In the recent news, there has been discussion of the most recent congressional witch-hunt. In the 1950’s we had Communists, in the 1980’s, we had rock musicians, in the 2010’s we have Radical Muslims. The worst part is that the news is helping in this by referring to the targets of the witch hunt, even while defending them, as “Muslim Americans.” The use of this term has a marginalizing effect. The term itself marks Muslims who are American citizens as something different.
To me, this tendency of our media and even our politicians for political correctness actually goes against one of the founding principles of the United States. Our constitution begins with the words “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” Yet, the people who control our perception of our society seem to be more concerned with creating division, rather then unity. Are you a Muslim who is an American citizen either through birth or naturalization? You are not a Muslim American…you are an American. Are you a person of African ancestry who is an American citizen through birth or naturalization? You are not an African American..you are an American.
Why do we have to label people by their differences? Why can we not just look at what we all share in common. Muslim, Jew, Pagan, Catholic, Protestant, Roma, Indian(both meanings), Native American, Polynesian, Latino/Latina: it does not matter what your religion or ancestral origin is. If you are born or naturalized, per the 14 Amendment of the US Constitution, you are a Citizen of the United States. In other words, no matter how someone else qualifies you, you are an American. All our differences working together is what originally made this country great. Why, now, instead of working through our differences, must we focus on them? Why must we, again, marginalize a group just because of paranoia?