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Perspective: What's A 'Full-Blooded American?'


Like many Americans, I recently completed the 2020 Census online. I was prepared to engage in an act of civil disobedience -- refusing to answer any question about citizenship. Thankfully, I didn't need to. 


But one question did catch my eye. I knew there would be a question about race, but it also asked about my origins. I was tempted to answer, "An American bedroom in an American city in an American state." But then I thought, "What if it wasn't the bedroom?" So, not wishing to tempt the ire of the Census Bureau, I dutifully told them what I knew about my own ethnic heritage. 
My concern about the question was prompted by a comment I overheard recently. A man had visited a government office and later said, "Hardly anyone in the waiting room looked like a full-blooded American." 
I have known a number of immigrants, who took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, and in my mind they are as "full-blooded" an American as I am. Thomas Jefferson envisioned a country based not on genetics but on the acceptance of the American idea. That idea, based on a belief in equality and constitutional government, is what makes us Americans. 
I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective. 

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