Not a girl, not yet an American?

Oops. The Seattle Times is apologizing to readers after having published a headling that read "American outshines Kwan, Slutskaya in skating surprise". No need to explain the types of angry letters the Times received, and the general outcry from the Asian American community. Michelle Kwan is an American. I am an American. That there is still any doubt about the issue is disturbing.
When I was young, my mom used to ask me which side I'd fight on if America went to war with China. I wasn't sure back then. But these days, especially upon reflection after Sept. 11, I can say unequivocally that I consider myself an American. The term Asian-American has always been a strange one to me. I prefer to just say American. Better to have the term American be a broad one, to reflect the unique melting pot that is our country's population, than to have that term reflect a narrow segment of our population (white Anglo-Saxons) and to come up with hyphenated terms to refer to all the other groups in this country.
I'm confident my generation will be one which comes to accept this as the conventional opinion. But articles like this remind me that my friends may be the wrong group to use as a proxy for the population at large. Occasionally I still hear a racist comment tossed my way, and in a way it's worse than the more frequent and vicious barbs heard on the playground in grade school. The difference is that people my age can't fall back on the excuse of childhood ignorance. They're just plain ignorant.
Thanks to Ken, who is in St. Louis, for pointing this article out to me. I'm the one who lives here in Seattle, but I never read the Times. Local newspapers are, for the most part, a waste of time. This story gives me little reason to believe otherwise.
This, of course, is an easy topic. Affirmative action is tougher, but plenty of misconceptions exist about that topic as well. One of these days I want to discuss it, particularly as my recent reading from Guns, Germs, and Steel has influenced my thought on why affirmative action is a good thing if defined properly.