Earlier today, I had an exchange with an individual on a post.
She made a derogatory reference to those seeking asylum at our southern borders. When she repeated her slur, “those slime,” I reminded her they, too, were Americans.
“No they are not!”
Yes, they are Americans.
She continued to argue that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that “we” are the only Americans in this country.
Shortly, others were calling her out while several took her side insisting that if you lived in The United States, only then could one be called, “American.”
One gentleman asked, “Why is it called The United States of America? Mexico and Canada are not called Canada of America or Mexico of America.”
I had this argument, only much lighter, years ago with my community band when we planned a joint concert with our sister-city band from Canada. Their director and I decided to play “America, The Beautiful” for the presentation of colors preceding our individual anthems.
When I explained this to the concert band the members were appalled! “Why are they bringing their flag in during our song?” one French horn player protested.
“Uhh…. because they’re Americans, too,” I reminded.
It took a few minutes.
Finally, there was laughter as the adult musicians recognized what I was saying was true.
So, what we are experiencing now is how we are treating our fellow Americans.
No, they are not our fellow citizens, perhaps, yet, but they are fellow Americans.
I am amused how we, as The United States, tend to claim so much ownership for our two continents when we share it with twenty-two other countries and nine dependent territories.
Canadians are also American.
Argentinians are also American.
Maybe the red hats worn by so many who support the current president should read, “MTUSOAGA” | “Make The United States of America Great, Again!” It is not catchy, but it is correct.
This is why I always say, “I’m a citizen of (or I am from) The United States of America,” rather than, “I am American.”