Virginia GOP Nominee: We Must ‘Stand For An End To The Hyphenated American’

Virginia Lt. Gov. nominee E.W. Jackson (R) (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

During the Tea Party’s uprising of 2009, E.W. Jackson, the controversial Republican candidate for Virginia Lieutenant Governor, founded a socially conservative organization named Staying True To America’s National Destiny (STAND).

Though the website has since been heavily scrubbed, a cached version from October 9, 2009 shows that Jackson’s group initially spelled out its “Top 7 Issues”. The second most important issue, he argued, was “to bring an end to the hyphenated American.” Jackson warned that by referring to oneself as Jewish-American or Hispanic-American, it comes “at the expense of our national unity.”


It is time to bring an end to the hyphenated American. We have balkanized ourselves into islands of ethnocentrism: Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans. We understand the desire of people to maintain a connection to their history and ancestry. That desire is legitimate, but not at the expense of our national unity. We are Americans with different ethnic backgrounds, but we are first and foremost Americans. Some of our forefathers came from Europe, some from Asia, India, the African continent and a host of nations around the world. If we restrict ourselves to our ethnic enclaves and ethnic identities, we deprive ourselves of the great benefits of the American experiment. It is about uniting a diverse group of people with a common love for freedom, democracy and the ideals of our nation. We are a family. We unite under one Constitution, one flag, and one common destiny. Without a single language, that ideal will become farther and farther from reality.

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Preventing Americans from acknowledging their ethnic heritage was so important to Jackson that it actually edged out abortion (3rd most important) and outlawing marriage equality (4th most important) in his list of top issues.

Jackson did deem one problem even more troubling than the hyphen, however. His number one issue was creating an “American History Month,” because “[w]e have Black History Month and Gay Pride Month, but these only serve to further balkanize us.”