I have an opinionated soul—got me in trouble many times during my years in the Navy—but, truth be told, I cannot even begin to think what I should say to you. Those who care about my well-being have advised against addressing you specifically. Are they right to worry? Perhaps, but I disagree. Which does not make finding the right words any easier.
Rather than leaving the rest of the page blank, I am including here an incomplete list of hyphenated-Americans. Most are from the past; others are still “alive and breathing.” All these men and women belong to a “minority.” In other words, they are not Caucasians. But that is where the differences end.
Maybe you have heard of some of them? If that is not the case, I urge you to read up on their life and work. You will discover that rather than take away, they have added to the fabric of American society. Here they are:
Adolfo “Dolf” Luque, Adriano Espaillat, Alberto Gonzales, Alfonso “Chico” Carrasquel, Alexa Canady, Antonia Coello Novello, Antonio Villaraigosa, Anthony Quinn, Arturo “Arte” Moreno, Barrack Obama, Ben Carson, Benjamin Banneker, Bill Richardson, Brian Sandoval, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Charles Brooks, Charles Cruthfield III, Charles Modlin, Clarence Thomas, Collin Powell, Christy Turlington, David G. Farragut, Dennis Chavez, Desi Arnaz, Eddy Murphy, Edward Hidalgo, Elena Kagan, Ellen Ochoa, Elwood “Pete” Quezada, Esteban Bellán, Franklin Chang-Diaz, Frederick Douglass, Frederick D. Gregory, Geraldo Rivera, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Granville T. Woods, Guion Bluford, Harold P. Freeman, Henry Cisneros, Horacio Rivero, Jennifer Lopez, Joan Baez, John Christian, John Sanchez, John Ruiz, José Ferrer, José Quintero, Jim Plunkett, Juan Marichal, Keith Black, Lucrezia Bori, Luis Aparicio, Luis Walter Alvarez, Lynne, V. Perry-Böttingger, Mae Jemison, Magic Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marylanders Harriet Tubman, Manuel J. Fernández, Jr., Marc Anthony, Mark Dean, Mazie Hirono, Maya Angelou, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Michael L. Parks, Mona Pasquil, Muhammad Ali, Nancy Lopez, Oscar Romero, Otis Boykin, Patricia Bath, Philip Bazaar, Richard E. Cavazos, Richard “Pancho” Gonzales, Richie Valens, Rita Moreno, Robert Martinez, Robert Menendez, Roberto Clemente, Romualdo Pacheco, Rosa Gumataotao Rios, Rosa Parks, Rosario Marin, Scott Gomez, Shaquille O’Neal, Sofia Vergara, Sonia Sotomayor, Steve Wonder, Susana Martinez, Ted Cruz, Thurgood Marshall, Tom Fears, Tuskegee Airmen (the), Wesley L. Hicks Jr.
As I said, the above is only a small sample.