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What’s all the hyph about?
By Rick Hoar
July 19, 2010

So, a lot of Americans apparently take offense when folks of different ethnicities hyphenate their national identities in common speech. ‘Why African-American or Mexican-American, instead of just plain old AMERICAN like the rest of us?’ The doubt probably comes from a spirit of kinship, but the debate usually tends to devolve into divisiveness. Sigh.

Here’s some food for thought though: Isn’t the instinct to preserve one’s native culture and identity in our socialist melting-pot a GOOD thing? Speaking as a white guy here, I think there’s a strength that we should appreciate in refusing to blend all the way.

Nobody with a brain these days wants to be segregated from their fellow Americans. We work the same jobs, live in the same suburbs and send our kids to the same schools. The days of ethnic division ARE over, whether the details have been worked out completely or not.

Hyper-hyphenating comes from a natural tendency to preserve history and familial ties. Family is good. History is important. Being a good neighbor and a patriot when called upon are key too, sure. But there’s truly little cause to be offended at someone else’s inclination to hyphenate.

Don’t believe me? How will you identify yourself in a world after the USA?

As our once great country continues to slip below the waterline with abject corruption, and international organizations swoop in to stake their claims of authority, will you one day find yourself filling out a Global Census form as an ‘Amero-something.’ Will you cling to America as a reference to your spirit and not just your borders?

I think I would …except for the filling-out-the-census part!