It is American to have ancestors who lived on this continent for thousands of years before the word America had even been uttered, and whose lands were stolen and lives were shattered by Spainish, English, French, and Dutch colonization.
It is American to have ancestors who were forcefully ripped away from their lives on another continent and sold here as slaves in the few hundred years when this part of the world began to be called America.
It is American to have ancestors who lived here for generations going from being Spainish citizens to Mexican citizens to citizens of the USA without leaving their Alta California or Coahuila y Tejas homes as the border crossed them.
It is American to have ancestors who came here illegally or legally from Europe or Asia or Africa or South America or Australia.
It is American to have ancestors who were, or were themselves, forced from their countries by religious persecution, or starvation and economic hardship, or violent regional conflict.
It is American to have ancestors who were, or were themselves, forced to flee their families in other countries because of domestic violence or gender identity or sexual orientation.
It is American to have ancestors who were, or are themselves, all of the above, or some of the above, or none of the above.
It is American to know and claim how and why we are here, knowing and honoring our personal histories and identities doesn’t divide us, it makes us stronger.
I am not telling you something you don’t already know, but sometimes it is helpful to remember.