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Hyphenated Americans

  1. RJ Schwartz profile image90
    RJ Schwartzposted 4 months ago


    In the early 1900's, the term hyphenated American came into being, and at the time it was considered something derogatory; basically calling out those who considered themselves loyal to another nation but at the same time living in America.  Fast-forwarding to today, we see the term used more commonly and it goes beyond nationality (examples of the use are Arab-American, Gay-American, Muslim-American, Puerto Rican-American, Latino-American, and Mexican-American.)  Even though Puerto Rico is part of America, the term is gaining some traction.  So, for discussion sake, I'm looking for opinions.

    What do you think different groups are trying to imply by hyphenating?  Is this practice strengthening our national identity or weakening it?  Do you agree with the practice or not?  Should the order of the words change, such as American-Latino or American-African?  Is someone who identifies with something before their nation someone to be judged as less of a citizen or is it something insignificant?  Nothing is off the table in this discussion.

    1. Credence2 profile image86
      Credence2posted 3 months ago in reply to this

      Hi, RJ, how have you been? Trust all is well in the Gem State.

      This is an interesting topic and, of course, I have to weigh in.

      America is a 'so called' melting pot, hyphenation is just a form of identification. As such, I don't think that we can make any assumptions about patriotism and loyalty based on the practice.

      I don't see an imagined concept of an amalgamated "American" as a realistic construct.

      What your definition of being an American as a white, conservative type living in Idaho, is going to be different from that of a lefty Black fellow living in Florida.

      Do you really think that the "First Nations" folks have the same concept of being an "American" that you have?

      So, what does it mean to be American besides the geographic reference? There is so much dissention between us today, I am not sure that we can ever pull together again like we did at the time of Pearl Harbor.

      So, here is an interesting article. Are we really one nation and one people?

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/2-men-killed … 31642.html

    2. mike102771 profile image84
      mike102771posted 3 months ago in reply to this

      I would think what the group is trying to achieve with the hyphen is dependent on the group. I noticed that you don’t mention the Irish-Americas or the German-Americans in this list. Some were along the way we decided to focus on diversity as a virtue in onto its self as opposite to it being just a component to a society. We see this all the time in our media. The idea that diversity is what makes us strong and free rather than it being a byproduct of our freedom. Our freedom making this diversity possible. Most of these focus on what background a person brings to the table. A person who identifies as Arab-American would be considered to have a stronger opinion about Arabic matters even if he/she has never been part of any thing Arabic in nature (Turkish delights being the only Arabic thing in their house). So, by identifying their nationality or gender specification in front of their current country they are trying to imply a significance to something they may not have. 

      But really isn’t this just water under the bridge down the stream and over the lesbian-American? Akin to someone talking about that darn Rock & Roll music ruining the young? What I mean is this would have been a good discussion say 50 years ago.

      I have Irish, German and Indian heritage so I guess I am an Irish-German-Native-American-American. So that makes me a 2/3 expert on whisky.

    3. PhoenixV profile image80
      PhoenixVposted 3 months ago in reply to this

      I'm thinking of taking a sabbatical, an ocean cruise. The Pacific maybe. Lounge in a deck chair. Reflect.  Read a classic novel.  A readers digest condensed version. Maybe go ashore in Australia. Roam the outback. Seek out the Aborigines or something.  Live amongst them. Learn their ways. Arm them.

      1. mike102771 profile image84
        mike102771posted 3 months ago in reply to this

        Sounds nice. I heard that a cruise is like being in prison with a chance of drowning. Maybe you should consider the cliff notes for that classic or an audio book (have someone else do the reading for you).

        You can't go wrong with a classic AK 47. Extremely rugged, easy to use and maintain. Millions were made in many different countries so they are available.

        1. PhoenixV profile image80
          PhoenixVposted 3 months ago in reply to this

          Perhaps you're right. Those ships always looked top heavy to me, anyway. Flip the canoe and the bottom becomes the top, people screaming and yelling, who needs that.

          Maybe the flight, instead, will have a Mel Gibson movie and I can immerse myself in the language. No need for a book.

          I'm thinking of making some videos for my new Indigenous-Australian friends. Videos of protests in the US - this or that. Only with the audio replaced with Ride of the Valkyries.

          1. mike102771 profile image84
            mike102771posted 3 months ago in reply to this

            Just remember the flight from the show Lost was an Australian flight.

            If you can find it the original audio version of Mad Max has Mel Gibson with his original accent.

            Replace that audio with the opening to Sesame Street or the Patsy Cline song Crazy or maybe the last one

            Sunny Day


            They're coming to take me away

  2. ahorseback profile image46
    ahorsebackposted 4 months ago

    What isn't happening so much in modern day immigration -America  is any kind of patriotic  assimilation .   At this time in history it is popular to love the profitability of the  capitalist - free market system and at the same time hate the America that  provides it   and truthfully this  popular uprising is self hatred too ,  the universities and ivory towers  here , let's face it high schools too , are all teaching self loathing instead of anything much patriotic .

    Take a look at how America's free market liberties - work visa's like the EB-5 where a $500,000 dollars investment is about all  that's required for an entire families  immigration  and what's the other one HB-1 visa's , where a company can hire cheap foreign labor , systematically   putting Americans out of work .   America and her liberties are being exploited for profit ,   that along with the popular uprising of resentment and outright hatred ;  and the corruption in government ,............

    Why would anyone grow to love America but a few  immigrants or some patriots actually born here ?