Letters to the Editor

Letter: Enslaved African Americans weren’t ‘immigrants’

Learning the etymology of terms, particularly loaded ones, is critical to having informed conversations.

In talking about our nation’s purpose with respect to freedom and equality for all, I appreciated The Olympian’s inclusion of indigenous peoples. Too often we leave these first Americans out of our self-description.

In this same vein I feel excluded when I hear our country being comprised “of immigrants and Indian nations.” As an African American whose paternal ancestors were enslaved, “immigrant” doesn’t accurately portray my family’s journey. As far as the narrative that has been passed down, my ancestors did not come to the United States of their own volition. They were not seeking a better life in terms of economic opportunity, nor were they fleeing persecution.

Political correctness creates space for those of us whose histories have been un/intentionally left out of the mainstream American political discourse to speak up for ourselves.

Tanya Bowers