Monday, August 28, 2017

We're Americans

Pierini Fitness celebrates its 9th anniversary and 1,000th
post today with this American middle-aged man reflection.

Much is being reported by the media and read by you and me about the growing racial divide taking place in America, including the recent protest gone bad with a fatality in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

It’s gotten out of hand how color and other incorrectly-ordered adjectives are being used in news headlines and articles to describe hate-group participants on both sides of the aisle, bystanders and innocent victims.

Cases in point are two recent examples, a Sacramento Bee article, “Why does Donald Trump Keep Babying White Supremacists?” and a Times Magazine article, “Thousands of Counter-Protestors March Against White Nationalism in Boston a Week After Charlottesville”. 

How often do we read, hear and perhaps use the terms African-American, Asian-American, White or [insert your own example]?  By golly, these folks are best described, simply, as Americans.  An old Army acquaintance once said it best when reminding me, “I’m an American of Mexican ancestry; I’m not Mexican-American, I wasn’t born in Mexico!”

It’s a nice reminder, depending on the circles I frequent, that I’m not an Italian-American, Mexican-American or Portuguese-American.  I’m simply an American!  

If a little more description is necessary, then I’m an American of Italian ancestry, American of Mexican ancestry and American of Portuguese ancestry.

A news story earlier this year reported that a young American college student won a Miss Black pageant at the University of Texas.  Without time to bask in her sunshine or savor in winning glory, social media critics quickly started posting how she wasn’t “black enough.”  A similar comment was made more than once about former President Obama.

This young woman is what demographers classify as biracial; using street talk and media adjective-using practices, her father is a “black dude” and her mother is a “white chick”.  Many in these “demographic buckets” would use even harsher descriptions, that contributes to a growing American racial divide.

We live in a world that thrives using identity adjectives.  We strive fitting into those aligning with how we see ourselves.  This is a normal and natural self-discovery we all experience in searching for who we are and who we want to be.

What isn’t normal, natural or healthy is when others do it to us.  Like the government, for example, with its laundry-list of adjectives used to tally us into socio-economic classifications of who we are and who we are not. 

The media also projects these classifications.  Using color and other incorrectly-ordered adjectives for eye-catching news article headlines, they contribute to this subliminal and growing American racial divide.  Rather than describing us as who we are, i.e. Americans, we’re described with adjectives for better eye-catching headlines, improving the likelihood we’ll read a news article and increase its internet click counts.  It’s all about the money, honey!

We, who should know better, read these articles innocently, sometimes unaware how these “fake” adjectives become embedded in our minds, thoughts and opinions.   Once again, we’re all in this together, the “great” and growing American racial divide coming to a location near you!

The result is a collective mindset like the cruel social media posters who didn’t have it in themselves to congratulate this young American woman beauty pageant winner, a symbol of America at its finest, a melting pot of so many interesting people under the sun, all one-of-a-kind blessings from an Almighty God.

This shouldn’t happen in our pursuits of making America great, now and forever in our future.

Let’s be mindful of who you, me and others really are.  No other adjectives are necessary to correctly describe we’re Americans.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


John Brown said...

Well said -- Bravo!

Pierini Fitness said...

Thank you John, my American middle-aged man fitness brother from a different mother; enjoy your day.

michael said...

Very good blog Pierini! So true.

Pierini Fitness said...

Thank you Michael.