Home Is America January 2008


Monday............I am a native American. I get irritated when doing my duty and completing a census form. Why are entries by color? I was born in America. Many people are born here everyday. They are Americans. Not Black American. Not African Americans. Not Mexican American. Or Italian American, or French American, white American, red American or any other color. We are proudly, "just American".

When traveling to international destinations, no one asks me if I am a _________ American. So, why do census forms, employment attachments, financial documents, etc. have a box to check for 'white'? Once upon a time the field was caucasian.

My neighbors to the south of my home are hispanic origin, and to the north are caucasian. At one time Americans who have ties to Africa asked to be designated as 'black'. The world took a political slip, as it often does, and the term 'African-American became the correct usage. I just like the one word....AMERICAN.

Now, if you wanted to know my ethnic background; that is a different question. Yet, since I was born here, the correct response is still, American. My parents were born here, as were my grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents. That means, I am fifth generation American. When do we quit labeling ourselves as something else?

Completing paperwork for a loan at a bank, the optional form was passed to me. I checked the box indicating I did not wish to participate. The young lady behind the desk took the form from me, looked into my eyes, picked up her pen, and marked the box labeling me as white. When I inquired as to her obvious disregard for my entry, she replied that it was her job was to complete the form as best as she could when the applicant declined to do so. They needed to classify potential applicants for government reporting and tracking...fair equity in lending. It was with a chuckle I let her know how terribly wrong she was. She selected the box that matched my skin color, which is not my family trail of blood.

If everyone born here is an American, isn't that enough? It is for me. I am proud to be American. I appreciate the great blessings I have enjoyed by my birthright. Our government is wrong in determining the flow of funds by ethnicity. The simple and correct path is by age. Areas that have a high percentage of school age children, should receive fair funding to match. Likewise, if an area proves to have more senior citizens than youth, appropriate funding to meet those needs to be filtered in that direction. Makes sense, yes?

The Presidential hopefuls latest buzz word it "change". I would rather hear about their accomplishments and future plans for "results". Change can be good, poor, and damaging. The definitions of the word 'change' from Dictionary.Com:
–verb (used without object)
to become different: Overnight the nation's mood changed, or to become altered or modified: Colors change if they are exposed to the sun
(of the moon) to pass from one phase to another
the act or fact of changing; fact of being changed
the substitution of one thing for another: We finally made the change to an oil-burning furnace
he passing from one place, state, form, or phase to another: a change of seasons; social change
he supplanting of one thing by another
coins of low denomination
Obsolete. changefulness; caprice
—Verb phrase...change one's mind, to change one's opinions or intentions

The White House, since 1800 the official residence of the president of the United States, is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The winner of a 1792 competition for its design was the Irish-American architect James Hoban, whose dignified neoclassical plan was a virtual copy of a project in James Gibbs's Book of Architecture (1728). As early as 1807, Benjamin Latrobe, the principal architect of the Capitol, sought to improve the building by preparing designs for pavilions at either end (added that year in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson), for interior alterations, and for porticos on both fronts. After the building was burned (1814) by the British, it was reconstructed (1815-17) by Hoban, who also added (1826) the semicircular South Portico that Latrobe had proposed and completed (1829) Latrobe's rectangular North Portico. The White House was extensively remodeled (1902) by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, which also added the East Gallery and the Executive Office Wing. Between 1948 and 1952 the building, deemed structurally unsound, was gutted and its interior structure replaced with steel framing, within which the original rooms were reconstructed. Since 1961 each First Lady has contributed to a continuing effort to refurbish the interior. The resultant enhancement has made the White House a veritable museum of decorative arts of the first quarter of the 19th century.

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