Tired of Being Labeled

“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.”


Former child star Raven-Symoné, who first appeared on The Crosby Show in 1989, expressed this in an interview with Oprah earlier this week. She is not the only one who feels this way.


Whether it’s skin color, gender or ethnicity, people across the country are frustrated with the kind of thinking that seeks to reduce a person’s identity to a checked box on an application. These independent-minded thinkers have unique opinions, talents, backgrounds, and character and are fed up with being treated as tokens, instead of as individuals.


Raven has taken a lot of flack for not embracing her African-American identity. In the world of pseudo-diversity and identity politics, you don’t get to pick who you are, society picks it for you. You can be your own unique person as long as you think and act like someone with your identity is supposed to think and act.


No wonder she’s tired of labels. Aren’t you?


- Jennifer Gratz