"African American" is a meaningless phrase

This has been troubling me for quite some time. Regardless of the socio-political implications of it, the label “African American” makes no sense.

Firstly, if you are born in America* then you are an AMERICAN. One of the outstanding things about America is the fact almost all of its people came from somewhere else.

As Bill Murray’s character (John Winger) states, “We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world.”

And, only if your mother and father were citizens of Africa (and you are born in America) would you be an African American. By the same token if (and only if) your parents were born in Australia you would be an Australian American.

What has disturbed me the most is that this moniker has absolutely no value in the context in which it is regularly used. There are many people in Africa whose skin is not dark. If two of those people came to America and their baby was born here, that baby would NOT HAVE DARK SKIN but would TRULY BE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN.

This “politically correct” phrase is completely impotent and has now become so overused as to be annoying. My mother’s parents immigrated to the USA directly from Poland. My father’s grandparents came from The United Kingdom. I AM NOT a Polish American. I AM NOT a British American. My parents were naturally-born Americans and I am too. Just because your skin is dark you SHOULD NOT BE CALLED an African American. It is simply absurd.

*which, as a matter of fact, I am and very proud of it. I often find myself NOT proud of the attitudes and actions of some of my fellow American citizens. But that does not alter my pride in being born as an American.