Hypenation of America

America has an identity crisis. What is wrong with just being called an American? Immigrants travel by any means necessary from around the world, swear allegiance to the United States, and leave past lives behind just to become an American. To hyphenate being an American is slowly separating this country into individual sub-cultures and ethnic groups. America is known as the melting pot of the world, in which people come together and meld into one entity, and by separating into individual groups, it defeats the purpose of what has made this country so great. Throughout this paper, the term hyphenated American will be used in lieu of the terms African-American, Asian-American, and Irish-American etc. This will be done so one ethnicity is not isolated.
The hyphening of the word American has gotten out of hand. It is this writer’s opinion that if you are born on United States (U.S.) soil, you are an American. If you go through the legal process of naturalization, you become an American. Until one of these two things happen, you are either African, Mexican, Irish, German, or Asian, etc. Dual citizenship aside, you are either American or other; not other-American. Some will agree that during the integration, or assimilation period, many new immigrants refer to themselves in a hyphenated sense in order to help them get through their change in identity (so to speak).
Stanley Renshon (2011) explains in his article, “The Value of a Hyphenated Identity” that “hyphenation helps new immigrants resolve a personal and consequential set of questions. How can I acknowledge who I am while at the same time recognizing the reality of a fresh start in a new country of whose community I would like to be a part?” (para.1). Having moved to several different countries and visited many more throughout 21 years in the Army, I can sympathize with what some immigrants go through as far as changes in language, culture, and even what is ethically acceptable. This transition period can...