This Needs To Be Said: Americans Look Like Everyone

Who didn’t watch the news coverage of the senseless terrorist bombings in Boston with a mixture of horror and sadness? After coverage shifted from deaths and injuries to the Federal Bureau of Investigation releasing photographs of the suspects, some news anchors suggested that you couldn’t tell by the pictures if they were American or not.

Clearly, this needs to be said: Americans look like everyone.

Americans come in every skin color, hue, and shade that pigment and sunlight know how to put together.

Americans are girls, women, boys, and men. There is not a gender identity or sexual orientation that doesn’t look American – in military uniform, in scouting uniform, or in casual clothes.

Americans have faith. Americans don’t have faith. The Constitution contains a declaration of faith that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This means that Atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and EVERYONE get to look like themselves and look like Americans at the same time.

And American hairstyles, oh so many variations! Sometimes hair is curly, nappy, straight, short, long, or not there for you to see under a traditional head covering.

Americans are short, tall, skinny, fat, and every shape and size that life is able to put together. Americans have ability and disability. There are more than 11 million people here who already look like Americans and are waiting on documents to back them up. Good people are working on that, because diversity is our strength, not our weakness, and it’s freaking amazing gorgeous.

Americans look like everyone. There is not a single American who doesn’t look like an American, because the bottom line is that diversity – which includes so much more than the most privileged white men whom journalists are used to talking to on television – is what America looks like.

Difference, and diversity, and standing up for diversity are what make us look like Americans.

Standing against racism, and sexism, and homophobia, and xenophobia, and ableism are what make us look like Americans.

It is laws and assumptions that separate us on the basis of our skin, on the contents of our underwear, on the accent in our voice that look, frankly, un-American.

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This post is part of the YWCA Stand Against Racism blog carnival – we invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Joanne Tosti-Vasey Blogging for Equality and commented:
    Americans are a melting pot of people from all over. We come from everywhere. Some are indigenous to the American continent. Most of us are not and in fact are a blend of many different ethnicities.
    In response to the senseless bombing that occurred last week in Boston, I became concerned that we might have a hate-filled backlash against Muslims and Arab people much like what happened after 9-11.
    I was beginning to put together a new blog posting on our multiethnic, multiracial society in response to the bombing and the aftermath to say that we need to be accepting of people no matter yours or anyone else’s ethnicity, race, or religion. Just as I began my writing, I got an email noting that Erin Matson had said essentially what I was writing. So instead, I decided to reblog her posting with some additional comments for all of my readers.
    Most religions talk about peace, equality, integrity, and stewardship or caring for others. No matter what your race or religion (or non-religion), we all can agree to accept each other in peace and racial harmony.
    So take a moment, look at all of your neighbors and all of the people you come in contact with. Take a breath. Smile. Welcome them. And embrace them. Our diversity is what makes us human. Accepting others and embracing them rather than hating should be the mantra for all.
    Welcome everyone. Take care of yourself and those whom you come into contact with either face to face or in any other way.

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