I feel like Native Americans are trivialized by being called "Native Americans." Why not give them the respect they deserve and go with "Original Americans?" When I hear the word native, immediate immages of brown people running around in loin cloths with their faces painted invade my mind. I picture the baffeled looks on their furrowed, painted brows as they watch the ships come sailing in. I hear the giant, collective mental "uh oh," as they observe the mysterious white creatures leaving their ships, preparing to wreak havoc with disease and culture.
When I hear the world original, I picture a not-so-helpless brown person, proud and noble, hatching plans to wreak a similar havoc upon the wretched white indruders with syphilis and other like diseases. I see farms burning, settlers running for their lives. I see the government of the United States not taking advantage of poor, ignorant, uneducated fools, but screwing over nation after nation of proud, intelligent Original Americans.
On a similar note, I feel like the Original Americans should really be the only people/race to have the right to a precursor to "American." I think everyone else should simply be an American. I think that unless one has moved to America, and subsequently become naturalized, they should just go with American. One who has come from Mexico, and gained citizenship can be a Mexican American. Or from China, a Chinese or Asian American. If from Africa, an African American. But for goodness sakes, I don't call myself a Polish American, because my ancestors were from there. Why must we distinguish? There are already enough inerently distinguishing characteristics that plague our society without having to add in the most blatant--that of obvious race. I am not a Polish American, nor am I am Mormon American. I am an American, who happens to be a Mormon, and my ancestors were from Poland. If we all want to be equal as Americans, then let us call ourselves as such, and quit distinguishing between white, black, yellow, or red-headed Americans.
Except, of course, the Original Americans. Any sector of people who have among them a group called the "Ho Chunk Nation," can do whatever the hell they want to.