Join the ‘Don’t Check the Box’ Movement
Poised to advance the end of a hyphenated America, HYPHENED-NATION: Don’t Check the Box/Hyphenation Creates Separation, the book by Nicole Draffen, is on course to end the days of ethnic labeling: Latino-American, African-American, Asian-American, and so on, as part of the author’s movement, DON’T CHECK THE BOX; in an all-out effort to soon close the gap on this hyphened separation and citizen classification.
The change Draffen wants to bring forward is one of awakening with hopes that, “One day a hyphenated American will be just a term used in history books because at some point, in maintaining a vision of unity, the hyphen will and should be history.”
HYPHENED-NATION™, the book and the movement, was inspired by founder/author, Draffen, during her travels where she spent time living abroad in the U.K. The author shares her insights while living there as she experienced being treated as solely an American, rather than as a hyphenated one. “It was an eye-opener to discover the social and cultural consciousness when traveling abroad,” says Draffen. “Living in London I was assumed to be British, until I actually spoke, and then I was viewed as simply an American. Period. Not an African-American, not a Black-American, not a mixed-race American, or a ‘what are you American?’ in London. As to the Brits, I was simply viewed as an American. It was truly exhilarating to be viewed so differently, to not be ethnically categorized, as has otherwise been my entire life experience in the U.S. I felt free and proud to think, yes, I am simply an American.”
Draffen’s experience abroad, thousands of miles away from home, served as an eye opener and a catalyst for taking this heartened perspective further. The difference was so startling it led her on a journey toward understanding why the U.S. is one of the only, if not the only country, that hyphenates its citizens by ethnicity before nationality. “The realization that I lived in a Hyphened-Nation only became evident to me after I traveled overseas and experienced this awakening of my true self, one that I never realized had been suppressed.”
Some may be able to relate to Draffen’s vital mission and ongoing call-out: “The whole notion of hyphenated-Americans, even the reflection of how this ethnic separation comes across, actually takes away from our fuller potential, and public perception, as individuals with the equal ability to create an impact and make a difference in our economic, educational, societal and cultural growth. Perhaps many of us can relate, but the conversation has not quite been opened up. Until now.”
As further expressed in her book, America’s ‘hyphened-nation’ is truly minimizing to one’s standing in the nation: The hyphenation of your nationality minimizes your standing in the nation. The hyphen might as well act as a minus sign. Both are represented by the same symbol, and have the same consequences. Just as a minus ‘takes away’ a numerical value, its counterpart hyphen lessens the value of your nationality.
Draffen firmly believes, “Being categorized as a Hyphenated-American goes against the very foundation of what our country was built upon.” And yet, “It was former President Theodore Roosevelt who said, ‘A hyphenated American is not an American at all.’” Draffen offers solutions pertaining to how all American people can proactively choose to lose the hyphen, and once and for all truly stand in unity as a unified nation; representing ‘We the People.’
The movement of HYPHENED-NATION is to essentially eliminate the hyphen for everyone’s sake.
Leading the way, Draffen continues her hard-pressed objective to not only address, but eradicate, this issue of ethnic separation. Why does America hyphenate Americans? Most can think of the infamous box they have been asked to check their entire life on a variety of documents or applications, where each person is asked to ‘check the box’ in terms of their ethnicity and racial background.
DON’T CHECK THE BOX
The same box that does more classifying than unifying. Follow the ‘Hyphened-Nation’ call to action and don’t check the box pertaining to ethnicity or race. No one ever said it was mandatory.
Through Draffen’s movement, it is her hope to bridge the gap and return to unity, “So that one day every American will view one another who live in America, as simply an American.” No hyphens attached. No separation based on race, creed or religion. Americans standing in unity as simply, Americans.
Read the book and join the movement. Draffen’s HYPHENED-NATION is a call to action, a jumping off point from where the U.S. and Europe differ culturally via media, and how a bridge might be created. “I hope this book inspires you to join the movement,” continues the author. “May this book be a catalyst for positive change. Your relatable stories and insights will help to light everyone’s path toward a brighter and more unified future.”
According to the book, there is no doubt that hyphenation creates separation and many problems for individuals placed in ethnic categories. Fast-forward, HYPHENED-NATION is on a mission to change all that.
We walk among hyphened Americans every day. Isn’t it about time we unite as the people of this nation?
Through her book and movement, HYPHENED-NATION, Draffen has created a call to action for Americans to actively choose and realize that each citizen has the ability to ‘lose the hyphen.’ Draffen encourages, “Americans can take a significant unified leap forward in ending racial separation and stereotypes created as a result of a Hyphened-Nation. This can end now. Draffen poses the question, “Shouldn’t it be about the American vote?” Not the vote of a certain sector, or capturing the votes of this race or that race, or gender for that matter?” In her effort to unify citizens as Americans even more, “It should be about the American vote. Americans need to lose the hyphen. We don’t need any more division caused by the hyphen. It moves us away from unity, not toward it.”
Several movements have been formed advocating for equality among different minority groups
HYPHENED-NATION is one of the few social movements fighting for equality for all ethnic minorities in America. Launched since 2016, support for the movement has continued to grow rapidly. To date, Draffen’s organization has more than 8,329 followers on their Instagram page; plus 5,226 Twitter followers. Its members are encouraged to ‘not check the box’ on applications that ask for their ethnicity, as well as to wear a unique message-centric wristband, and contact their state representative to support the end of ethnic minorities from being miscategorized as ‘Hyphenated Americans.’
Draffen has facilitated a template on her website, www.Hyphened-Nation.com, which is a letter that people can send accordingly to their state representatives encouraging much of the same; advocating for simply, yes, and ‘not checking the box.’
Readers praising HYPHENED-NATION describe it as “insightful perceptive,” “a true eye opener,” and as “a breath of fresh air.”
WOW!! This book was definitely an ‘eye-opening’ experience.
For further details and/or to join the movement, visit: www.Hyphened-Nation.com. The author invites the general public to become involved by following her call to action, as further illustrated on her website.
Draffen also encourages anyone wanting to help spread the message to contact her through her site or on social media to become part of the HYPHENED-NATION team.
HYPHENED-NATION: Don’t Check the Box/Hyphenation Creates Separation is available on Amazon in both paperback ($11.48) and in Kindle format ($3.99).
Imagine, one day when America’s children will ask the question, “What is a Hyphenated American?” The response will be, “That’s how Americans used to categorize themselves.”
More About Nicole Draffen:
Nicole Draffen has been infinitely passionate about creating lasting change for as long as she can remember. When she lived abroad, it was the social and cultural consciousness of the people she met, and the things she observed, that inspired her natural inclination to understand and study the value of cultural norms. The more she traveled overseas, the more she grew to understand certain aspects of the American perception of culture. Her journeys were the lead-up and inspiration to writing this book.
Currently residing in Orange County, California, she is the creative mind behind the global social movement, HYPHENED-NATION™, the precursor to her book of the same title. Steadfast and driven, Draffen continues her mission to instill social and cultural solidarity in as many people as possible.
“I am a builder, a fixer, and a challenger. I love tearing things apart to understand them, and then try to prove or disprove their merit. This allows me to move through life with an air of certainty about what I know, and what I don’t know.”