Home Featured Byron Thomas Wants African Athletes to Represent Africa and Black American Athletes to Represent America

Byron Thomas Wants African Athletes to Represent Africa and Black American Athletes to Represent America

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Source: CNN

Here we go again, Byron Thomas (@ByronThomas7) posted a video which appeared on CNN that features him saying that Africa and America are two separate “countries” #blankstare and that Black Americans should only represent America and not Africa. Well, my initial reaction is that you can tell something is wrong with this kid because look in the background of that picture. All I can say is RIP for his mentions and his reputation, forever. Good riddance. Check out the text of his video below, and I’ve included a link for the video. We’ve got to do better Black people, we need to come together, not apart. While I understand the need for Black Americans to realize that they are citizens of the United States of America, we are also displaced African peoples living in America. For that very reason, it is almost imperative that we never forget that we are African-American, not just American.

“Hello my name is Byron Thomas and America here we GO AGAIN!!! Why can’t our Black American athletes represent only one country??? Our Black American athletes are representing the United States of America: Team USA. They are not representing Africa!!! It’s making me sick to my ears hearing the word African American during the Olympics. Now when Gabby won gold and made history in women’s gymnastics, she won that gold medal for the United States of America!!! She did not win that gold medal for Africa nor was she born in Africa. She was born in America, trained in America, and represents America. She is the FIRST Black American to win gold in women’s gymnastics. Also, when Michael Phelps made history with his three peat, you didn’t hear the commentators saying he was the first German American or Italian American. No, they said he was the first American to three peat. I just don’t understand why we still have to be called African Americans, especially during the Olympics. Africa has their athletes and none of our Team USA athletes are representing Africa or making history for Africa. Let African Athletes represent Africa. The color of my skin WILL NOT define me. Plus there are White Africans too!!! We are all Americans. Look, no one originally was born in America, our past migrated over here, but that doesn’t mean we have to be identified by where our past came from. Just for the record the first Africans brought to America WAS NOT SLAVES!!! Again, America when I hear the word African American all I can think of is two countries Africa and America. I’m not African; I’m a 100% American. I am the same as any White American. Point blank if you are born in America, then you are 100% American. Kill People With Kindness and May God Bless America.”

Check out the full video here.

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– Dr. J

Comment(55)

    1. That's not fair to the many Americans that are not ignorant. Also, don't discount that every country has it's ignorance. In some ways, America's no where near the most ignorant of them all.

  1. So he’s just going to act like Africa is a country and not a continent. :/ first Gabby’s hair now this. Our young people either know nothing about our history or they just don’t respect it. But I expect that from a black American kid with a confederate flag on his wall.

    1. Well, the thing is it's not like what the young man is saying isn't somewhat accurate and factually correct (excluding his opinion, of course…it's subjective afterall) , from a technical standpoint (first africans here weren't slaves, Gabby didn't win a gold medal for Africa, etc…etc…)….it's just not complete and doesn't tell the whole story.

      Honestly, until applications replace those check boxes of "African-American/Black, hispanic, white-non-hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander" etc.. etc… with just "American and non-American" I'm gonna need buddy to have a couple of seats and chill.

      1. His facts aren’t completely wrong except calling Africa a country. I just feel like he hasn’t taken into consideration the relationship between “blacks ” and this country. I actually agree with not letting your skin color completely define who you are but lets not act like doesn’t play a role.

        1. His facts aren't completely wrong? Did you miss this part…. "Look, no one originally was born in America."

          Umm… I was… And I get what he was trying to say, but that would be factually inaccurate as well.

      2. They identify racial differences for government purposes to hand out appropriate assistance & for medical research purposes, among a host of other things. I understand it. Without it there would have been no way to properly note the huge disparities in educational opportunities in ethnic neighborhoods vs that of whites, for example. We are not as of yet equal. The problem is, they get it right for the hispanic tab & then muck up everywhere else. "Black (race) Hispanic (ethnicity)" or "White (race) Hispanic (ethnicity)" etc, etc. but regardless of our race & ethnic identity, we are American, and all those hyphens can be used against us to deny our rightful place & ownership here. It can be used to make us feel like we do not "really" belong here (even though we have been here for generations longer than a lot of others, and really, have no place to "go back" to). It will keep us in a "renters" vs "owners" mentality. But I've discussed this ad nauseum IRL,and know a few lines here will only scratch the surface, so Imma chill.

        1. Umm….I understand why they have the various check boxes denoting different races. My last statement was more or less tongue in cheek, but I'm sure you understood that. If not, well…sorry for making you waste key strokes explaining the importance of that. I'm sure someone may have learned something new.

          At any rate….I don't even know where to start….so I won't. Semantical warfare is not what's up on a Tuesday, lol.

    2. minus the bad grammar, I agree with some tidbits as well. He could've made his argument more valid tho. __His view sounds like a half-assed version of something a Moorish American told him. He obviously did not fully understand and could not articulate what they told him.

  2. Oh, so SBM is trying to prank people now? I'm not falling for your chicanery.

    Good day.

    I said GOOD DAY, SIR!

      1. chi·can·er·y [ shi káynəree ] 1.cheating or deception: deception or trickery, especially by the clever manipulation of language

  3. I am an African living in America. I consider myself African American coz I've spent considerable time and have been influenced by the cultures found on both continents. The one thing that infuriates me is the ignorance of the Americans who call Africa a country. It is a huge continent with 52 different countries and hundreds of different cultures. I understand that Byron wants the Black American athletes to be known just as American but thats something that wont happen "until applications replace those check boxes of "African-American/Black, hispanic, white-non-hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander" etc.. etc… with just "American and non-American". We have to admit though that there is a culture difference btwn Black Americans, White Americans, Hispanic Americans, Italian Americans etc. Its not right that Black Americans and Hispanic Americans seem to always be put on a different level especially since the only people who aren't immigrants in this country are the native American Indians. Maybe its time to start a petition or something.

    1. Quite frankly, the reason why they're put on a different level is because of Black and Latino Americans reluctance to completely assimilate into the culture, or at least deeply within the culture. Also, there's no such thing as a White American. But, yeah English, Italian, Irish, Polish, German, and even Asian Americans have came to America and completely assimilated into the culture. Jewish Americans are the only group of people who benefit from the same liberties as white folks, but refuse to completely assimilate. They're halfway in, just not all the way in. African Americans have made it a point not to assimilate, have no problems expressing our dissension to everything about this country publicly, with no real end goal in sight. That's why we're on a different platform. Latin Americans though…. they're on the come up and they are beginning to assimilate too. They may not admit it publicly, but behind closed doors they're poised to make a move to not make the same mistakes as African Americans in America.

      1. What do you think is the reason Black Americans refuse to assimilate? And what exactly is the American culture that blacks are supposed to assimilate to?

      2. What do you mean by assimilate? What would that look like? What are things black people could do that would be effective and beneficial? (genuine questions)

        What is the correct "culture" we're all supposed to be assimilating to? Because when I hear that, I think we're all supposed to change and integrate into white culture. And therein lies the reason I feel like a lot of people are being disingenuous when they claim we should all be called American, and we're all American, and blah blah blah because American is defined by and for the greatest convenience to white people.
        My recent post Dentist pulls out all of her ex-boyfriend's teeth

        1. What I mean by assimilate is really not the point, and I think you guys mistook my tone for saying that we should. I never said whether we should or should not.

        2. I'm not so sure I understand what you meant to say then. America is a melting pot of cultures from what I've come to see but you say that the other cultures have assimilated but blacks haven't but I still don't know what the culture everyone is assimilating to is.

        3. This is neither the time or post to have that conversation. Again, you're missing the bigger point by getting caught up in the weeds. This is a blog, that's a conversation that has to happen face to face. To say, that we're a melting pot and there's no such thing as American culture sounds good to say, but it is silly. There is a culture that exists here, even if it's the manifestation of all of those cultures coming into one. Unfortunately, while they would have you believe it's a melting pot, why is there still a dominant group? But whatever, this tangent we're on is two days old now. And it still takes away from the main point of what I was saying.

  4. I started to type. And I stopped. Thought about and………..

    In his own mis-guided way he is right. Somewhat.
    But years of wearing the "African American" title has taken its' toll.

    And again – Africa is not a country. Which I feel like YELLING to the skies every time some person taking about "Back to Africa". Pick a country….

  5. For some African – American is just the politically correct way to say black. I’m guessing the term is suppose to take the focus off of your skin color ” black” and reroute it to your mix heritage.

  6. Besides his calling Africa a country ::cringe:: I agree with the basis of his argument. I am African-American by culture and American by nationality. This is my country, my home and my history. The actions, struggles and praises of it's citizens affects me because I am apart of this community with no ties (besides ancestral) to Africa and its many cultures.

    The point he makes is for a United front for the benefit of the country. And I'm in agreement.

    But yeah… that Confederate flag though??? (And who the hell is Byron Thomas?)

  7. I don't see the problem with saying black American. I say it quite often but it's in no way to disconnect myself from Africa. I was taught you are African American if you are a first generation American of African descent. Same way for people from Asia and Latin America. No?
    His reasoning seems off especially due to his choice of background but I do agree with using black American.

    1. Yeah… no. Anybody that is a first generation American of African descent, who wanted to hyphenate their ethnicity, would refer to themselves as an African-American. Why? Because despite what Byron Thomas says, and like fiftyleven people stated up-thread, Africa is not a country. If you were a first generation American of African descent, who wanted to hyphenate their ethnicity, you would be a Nigerian-American, or a Ghanaian-American, etc. The "African" in African-American refers to the whole continent b/c we don't know which country we came from.

      1. Africa is not a country? Get out of here! I guess Asia and South America aren’t either hunh? (See what I did?) I really should have paid attention in chemistry. <sarcasm>

        I know that Africa is a continent. Thanks though…..

  8. I can't stand it when AA deny their African ancestry but will claim to be "Indian" in a heartbeat and know just as much about Native American culture as they do about West African…none! If AA knew any better, they would be happy to assimilate to certain African values!

  9. No offense to the African Americans. But I've noticed there has been a lot of bad press showing African Americans in a terribly dull light lately. First insults to Blue Ivy about having black features and resembling her father, then to Gabby Douglas' hair, then this guy? What is up?! To be honest, this guy's statement is not as bad as the insults from the other two incidents. I think this aversion towards being called AFRICAN American is fuelled by insecurities. There is nothing to be ashamed of about being connected to Africa. Besides, I see the term AFRICAN AMERICAN more politically correct than saying BLACK. Non black folks more than often get very scared to say the word 'black', why do they get scared? Because black people yet again are so defensive about nothing, and quick to throw the racism card. I am reluctant to think the term was established to drill into black americans' heads that they are AFRICAN no matter where they are. Ah well, what do I know…I'm not African American.

    1. It is true that a lot of black Americans are reluctant to admit their African roots. And its true that most know nothing about the continent where their ancestors come from but are quick to point out their non African roots.

      "I think this aversion towards being called AFRICAN American is fuelled by insecurities. There is nothing to be ashamed of about being connected to Africa." I cosign that statement!
      How is the rest of the world supposed to accept us when we don't even accept ourselves? Africans in America are also very quick to dis-assimilate themselves from black Americans. At the end of the day, it all changes nothing. Most Americans, regardless of color are just ignorant of the rest of the world and because they live in such a powerful country, they just don't care.

  10. True, but you can't tell Black Americans that they are American and not African. If they went to Africa, they would understand the difference. Africans do not consider Black Americans to be African, but American.

    1. This has been my experience in the last 2+ years of living here in Zambia. I’ve never been referred to as “African American” but “Black American.”

  11. Hi here I am South African, a resident, citizen, mentally,biologically,spiritually, proudly AFRICAN. Its so peculiar to hear how African Americans attempt to disconnect and stay connected with the African continent. When we watch the olympics we acknowledge those that geographically and historically share a familial thread with us. No poverty, no riches, no education, no miseducation will seperate us. No slave ship, no freedom flag, no crime, no justice shall seperate us. Sooo proud of the Jamaican, the Americans, the Somalians, the Kenyans, the South Africans the compete at the Olympics. This Thomas guy is disappointing but i dont think it comes from ignorance, sounds more like an identity battle to me.

    1. "No poverty, no riches, no education, no miseducation will seperate us. No slave ship, no freedom flag, no crime, no justice shall seperate us."

      This line right here gave me chills….Love it!!!

  12. I always call myself American, why have the African part in front of it? I was not born in Africa, I have no allegiance to Africa and if I went to another nation, they would call me an American, not African-American. Besides, these hyphens are pointless and do nothing but force differences in society.

  13. If some1 ask me where I am from my automatic response is "Im American”. Not because I am trying to disassociate myself with my African descent, but because its where I was born and all I’ve ever really known. Now, turn around and ask someone whose parents or even grandparents were born outside of the USA, where they’re from, even if they were born in America, the majority will tell you “Im Jamaican” or “Im Trini” so on and so forth. The disconnect isnt created by an application with a box that has “African-American/Non-Hispanic”. At some point we have to take fault for our role.

  14. For those who choose to not even include American when describing where they are from can just as easily be depicted as being unpatriotic. For those AA who opt to simply say theyre American are downplaying their heritage. I mean if you think about it we are the ones, more than any other race, that will separate ourselves from each other and we live in the same country. So can we really be surprised when that same country follows lead and keeps us separate with boxes like “African-American/Non-Hispanic”? Or am I just buggin?

  15. I'm curious as to what he would say about the Olympic Nigerian Basketball team, since 9 of the 12 players are American born.

  16. If you're black, with no immediate ties to Africa, I suggest going to an African country (particularly West Africa, since that will probably have more meaning). I will just say people will show you mad love, no matter what. And that is a beautiful thing. You should appreciate that if nothing else that people who don't know you will treat you like "brothers" & "sisters." Hell you can go all over the world, and that diaspora connection is real. Race does matter. Because you will not feel that from random white Europeans or even Americans.

    I love saying I'm black and African. It kind of saddens me that some people wouldn't like to be associated with Africa but do you I guess!

  17. The problem with black ppl in all the world is that we worry way too much about how others perceive us. Many of these folks are trying to distance themselves from their heritage because of what some ignorant whites believe or wants, i.e. "you're black, therefore you MUST be ghetto." or "dark skin is ugly" My question is, why do we give whites opinion such omnipotence to us?

  18. these ppl is white and mixed latinos they are not our friends more like your enemys! stop make mixed/white looking kids with these fake racist crakkkers and w!ggers who will go to white race pls my real dark skin black ppl in all this world wake up!

  19. we need to stop propagandize interracial/light skinned bullsh't in african/BLACK sites, blogs or tv and media with these all racist ugly whites and non african/black ppl because it is ridiculous how you self-hating sellout coons want to kill yourself and your own people. most of us do not want f'ckin ugly pale weak crakkkers and mixed looking kids for white race just like racist white trying to make it, that is why we have mixed boy in white house today to destroy us, our race and culture! your black/mixed daughter is dirty p0rn0 wh0re or stripper its only because she thought that her white boy will really love her just like her self-hating dumb azz hoe mother teach her. all these dirty crakkkers/w!ggers/white mixed latinos f'cks young black or mixed girls at young age before than they will be sleep with dark/brown skin black men that is why black/mixed women are f'cking up and your black men not really love and trust you! interracial is wrong and a genocide pls my black ppl wake up!

  20. DARK SKIN IS BLACK AND LIGHT SKIN IS NOT GET OVER IT. WE NEED TO STOP MIXED UP WITH UGLY PALE RACIST WHITES AND NON BLACK PPL AND MAKE MORE REAL DARK/BROWN SKIN BLACK SONS/KIDS BLACK LOVE THE BEST! OBAMA IS NOT BLACK HE WAS WHITE/JEWS PROJECT TO DESTROY REAL DARK SKIN BLACK PPL, KIDS, RACE AND CULTURE PLS MY BLACK PPL WAKE UP!

  21. PLS BLACK PPL WAKE THE FUCK UP WE NEED MORE REAL TALENTED STRONG DARK/BROWN SKINNED BLACK SONS/KIDS AND FULL BLACK FAMILY IN AMERICA AND IN ALL THE WORLD BLACK LOVE THE BEST F'CK INTERRACIAL RACIST BULLSH'T AND RACIST UGLY PALE CRAKKKERS!

  22. I agree with Byron. Yes he made a few insignificant errors but overall we all know what he was saying and the point he was making. It’s funny ya’ll are the same people on here that cry about racism while judging this man for his opinion for his flag and his love.for America. If y’all wanna be miserable judgemental haters by all means go nuts but don’t judge this man because he loves America and wants to see his fellow Americans being appreciated and the land they were born in being respected. Much love and respect Byron!! 🇺🇸❤

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