“Them and Us”: Real, Authentic, Unreal, Half, Hyphenated Americans and All Such.

In no chronological order, the debate continues:
Texas debated not only its high school social studies curriculum but also the fact of adding President Barack Obama’s name as the “real first African American/Black/biracial” (my terms) president. To some who wanted to add his “controversial'” middle name, just read my earlier blog on the president’s names.
Arizona not only passed its controversial immigration reform bill, but its school board also has now banned “ethnic” studies in all its public schools. NY City was saved from the misdirected terrorist attempts by a Pakistani-American. Ms. Rima Fakih of Michigan became the first Lebanese-American to win the Miss USA pageant and, quite possibly too, the first immigrant to do so. Dr. Rand Paul criticized Pres. Obama’s criticism of BP’s efforts in cleaning up the Gulf mess as “unAmerican.” Last year, Meb Keflezighi, Eritrean-born American, won the NY marathon but his name and identity caused distress to many who quickly questioned or dismissed his significant win as “not really American.” At the Ohio State University’s most recent conference on diversity, race, and learning, an audience and I had a great time debating some of the above assaults on our identities as American.

As America gets browner, it would be simplistic to think these seeming threats posed by and fears harbored by the browner newcomers and the whiter indigenes respectively would just simply vanish into non-significance. We hold our breaths.

Who’s going to systematically address the growing concerns and fears of all Americans: the real, unreal, hyphenated, half-baked, in short, all Americans of varying extractions?

The temptation to settle this quagmire by separating the “Thems” and “Us” alas is too soothing. I figured I’ll share what I consider the first steps in this conversation by creating a “Real Americans Citizenship Equality” Test I (RACE Test).

Just give it a try and see if you qualify as a real American!

THE PURITY TEST (Real Americans Citizenship Equality (RACE) Test

Below is a list of terms or labels that could be used to identify and name individuals or/and groups in the U.S. today. Please place each term under either US or THEM column depending on how you see yourself in relation to that label. There are no right or wrong answers, but there are winners!


Europeans, progressives, Baptists, Blacks, Indian, Liberals, Christians, Mormons, Hispanics, immigrants, Evangelicals, LBGT, pro-choice, militias, Muslim, Independents, terrrorists, Africans, Asians, elites, Conservatives, Shiite, foreigners, moderates, American Indians, Latinos, biracial, Whites, residents, believers, Canadians, Mexicans, African Americans, globalists, Texans, Libertarian,



Did you pass? How inclusive or exclusive are you? Feel free to report your results.


2 thoughts on ““Them and Us”: Real, Authentic, Unreal, Half, Hyphenated Americans and All Such.

  1. Rand Paul didn’t criticize Obama’s ‘efforts’ against BP, he criticized as unhelpful demonization by the administration of BP when they said they would ‘keep their bootheel on the neck’ of BP. He was against the rhetoric, not against BP responsibility. And the President at the very next news event responded to that language by saying ‘we don’t need to use language like that’, so I guess he agreed with Rand Paul.

    1. Thanks, Spinnikerca, for responding and clarifying! Even in using that term, how is the “demonization” of British Petroleum “unAmerican”?

      How did a comment or criticism of a global conglomerate business boil down to being “American” or “UnAmerican?” It’s the same pattern of creating a purity test for what’s American and what’s not that we are now contending with.

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