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Tue, Aug. 11

Community View | I’m a plain old American

Recently I saw former Gov. John Wilder of Virginia being interviewed on television. He stated that he would like to be remembered not as an Afro-American or a Black American, but as an American.

The comment caused me to wonder why people identify themselves as Afro-Americans or Mexican-Americans or Irish-Americans or Italian-Americans or other countries-Americans, yet they were born right here in America.

I was born here, and my ancestry is English, but I don’t address myself to others as English-American. I am an American first, not English. My ancestors fled King George’s tyrannical rule for a better life and came to America.

Everybody’s ancestors came to America for one reason or another. Most of them experienced an improvement right away. Others had to wait for a Civil War to make their lives better.

America’s way of life has gotten steadily better over the years. It’s more advanced and richer than the countries our ancestors came from. So why do we use heritage names in front of the word American? We should be proud to call ourselves just Americans because for all our faults, we are still the best country on this Earth.

(Thomas Allen is a resident of Golden Valley.)

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