Hyphen? No!

24 May

pierre and marley

A new life. A new love. An eternal mystery bundled in joy.

It was in a hospital room where our 27th great-grandchild was about to enter the light of day.

Our granddaughter was surrounded by family of various ethnic origins, religions and life experiences.

We were black, brown and white.

We were also Christians—Baptist and Catholic and perhaps a few other denominations.

It was, I thought, a small United Nations with each of us focused on the miracle of new life.

But, no, that is incorrect. We were not a “united nations.” We were family, even though we had just met some of our granddaughter’s in-laws and friends—a family formed in love and the mystery of life, the beauty of life.

You noted, perhaps, that I did not use the term African-American. No longer will I use hyphenated anyone such as Latin- or French-or German- or Polish-American.  

I don’t believe in “hyphen-anything-or-anyone.”

We are American or we are not.

I’ve known too many Catholics, and I was once one myself, who claimed to be, and perhaps really wanted to be Catholic, but were undecided to follow our Lord in the Church he founded. And, I suppose, Christians of other denominations could say the same about themselves and others.

Likewise, I’ve known Americans who were totally dedicated to the principles upon which our nation was founded, among them those Americans who suffered and died for our nation. And then, there are those others who seem to be totally oblivious to the demand freedom places on each one of us.

When I look at our new great-granddaughter, at her very white mother and her dark-skinned father, all I see is family, love and the gift of life always coming anew. I see also the hope for a world without hyphens, a world in which each person is accepted as “one of us.”

What a grand day that will be.

That’s the “day” for which Christ died and rose again, and the “day” to which he calls us all.


One Response to “Hyphen? No!”

  1. bertghezzi May 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm #


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