Black or African American? Latino or Hispanic? Native American or American Indian? Debates break out all the time about the best terms to use for certain ethnic groups, but many in the U.S. haven't the faintest idea about the controversy that's long surrounded the term "American." Because the term applies to any resident of North or South America, including countless indigenous peoples and people of color, some argue that it's imperialist and racist for "American" to be used exclusively to describe nationals of the U.S.
A few months ago, I read a lovely post on country music by Garland Grey over at Tiger Beatdown, and I was quite enjoying myself until he included Johnny Cash as a "toxic model for masculinity" and I hit the roof internally*.
Because Johnny Cash may be the only model for masculinity I turn to. (Well, aside from Springsteen, about whom more later!)
And now again, as the U.S. writhes under the weight of its own myths, I go back to Cash as well.