This is a comment by dragnet on the post “Gabby Douglas Wins Gold – Black Girls Rock!“.
“The girl was clearly head-and-shoulders above the rest of the competition—seeing her bring home the gold was definitely a proud moment.
“But something else disturbed me besides the talk about her hair—and that was the chatter about her identity. I read more than one comment where (white) people would deem it unfortunate that she was labelled as ‘African-American’ instead of just ‘American.’
“Part of the reason black people find it so difficult to identify as just ‘American’ is because we’re never really seen that way by the majority. One of the core thrusts against Obama is that he’s not really ‘one of us’, that he was born elsewhere, and doesn’t have American values. In some ways, he’s the best of what American black culture has to offer and he’s still deemed an outsider by large swaths of the electorate. But when we embrace that outsider status by openly identifying ourselves as people of African descent, or black, we’re then told that we should be ‘American’ without any additional qualifiers. The hypocrisy is as mind-boggling as it is damaging.
Photo credit: Flickr / seanmcmenenemy