In response to the “Impressions” column last week “Put ‘African-American’ in the ash heap,” I beg to differ.
Nationality and race are two concepts used very often by the media. Though the words have totally different meanings, their use has created doubts in the minds of readers. Whereas nationality pertains to the country you were born in, or are in at present, race is the ethnic group you belong to.
The piece of land you were born in decides your nationality, so if your parents moved to another country just before your birth, you may have a new country for your nationality. The word “race” is used mostly in a negative tone these days to refer to discrimination going on in various parts of the world on the basis of skin color and facial features.
It is true that African-Americans, blacks, Negroes, et all have been called by many names over the past 250 years of American history — everything except a “child of God.” But, more to the point of how the term “African-American” entered the lexicon of American dialogue, consider the ethnic groups that comprise our American society.