There is no recorded history of those who journeyed across the Bering Strait land bridge between what is now Russia and Alaska. It is altogether possible that those who made the trek were either fleeing other forces in the homeland, or it could be they were sent to seek more resources and bring them back before the ocean overtook the strait and made it impossible to return.
Or, it could simply be the people were looking for a better life, and they left their home in search of something better.
At some point, they stopped thinking about where they came from and started thinking about where they were.
At that point, they were either unaware of how they got where they were or simply not concerned with what was once called home.
At that point they became Americans, and from a short-term history view, the next wave of immigrants first referred to them as Indians, meaning they thought the natives were actually from India.
The newer term refers to them as Native Americans, which is both true and false. Those born in America are native to America. No human clan originated in America, and so in that sense it is false.
The same people who claim the first immigrants are Native Americans claim all other immigrants to America are colonizers and therefore stole the land from the true natives, which would be no one since there is no such thing.
Native Americans were defeated by other Native Americans — those who settled along the eastern seaboard.
That’s absurd, right? The “colonizers” along the Atlantic coastline were not native.
True, they were not, in the sense their ancestors like all ancestors of any people on this continent came from elsewhere.
But societally, politically and by birth they were Native to America, or at least many of them could make that claim since many of them had roots in America that ran five and six generations deep.
Plymouth was settled in 1620, so by the time the “colonists” declared their independence from Great Britain 156 years later, five to six generations had been born in America.
At what point does someone become native to the land where they are instead of indigenous to the land they originated?
More importantly, the colonists ended their station as colonists when they removed the shackles of the Old World by declaring themselves independent.
Not only did the people who formed the United States shed themselves of their European roots, but so did the people in the Caribbean, South American nations, Mexico and others.
In 1774, Patrick Henry made the statement that he was “no longer a Virginian. I am an American.”
From that moment forward, we were no longer colonists. We are Americans.
This is our home, and we fought wars, we lost lives and we took lives to secure our home. Mexico did the same thing. Brazil did the same thing. All throughout the Americas, people did the same thing.
I am American. I know no other nation as home.
Even when the slaves were freed and Abraham Lincoln offered to transport former slaves back to Africa, they refused. This was their home. They were Americans, too.
Those who claim America is made of colonizers are about 300 years too late. And the term at best refers to anyone who originally came here from elsewhere centuries ago.
It applies to no one today. I am not here to benefit any European power. I am not European. I am American.
Much like reparation claims, the ploy is to divide people rather than unite us all as Americans today.
Our way of life is envied by the world because we have found a way to unify through our differences. Being American only threatens those who want to take our freedom away.
Earl Watt is the owner and publisher of the Leader & Times in Liberal, Kansas. Watt started his career in journalism in 1991 at the Southwest Daily Times. During his career, the newspaper has won a total of 17 Sweepstakes awards from the Kansas Press Association for editorial content and 18 Sweepstakes awards for advertising. Watt has been recognized with more than 70 first place awards for writing in categories from sports and column to best front pages, best sports pages and best opinion pages. Watt is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and is the descendant of several patriots who fought for America's freedom and independence.