An MLK Day Pledge: No More Hyphenated Americans

By E.W. Jackson Published on January 16, 2017

Every time we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we confess that we are “one nation,” but there is less and less cultural evidence of that. In fact, after eight years of perhaps the most divisive President in American history, we are more balkanized than ever. Not only have the ethnic divisions been exacerbated by the constant allegations of racism and white privilege, but we now contend with a whole new set of tribal identities.

We are segmented not only by racial classifications of black, white, Hispanic, Asian and Native American, but shoehorned into the mix are sexual categories of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and, according to Facebook, 56 other gender identities.

With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, the time has come to take a bold step toward unity. To borrow from the President-elect, it is time to make America unified again. We will never be perfectly unified, but we can reverse the politics of division, and reorient our culture toward unity.

I propose that from the 2017 Martin Luther King Day forward, there be no more hyphenated Americans.

Since the election, Mr. Trump has called for solidarity. We need to make that sentiment tangible. The left’s identity politics fosters the narrative of victim versus oppressor, white male versus everyone else, white privilege versus black “empowerment,” capitalist versus worker and now enlightened sexual liberators versus the bigoted, hateful traditional Americans.

It is an effective strategy for obtaining and holding power, but the whole country suffers for it. President Obama and his fellow liberals have unleashed racial hell on our country, moving us away from our vision of “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”

Sixty-two police officers were murdered in 2016, twenty-one in ambush killings because of the false narrative that police are hunting down and killing unarmed black men. The mainstream media, liberal elites and the President have promoted this cancerous myth, and it has metastasized. In the latest racial horror, four young black suspects filmed themselves torturing a victim because he was white and disabled. They made him recite phrases such as, “I love black people.” They taunted him for alleged support of Donald Trump, and hurled profanities against Mr. Trump and “white people.” These are the inevitable results of the left’s destructive strategy of identity politics.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King famously said: “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That will never happen unless we reject the politics of division and embrace a new culture of unity.

A Proposal

We need to stop categorizing each other by skin color and race. I propose that from the 2017 Martin Luther King Day forward, there be no more hyphenated Americans. Let us cease calling ourselves Native-American, African-American, Hispanic-American, Irish-American, Italian-American, Jewish-American, Asian-American or any other ethnic or national bifurcation. We are Americans.

It’s been over five years since I used the phrase African-American. I have often said in speeches that “I am not an African-American. I am an American.” Some black citizens interpret this as denial of my heritage, but it is not. I am not ashamed that my ancestors came from Africa and were former slaves. However, they left Africa 300 to 400 years ago. Slavery ended 150 years ago. I was born an American citizen. That is who I am, and I am grateful to God for it.

Of course I am an American of African descent, if there is a need to know my background, that is it. However, I am not an African, and never have been. I have not yet even visited Africa, although I hope to one day. Neither am I a slave although that is part of my ancestral history. What I am is an American. What should unite us all is commitment to our Republic and the Constitution which secures our freedom. We are all endowed by our Creator with life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness as citizens of the most prosperous nation in history. It is time to rediscover our common national identity as Americans.

A tangible expression of this sentiment would be for government to stop asking citizens their ethnic background. Those questions should be removed from every state, federal and local form. We should not require that information in any business or institution. Race should be irrelevant when applying for school, a loan, a job or filling out a census form. Citizens should no longer be required to answer such questions. The only relevant questions for government are whether you are a citizen, and if not, on what basis are you here.

The way forward is not obsession with our ethnic past, but embracing our common future. I long for the day when not one of us will identify ourselves with a hyphen, but each of us will proudly say, “I am an American.”

 

E.W Jackson is President of STAND Foundation, Inc. [www.standamerica.us], nationally syndicated radio talk show host for Urban Family Communications, a Marine Corps Veteran, 2013 Republican Nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia, Bishop of THE CALLED Church and a retired Attorney.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • faithntrust

    E W Jackson, a refreshing point of view. I’m willing!

  • Wayne Cook

    Well said, sir!

  • Autrey Windle

    Thank you! I have been trying for 30 years to help folks understand that there is one race; the human race. There are Americans or citizens from another country. All ethnicities make us a richer America but calling ‘my-ancestry-first’ attention to ourselves is not only divisive, it is the Devil’s tool to sew hate and unrest. I was not reared with bigotry by my mother. I had to learn the truth of that hateful trait from the growth of political correctness. It is going to take God and everyone who loves their neighbor to stop this nonsense. Please, let’s all stand with E.W.Jackson!

    • 6Proverbs16

      I have for DECADES always declared my ‘race’ to be ‘human’ and my ‘gender or sex’ to be ‘human’ which is biologically and spiritually correct. I declare so on forms, surveys, etc. I make up my own box or line for it if the form or survey doesn’t have it already there. We all should do the same as Pastor Jackson asks us to do.

      • Autrey Windle

        I played with troll dolls when I was a little GIRL. God determined your and everyone’s sex/gender even if you think you can deny it. I find it interesting that any ordinary humans or troll thinks they can improve or change God’s work. Just because you say something doesn’t make it true.

        • 6Proverbs16

          Oh, so don’t agree with Pastor Jackson that we should relinquish claims made from our physical identities?

          Using your statement above wouldn’t we be ‘denying’God’s work’ by denying that people are different colors? and therefor that people often act differently based on color of skin? type of hair? even the way the person wears makeup? what they where? the language they speak? a thousand things?

          You have such a materialistic point of view how can you accept Pastor Jackson’s very spiritually-minded argument that we look only at our unity with each other in God’s one family?

          Also:
          Pastor Jackson is reported saying:

          “I respect every human being, I don’t believe that there’s any second-class citizens in Virginia, I don’t treat anybody any differently because of their sexual orientation.”

          Do you agree with pastor Jackson?

  • LYoung

    Thank you, Mr. Jackson. Truth and common sense must return to our nation for a house divided cannot stand.

  • Gary

    Lots of people like to be identified by their race, or religion, or sexual preference. They like to try to force people to accept them. It is also government policy. So, it is not going to end. The divisions in American society will grow more defined. The resentment, antagonism and division will continue.

  • Hmmm…

    My mind has been revolving around the spin program of the Democrats in general, the gains that have been made with the extremely dishonest manipulation of perception and thus power over a person or group that are in their way. The Clintons, especially Hillary, had that built into their campaigning and politicking – the smear. I watched HRC go after the forming of an identity for DT with increasing alarm. There are large enough numbers of people who will just capitulate to anything organized and consistent. Now, she has a lot of company. Some of them are originators themselves, having fed on the hideous playbook of anarchists like Saul Alinsky. This whole thing of “calling out” is part of the control tactic. It is masked to appear a generous and right thinking protection of the vulnerable, when they are literally feeding on that vulnerability = votes. It’s the real reason behind their huge immigrant push = more voters, grateful to them. Bring in the masses and more quickly assume dominance and complete power. They care not for those for whom they “cry.” Many are duped in this; too many others know exactly what they are doing. I truly attribute this recent election as an extremely timely deliverance from that exact playbill, and we should be thankful and, as this author, begin to push out and decry and expose what has been imposed on the mind and heart of our nation.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    That’s a legitimate yet lofty ideal. What would the pretentious promoters of idealogical disagreement do w/out “identity politics” ? Practically speaking , the only true unity is personified in the person of the Christ. He it was who became us in our most desperate ,degenerate & divisive condition. Those who have embraced faith in this redemptive undertaking have the responsibility of affirming that standard. Everyone else ? well it’s worth a try …

    • Hmmm…

      Not only to affirm the standard of redemption, but to spread it, the Good News. Just as we are miracles, so may they be, and then be whom God calls them to be. God’s thoughts are lofty, and he calls us up to them. If we are just to be about what we can do … huh? Besides, what’s so lofty about kicking the devil out, because we actually are not wrestling with flesh and blood with much of this. That’s part of why he told us to pray for leaders, men in authority.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Right. Lofty in the sense that only those who have been recipients of this grace can appropriate a true change of heart . Unity is much more than the evisceration of “identity politics” . It is, as we understand , the “dwelling together” of a “new creation ‘ brotherhood. Crossing over all racial , gender & cultural divides. Even so, this has not always been seen in practice among those w/whom this ideal has been entrusted to.

  • David

    “Sixty-two police officers were murdered in 2016, twenty-one in ambush killings because of the false narrative that police are hunting down and killing unarmed black men. ”

    Police killed far over 258 black men in 2016. So those 62 deaths were totally real, but the 260 deaths were somehow all fake?

  • David

    You know what I think every American should do this Mlk Day? Apart from, y’know, not insult the only civil rights legend that we have still among us, Representative John Lewis?

    Learn a single new MLK quote that isn’t just his dream speech. Stuff like “Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.” or all his stuff opposing economic exploitation and preaching income equality.

    Or maybe. “The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism. All people of goodwill viewed with alarm and concern the frenzied wedding at the Cow Palace of the KKK with the radical right.” Always inconvenient for people trying to claim MLK would totally agree with a president endorsed by the KKK.

  • David

    “The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King famously said: “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That will never happen unless we reject the politics of division and embrace a new culture of unity.”

    He also said that people suffer in poverty in America as the milk of prosperity has been denied to them. We will never achieve e that until we eliminate Republican economic principles entirely.

    Oh wawa it, lemme guess, since that would require you helping out people and not forcing others to stop having conversations you find uncomfortable, you don’t feel the need to act on that quote.

  • 6Proverbs16

    Quote from Pastor Jackson:

    “I respect every human being, I don’t believe that there’s any second-class citizens in Virginia, I don’t treat anybody any differently because of their sexual orientation.”

    Therefor ewhy does The Stream keep publishing a steady stream – a strong splashing stream – of hateful gay bashing?

Inspiration
Jealous of the Pigs
Dudley Hall
More from The Stream
Connect with Us