The announcer introduces me to the audiences of thousands, “Singer/songwriter of the national America Tea Party Anthem, Mr. Lloyd Marcus!” I enthusiastically enter the stage, “Hello my fellow patriots! I am not an African American...I am Lloyd Marcus...AMERICAN!” The mostly white crowds go wild with applause and cheers of approval. I feel their relief and gratitude of a black man who loves his country and is not hostile or resentful toward them.
I am traveling across America on the Tea Party Express Tour. We began August 28th in Sacramento, CA. Our 34 city tour will end September 12th in Washington DC.
The audience's emotional response to my, I am not a hyphenated American proclamation has been a big surprise to me. After each rally many approach me, many with tears in their eyes to thank me. They tell me, “I can not begin to tell you how much I appreciate what you said. I'm Irish (or I am Italian), and I would never hyphenate. America doesn't need things to divide us. It is fine to honor your heritage but, be an American first”.
My long ago decision to go un-hyphenated is not a criticism of blacks who choose to call themselves “African American” and feel a connection to Africa. Their choice is none of my business. I live in Florida. My “mother land” is Baltimore, Maryland, home of the Baltimore Orioles, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken and the best crab cakes on the planet.
This cross country tour has opened my eyes to the reality that Americans have been held hostage by political correctness. Americans want to be united. They hate hyphenating. In New Mexico, a young man thanked me, “I tell all my friends I am American...not Mexican-American!”.
As I said, simply proclaiming myself an American is striking an extremely emotional chord with my fellow Americans across America. Their affection and gratitude is sometimes overwhelming. Moving me to tears. An elderly woman who owns a small dry cleaning business in Nevada offered me free dry cleaning for life! A rancher invited me to his ranch to shoot guns and drink whiskey. While I do neither, his offer was genuine and sincere.
These same Americans who so desperately want to be united without hyphenations are called racists by the Obama administration for disagreeing with his radical agenda.
Freedom to identify one's self in whatever way one pleases is a part of the greatness of America. While I acknowledge my African descent, I will always proudly refer to myself as an American!