M’rica                                                      Americaniana

We are Americans. All of us. Each person born in any of these countries shown above could call oneself an American if he or she chose to. But as Americans we believe we are singular; we believe the term America refers only those of us born within the border of the United States of America. The other day, I had a conversation with a few Brazilians. They openly wondered why we felt compelled to insularly refer to ourselves as the only Americans when they also are from an American continent. Perhaps it is because our country name includes the word America in it? Does this make us feel more American than the rest? Between North and South America, over 900,000,000 inhabitants occupy the numerous countries making up these continents. So, in thinking like Linnaeus, maybe we should consider ourselves all a part of the same genus- Americaniana and only our species name varies slightly between north and south. Naming can be confusing, challenging or politically charged. If we try to break it down to a simpler level as Linnaeus attempted to derive order out of nature, we may find we are more open to possibilities. Allowing the other 580,000,000 to be called Americans as well may be more revolutionary than we might foresee.

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