In most areas of the world, people are described by their national status. Yet, in the United States, people are labelled with terms like “Caucasian-American,” “African-American,” “Indian-American,” et cetera. One of the current Republican presidential hopefuls, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, emphasized his problem with these labels during a campaign speech on Wednesday, June 24th:
Jindal stated that we are all “Americans” and that people in the U.S. should not be identified by their “origin, ethnicity or wealth.”
Although some people online took his comments to mean that he does not have pride in his heritage as a son of Indian parents, many political experts, historians and journalists agree that the strange way in which Americans label themselves should be considered as outdated as flying a Confederate battle flag. After all, one of the biggest reasons that divisions over race still exist in the United States is because there is so much emphasis placed on people from different ethnic backgrounds presenting themselves as a combination of their ethnicity and American status rather than as simply “Americans.”
People in several ethnic groups, especially many African-Americans, Irish-Americans and Asian-Americans, feel that it is absolutely necessary for these labels because it empowers them and raises them above their previous status in this country. MarketWired and Brad Reifler say it is fairly obvious that instead of promoting ethnic and national pride, these labels place too much focus on dividing Americans by their differences.