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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hyphenated-Americans as “White-only” signs

Brad Lee points to progressive vision in regress
Editing, brief commentary by Carolyn Bennett

Bradley (Brad) Lee describes himself as a “devout ‘Trekkie’” who grew up in Australia’s Outback. He is also a Canadian writer, journalist, educator, curator, television producer, and researcher. His insight on cultural hyphenating strikes a common chord.

Proud to be hyphenated?
Today it seems that the human race has gone in “the complete opposite direction” from “Star Trek’s” vision, he writes.

We are more immature … than ever before and a lot more stupid than what was once predicted in the visionary mind of [Star Trek’s creator] and others back in the day who fought to make the world a better place for ALL humankind.

Lee recalls that “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry had envisioned a planet on which there was “‘No crime, no poverty, no wars, no prejudice, no borders; just one big happy planet [of beings] who had lost their need for materialistic things and all were working together for the progress and evolution of humanity.’”

That future has not happened. The reverse has happened. Among the manifestations of human regression Lee observes is “Hyphenated Segregation,” notoriously practiced in the United States: not “Americans” but African-Americans and Jewish-Americans and Irish-Americans and, well, the separations and expedient usages are endless.

In Australia and in most of the world, Lee writes, “We don’t describe our indigenous population as ‘Aboriginal-Australians.’ We don’t describe our citizens originally from Africa as ‘African-Australians’ and we don’t term people who follow the religion of Judaism ‘Jewish-Australians.’” ALL are Australians. But in the U.S. cultural context, he observes, people are termed ‘African-Americans,’ ‘Jewish-Americans’ or some other “stereotypical or religious reference” when in fact they are not ‘African-Americans’ or ‘Jewish-Americans’; they are AMERICANS” just as others are and should be treated as others expect to be treated. 

Out of many ONE

This is absolutely true as is Lee’s statement of the regressive, devolutionary face of the practice of hyphenating. The hyphen -- for some reason still prevalent within an entire culture -- “is just another form of segregation that should have been discarded along with ‘white only policies’ of certain establishments back in the day.”

The choice is ours: to be or not to be separate and unequal, fragmented, fractured, broken. 

Sources and notes

“6 Examples of How Humanity Is Regressing Not Evolving (By Star Trek Standards),” 2013,



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