Sunday, August 29, 2004

Is You Is or Is You Ain't

Africa, Country or Continent?

The NY Times has an interesting piece about the struggle to define who is and who isn't an "African-American". The upshot being that American born Blacks often fail to consider actual Africans in America as falling under that rubric. The funny thing is that the conflict highlights the quintessential American-ness of most African-Americans in their failure to expand their world view to incorporate information outside their own experience. This my-pain-hurts-more-than-your-pain dance is captured in this ridiculous quote from the great Mr. Alan Keyes:

"My ancestors toiled in slavery in this country," Mr. Keyes said. "My consciousness, who I am as a person, has been shaped by my struggle, deeply emotional and deeply painful, with the reality of that heritage."

In classic American fashion, oppression ain't oppression without an American seal of approval.


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