at all.  if we believe hard enough, and have enough blind faith in glenn beck (or whoever it is you guys listen to now), we can actually change the past!  </sarcasm>

let's try to even out this graph:

Apr 19, 13 3:51 pm

@FRaC (& whoever else feels offended by my OP)

i am not trying to argue, fight, point blame, look for a handout, etc. There are just days when i go by A&E on the tube and see shows like "Mad Men" but i don't see me, my grandfather, my father; in these Americans (Granted i know its just t.v. show but its a piece of art media that reflects American culture that doesn't include me)

Apr 19, 13 5:09 pm

on the other hand, there is robert johnson, john lee hooker, etc.  there are a lot of other, probably better, examples but i like the blues and the music that it helped create.  those were pioneers in the same america i came from.  they weren't my father or grandfather, but technically i doubt they were your father or grandfather.  they probably look a little more like you than me, but we can still share the same american heritage; both the good and the bad.  we're all in this together.

things were different here in the 50's and 60's, but we have definitely made progress in some areas.

Apr 19, 13 5:44 pm

i am not trying to argue, fight, point blame, look for a handout, etc. There are just days when i go by A&E on the tube and see shows like "Mad Men" but i don't see

I don't feel offended.  I don't watch much TV, but I know what "Mad Men" is about, and I don't see myself nor anyone I call a friend or good acquaintance in that venue.  I am neither blue-blooded enough nor enough of an asshole* to be on Madison Avenue, and that's ok with me.

* except to those on here who think I'm an asshole because I think becoming a licensed architect should, in the New Millennium, require at least a 4 year degree in arch., and whose approval doesn't interest me.

Apr 19, 13 5:48 pm

hey no offense taken here, s=r.  i understand where you're coming from but hope you someday understand all americans are just, americans. 

Apr 19, 13 6:11 pm

All Americans are just people. It's by thinking of themselves as different from other people that problems arise.

Apr 19, 13 9:38 pm

@miles jaffe

I really do hope your creative work isnt as boring & safe as your dialogue. I mean really, do you get these sayings from the "politician's guide to public speaking" ;(

Apr 19, 13 10:19 pm

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. - Buddha

Apr 19, 13 11:41 pm

"hey no offense taken here, s=r.  i understand where you're coming from but hope you someday understand all americans are just, americans."

You know where he's coming from? Really now? Where did the OP use the pronoun he? And you hope "he" will understand, all Americans are just, Americans? Really now? Here we have one of the most retarded people on this site, trying to sound intelligent, ain't that rich. Try selling that bullshit to kids dying everyday in Chicago, try telling that to former Japanese internment camp victims, Muslim Americans, women, peoples of the global majority. There was such a rush to find the next brown skinned person that set those bombs of in Boston, that white people, and fucking clowns on reddit, were falling all over themselves trying to find the next Mohammed Atta. Give me a fucking break FRaC. You're way out of your league here, go back to selling Ayn Rand paperbacks at those tea party conventions, clown.

OP, truth is, this country has a personality disorder, you'll find pockets of sanity, but you'll find even more crazy. How do we change? We change back connecting with people, meeting people where they are, and foster the change we want to see, get engaged, be human, and allow people their humanness, and that means their full range of human, the good and the bad. Truth is, I see you, and in seeing you I see all that is, was and will be. I see my ancestors past too. I had this realization recently, after seeing Caribbean blacks with my last name, that my ancestors were somehow linked to the slave trade, whoa. What do,I do with that information, still processing that, and it's difficult.

What I don't think we should do is write Brad Paisley and LL Cool J songs though, but somehow, someway we need to do better as a country to see all its people, regardless of color, religion or ethnicity.

Apr 20, 13 7:30 am

You know where he's coming from? Really now? Where did the OP use the pronoun he?

i don't know, beta, because NEITHER of us used the pronoun 'he'.  re-read the posts and remove your prejudice of me (and libertarian-leaning fiscal conservatives) before jumping all over me.

... somehow, someway we need to do better as a country to see all its people, regardless of color, religion or ethnicity.

that's paraphrasing what i said.  we agree, b!

Apr 20, 13 1:20 pm

FRaC, my mistake, clearly too much of my wanting to read, a bit simplistically, in your overall tone to the OP, based on my anger regarding your statement about the president, and the idea that "people like s=r feeling the way they do".

While my rant on your pronoun missed the mark, my sentiment remains the same. The idea the "people like s=r" relates to the general narrative implicit with you, your belief that somehow, someway, we are all Americans and we should forget history, forget ancestry, and like the Brad Paisley song, forget the gold chains, and s=r will forgive the iron chains.

My comment about "... somehow, someway we need to do better as a country to see all its people, regardless of color, religion or ethnicity."  was not a paraphrasing of your comment, but an exhortation that we see the differences, embrace those differences, and not fear  them, but accept those differences as what makes us unique. I am not speaking of a nationalistic homogeneity, but a society, unlike any other, that celebrates our cultural, and historical heterogeneity. 

Whether it be s=r, Obama, Sascha, Al Sharpton, or MLK, truth is, I'll never know what it's like to be black in America, I can only imagine. 

What about being Muslim in this country? What do you think that's been like? You think your easy response carries a lot of weight with the idiots profiling the bombers in Boston? Media, reddit users, and other clowns were quick to label this as terrorism, and were mobilizing to round up brown people, that's okay? I can't imagine that you're suggesting Muslims get rid of their religion, dump their non-American names, like many other immigrants did before, just to get along, and be more American, or are you?

Essentially what I am stating is that the general mood of people, many people in this country, see you if you're white, and Christian, if you're not, you're other. Arizona, and many other states in this country are making that patently clear. 

Anyway, I am sorry for making an assertion that you were stating something you didn't. 

Apr 20, 13 6:18 pm

Well, people try to act like America has changed and has embraced diversity.   That's crap.  It hasn't.  These people who pretend to be liberal and tolerate everybody say that, on the surface, because that's what they're supposed to say.  If you are working late in an urban center at night, and crossing a dark alley, you will want to avoid a menacing looking guy - whether he is white, Hispanic, or black.  The liberal person, in that case, won't think "Gee, I have to do my daily good deed for diversity, and give this person a chance."  No, idiot, get the hell out of there.  But, for any minority with tangible traits which are not Anglo-normative, it is true that many people will prejudge them based on what they initially see, or what comes out of their mouths, and some of these people doing the judging will be self-professed "liberals."  Some of the most messed up liberals are those who have never experienced diversity or adversity.  Today, they spout their tolerance from their comfortable upper middle class lily white high school or college existences, and act shocked when they hear anything off color as in "how dare you," yet any minority (racial, ethnic, sexual, and/or religious) still periodically experiences marginalization.  In another era, the term for such a person was a "limousine liberal."  So, if you're not really a liberal, then STFU.  I can't claim to be either a liberal or a conservative.  It's better to make up your own mind about issues as you go along and hold a mix of ideas and opinions.  My 2 cents. 

Apr 20, 13 8:42 pm

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