Letters to the Editor

American spirit

I applaud Jim Miller’s June 16 letter, We are Americans. He responds to Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago’s umbrage at the term “hyphenated Americans.” As Miller points out, it is not the Bill Nelsons of the world who practice such labels. It is a growing chunk of the American population, including who, like Santiago, prefer to emphasize their ethnic heritage rather than their American-ness. How often do we meet someone who has lived in America for most, if not all of their lives, and refer to themselves as Colombian, Cuban, Asian? In other words, they self-segregate.

As a Democrat, I am opposed to nativism, and as an American, I applaud inclusivity. But full, unambiguous designation as an American should also come with participation. If you’re here in body, you should be here in spirit, too.

Layla Elman,

Coconut Grove