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WikiProject United States (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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Total Population of Americans[edit]

You show that the total population of Americans is 308,745,538 in the Infobox. I understand that you are measuring using the Census, but then you state that the US has 318,201,000 Americans. Obviously, those numbers are off by 10 million. To make matters worse, your initial estimate does not include the number of Americans living abroad.

If you include the number living abroad, the correct number of Americans would be 321,264,045 - 322,305,738, assuming my math is right. Can you at least please explain the reasoning behind using the Census for 2010 when that only measures reporting American residents in the US, and not true "Americans" necessarily - illegal immigrants who do not self-identify as Americans, nor hold American citizenship.

I'd be interested in the recount aspect. Thanks. (A random anon who like wikis, but mostly Wikia) (talk) 03:01, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I am going to add one more comment - your disambiguation line states that this page is about citizens of the United States of America. That furthers my questioning of your use of the Census, and just the whole issue. Also, I have no response so I am hoping commenting again brings some discussion up. (Some anon) (talk) 03:34, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that the best thing we could do would be to have the 322 million number, then subtract 12 million for illegals to get 310 million. Though we would also probably have to subtract another 10 million for legal immigrants and have only 300 million. We really don't know how many illegals there are exactly because there aren't really any official numbers on it. (talk) 13:22, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Infobox images[edit]

I see that the majority of edits have been changing the images in the lead section infobox. Rather than all these constant edits, let us come to a consensus on what should be in that infobox. Back when I use to be a more active editor, it was just the American flag, due to the civil but constant editing that we see today. What are the goals of the Wikipedians in all this editing? This article is not List of Americans, this is about all people of the United States. Rather than multiple single individuals, is it possible to have multiple pictures of group images, perhaps one per century, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st, each being representative of the subject of this article and the History of the United States?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 12:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I think deleting it would be ideal. British people does not do this, and pictures are only displayed for smaller groups with in the country (ex. Scottish people, British Asians). Also the fact that not even half of the images are of women is pathetic. The people pictured are notable Americans, but they definitely aren't a representative group of American people. Considering how diverse the country is, the page as it is shouldn't really look like this. Secondplanet (talk) 23:24, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, then. Perhaps we should take a poll to determine consensus as to whether there is support of removing the multiple individual portraits in the main info box of this article in the lead section.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:26, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
American mosaic.jpg
The problem here is the number of images - 36 persons are overweight and the viewer is lost in images. The standard number must be 20-27 people (max.30). It is a mosaic of 25 significant and popular Americans, arranged chronologically by date of birth. 5x5 and 5x6 options are the best and are used in many articles as Dutch people, Bulgarians, Brazilians, Germans, Italians, Serbs, etc. Other variant is 27 images in 3x9 as in French people or 16 images in 4x4 as in Norwegians.--Stolichanin (talk) 10:10, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Eh, it seems impossible to agree upon even 30 people to represent Americans. The picture you made certainly doesn't do a good job, at least in my opinion. Secondplanet (talk) 15:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)


Please sign your name using four tildes (~~~~) under the position you support, and please add a (hopefully brief and well thought out) comment.

  • Remove infobox images
I would also like to point out that this article is about American people. Famous figures are hardly relavent to the article topic, yet some seem to see it as a criteria for image inclusion on this page. There isn't a reason popularity or notability should be considered if images are included. Secondplanet (talk) 03:26, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    • RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:15, 3 September 2014 (UTC) Back when I was a more active editor on this article, I believed it sufficient to have images in the infobox of each of the Racial and ethnic group sections of the article. Each section can have an individual of each of the ethnicities within that racial group, as determined by consensus. Although I like the idea of group images for each of the different centuries that the United States has been around (18th, 19th, 20th, & 21st), failing that removing images from the primary infobox might stop these edit wars from re-occurring. However, I would like to remind the poll creator of WP:!VOTE; perhaps a notification to relevant Wikiprojects is in order to show consensus for or against removing the primary infobox individual portraits.
    • Omit: A perpetual source of dispute and contention. Some of the current choices are indefensible, most notably the inclusion of a contemporary Louisiana politician. Both 20th century scientists are known primarily for textbooks and television. Of the 36 in the current page, three are women. At first glance, none are Jewish, one is Asian-American -- and Inouye is otherwise arguably not among the 25 most significant senators in US history. Conservative politicians are grotesquely over-represented. We have lots of athletes and entertainers, but no winners of the Nobel Prize (besides Hemingway), no great physicians, no great engineers (besides Ford, and his anti-semitism rather taints him as a role model). This will never be settled will always be a source of tension and controversy, and is entirely extraneous to the project goals.MarkBernstein (talk) 20:52, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Added more diverse people with more occupations. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 21:45, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
No you didn't. There is still only four women on a image wall full of men. The concept isn't that difficult to understand. Secondplanet (talk) 03:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Technically, he made it 5 women (I'm guessing that's still not enough), w/someone removing 1 of them. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 06:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep infobox images
    • --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 02:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC) I go both ways to be honest. Although I think we should keep the images, but add a small note saying editors not to the change pictures. Plus if a mosaic is to be used for the future it should have these people in it. Then again most of the edits are on the images. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 02:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Blaylockjam10 (talk) 07:21, 4 September 2014 (UTC) I'd keep the images, but 1 suggestion I have is replacing Robin Williams w/an Asian American. It appears Williams was added after his death. He's notable, but I'm not sure he's notable enough. I don't see any Asian Americans in the infobox images. If there aren't any, 1 should be added. I agree w/adding a small note asking editors not to change the pictures.
The current 36 images are undue weight. Obviously their number must be reduced. I made a few adjustments and used people from the current image, but cut the number to 24, as you can see now. There are several problems with current images:
1. When the images are more than 30 the viewer is lost in the image.
2. We must to add at least one American, who was born after 1974 (under 40 years). One general rule in the images in infobox is to describe people from different generations and historical periods. Many nations have least one person, born after 1974. For example - Italians has Valentino Rossi, Serbs - Novak Djokovic, Bulgarians - Grigor Dimitrov and Nina Dobrev, Brazilians - Neymar and Adriana Lima, Norwegians - Lisa-Mari Moen Jünge, etc. The youngest American in current images is Michael Jordan, who is 51 years old (1963). I added Angelina Jolie, who was born in 1975. Actually, if we compared to the other articles, she is on the border (Grigor Dimitrov and Neymar are born in 1990s). But she is world popular as a whole. Other people who can to replaced or to be added in images - Michael Phelps, Beyonce, somebody who you want.
3. The majority of the faces must be Americans, who are popular outside of United States. For example - Merilyn Monroe and Hemingway are world famous, while Oprah Winfrey and Edgar Allan Poe are almost unknown for non-Americans (which do not minimize their significance). But it's not so important.--Stolichanin (talk) 19:11, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
@Stolichanin: I didn't have a problem getting lost in the 36 pictures. I get lost in part of your mosaic due to the entire 2nd row being black & white photos. Quite a few of the people you chose don't seem to follow your 3rd rule. I had to click the George Gershwin link to know who he is. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 01:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I like the mosaic and support it being the official Americans image. Perhaps replacing Gershwin, who is a composer, with international known composers such as John Williams or Leonard Bernstein. Keep the other people. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 22:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)--TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 22:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, George Gershwin is very well known outside the US. He is a far more important musician than John Williams and, importantly for this application, he is widely considered a quintessentially American composer. Outside the US, "American music" means, more than anything else, jazz. No one wrote more jazz standards than George Gershwin. MarkBernstein (talk) 15:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The most important criteria for the list of Americans in the infobox should be diversity & identifiability to Americans. International renown is important, but not as important as those 2 criteria. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 06:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
We should use infobox images but we need anouther poll to decide the persons. There are lot of people that can be represented in infobox. kazekagetr 13:46, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The previous consensus was that portraits should not be used in the infobox, see the discussion below. Consensus can change, however we would need to open a discussion on that to find out if it has, and presently I don't believe the slow moving edit war helps this article when it comes to lead infobox portrait usage.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:02, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Where are the women?[edit]

Can anyone give me a good reason why half of the photos in the info box are not women? Gandydancer (talk) 12:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Nope.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:25, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
More suggestions: Jane Addams, Sacagawea, Billie Holiday, Margaret Fuller, Margaret Sanger, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Emily Dickinson, Mary Cassatt, Julia Child, Maria Goeppert Mayer, MKF Fisher, Dorothy Parker, Grace Hopper, and Louisa May Alcott, . Many of the current choices seem arbitrary or worse, and clearly some are motivated by contemporary right-wing politics. Some other people who are missing: Tecumseh, Scott Joplin, Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B.DuBois, Henry Ozawa Tanner, Louis Brandeis, Thurgood Marshall. Why Ronald Reagan and not Teddy Roosevelt? This seems to be a vexed territory; I'd support removing all these arbitrary image collections. MarkBernstein (talk) 23:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I've added more women. I know that there are some people missing, but there's not enough room. Chaplin was English not American, check the article. Plus we also need more "recent" Americans (from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s) rather than those who lived 100 years ago (1900s. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 23:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

One argument about photos is that they should be distributed purely on notability. For instance if 80% of the most notable people were women then 80% of the photos should be women and vice versa. Gregkaye 19:40, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

That could work if there was an objective way to determine who are the most notable people, and to compare notability. But there isn't. Also the argument doesn't fix the problem of under-representing minorities and their achievements and contributions to American society, because "notability" is probably not independent of race and gender and minority status. Being "notable" for much of US history was something that was mainly reserved for upperclass White men. So choosing "notability" (what ever it means) as the sole criterion for inclusion is simply perpetuates a particular political and historical bias, and hence doesnt escape the problem.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:51, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
"One argument about photos is that they should be distributed purely on notability". An excellent argument to help perpetuate sexism. I believe that wikipedia can do better than that. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 19:54, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe that, if all men and women are created equally they each individual should, to some extent, be considered by that individuals own merit. I believe that one of the few things that Wikipedia advocates is a WP:NPOV Gregkaye 20:07, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Ahha. Men and women are not created equally and they have never been given equal access to perform those social functions that give access to the social prestige that we sometimes call "notability". That is not for lack of merits, but because Men and Women have traditionally been assigned different spheres in which they can seek merit and only the sphere in which males were given preference has been considered to lead to "notability". Also the NPOV policy has no relevance to how to base editorial decisions about whom to include in a photo cavalcade. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:13, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe that all manifestations of sexism are intrinsically wrong. Gregkaye 20:17, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Then why are you arguing in favor of perpetuating one of its manifestations which holds that only mens achievements are notable enough to be on lists of Notable people?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:31, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

That isn't what I said. Gregkaye 21:24, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

No, but as I explained in my previous comment it is the consequence of what you said.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:25, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I am in favor of a rotating cast of characters in the photo montage. I am not that thrilled with the current naming of rows. Let it just be Americans of some note. If George Washington misses a month or two, that's okay. Carptrash (talk) 04:45, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Genuine contenders include: Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rosa Parks, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Meryl Streep.

Dump Taylor Swift who has done nothing new that hasn't previously been done or with more notable success. Options may include: Madonna, Barbera Streisand, Billie Holiday, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga and even Nicki Minaj.

Dump Venus Williams. She may be a good game player but Billie Jean King was a game changer. Martina Navratilova had greater success.

Dump Lindsey Vonn. You have Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

If you do chose based on a “pretty face” then why not consider, Raquel Welch, Jane Russell, Jane Fonda, Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry all of whom are iconic/successful in film. Sigourney Weaver was ground breaking as the first actress to succeed in action roles.

Why the hell is Ronald Reagan listed before John F. Kennedy? There is nothing intrinsically special in becoming US president, Secretary of State or Senator. They are all jobs that someone has to do even by misplaced actors.

Dump: Ronald Reagan and perhaps other of the presidents and consider losing, Condoleezza Rice, Daniel Inouye and/or Cesar Chavez.

Barrak Obama is the first Black U.S. President, Harvard graduate, civil rights attorney and reportedly faithful family man who hasn't launched any arguably unnecessary/unproductive wars. If you are going to consider promotion of minority groups and women then also consider Nancy Pelosi, Janet Yellen.

The first line begins with republicans: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Consider losing: Thomas Jefferson for Teddy Roosevelt.

A cook/chef like Julia Child may be a contender but I am not familiar.

Missing men: Jesse Owens is more significant than Carl Lewis.

Howard Hughes, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie

Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Charles Goodyear, Cyrus McCormick, Samuel F.B. Morse and the Wright brothers

Please go by notability or the likes of Condoleezza Rice will seem out of place. I don't think that it helps to patronise as is the case with inclusion, at this point in time, of the likes of Taylor Swift. As far as singers go you've had the likes of Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Jimi Hendrix. People can be regarded as significant/notable if they have broken new ground or because they are the best at what they do.

@MarkBernstein: looks to have made great suggestions. (I had forgotten about Margaret Sanger).

Gregkaye 09:16, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Origins of All Except "Native Americans".[edit]

When will it be time that WP accept what may be inevitable that native americans greeted all the others that got to the Americas but even they are in all likelihood as increased archeological study develops just as transplanted? (talk) 06:28, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't just 'accept' it, but states it as a fact: "Native Americans, whose ancestry is indigenous to the Americas, originally migrated to the two continents between 10,000-45,000 years ago". AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:54, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

United States R US or Americans we AM.[edit]

At some points in the article I got the impression that the words America and American were repeated as if to push the use of this identity.

From an outside perspective I like to question whether this approach may be counter-productive and whether WP:SOAPBOX may apply:

  1. Enemies of the United States typically refer to the nation as America.
  2. The United States only constitutes one of many countries in the Americas and only about one third of the total population.
  3. Amerigo Vespucci was and explorer of South America and the West Indies.
  4. Hawaii is arguably better defined as constituting a part of the United States rather than as representing a part of America.
  5. The primary reference to the country and is the United States. This is fairly well represented through many of the categories and articles connected to Category:Government in the United States and I would personally propose that this reference may be beneficially applied in other topics as per support from WP:UCRN.
  6. The term "United States" conveys a message of unity in specific ownership of a single nation while 50 countries across two continents share the roots of "American" terminologies.
  7. Patriotism can be positively expressed through either terminology

Gregkaye 19:55, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

America and American are legitimate and common terms in all varieties of English to use for the USA and its citizens, and are commonly-recognizable names to most of the rest of the world outside Latin America. Even the Latin Americans "recognize" the usage just fine, opposed to it that some of them are. From the US-American viewpoint, it is just as much, if not more, SOAPBOX to try to repress its usage, and certainly offensive to most of us Americans. It certainly violates WP:ENGVAR to try to suppress its usage on US-related articles. You might have a point on overusage in articles such as Americas, but not here. Anyway, this is an old argument, and it isn't likely to go away any sooner than the Falklands/Malvinas, Macedonia/FYROM, or the British Isles/Britain and Ireland naming disputes, etc. etc. And by the way, Ireland is a major English-speaking country, thanks to the British themselves, so the Irish do have somewhat of an argument ENGVAR-wise! - BilCat (talk) 03:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree with BilCat here, there have been numerous discussions about this, and consensus has not changed. Also WP:COMMONNAME applies to this article, and the common name for citizens of the United States is "American", plural being Americans. Therefore, I say WP:DEADHORSE, and we move on.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 09:05, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with RightCowLeftCoast. Folks south of the border very rarely refer to themselves as "Americans" so the chance of misunderstanding is minimal. Both US and American are short for the "United States of America" and have been in common use worldwide since 1776. Rjensen (talk) 05:46, 20 October 2014 (UTC)


I would think that Michael Jackson or Ella Fitzgerald would be better candidates that Beyonce whose musical success doesn't have the historical impact of the other two. Same goes with Taylor Swift, for country music, there are definitely more historically significant individuals.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:58, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Ella Fitzgerald should replace Beyoncé and Taylor Swift with Johnny Cash? As a suggestion. The other people are okay. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 02:58, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I would suggest replacing Taylor Swift with Dolly PArton instead. And would propose replacing beyonce with Billie Holliday rather than Ella Fitzgerald.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:30, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
The idea is to be proposed a people of different age. I was explain this above. It's not a problem to replace Swift or Beyonce, but least one of their places must be covered by person, who was born in last 20 - 30 years. Michael Jackson will be good addition for one of these places, but the other is needed by some young American. Christina Aguilera or Selena Gomez are two well known suggestions for the last place, because we have only one person with Latin American descent in this collage for now.--Stolichanin (talk) 08:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Why include someone young? Doesn't that fall under WP:RECENTISM? Unless they have been involved in a world recognized significant first (like what Michael Phelps did (setting a present world record for most gold medals in a single summer olympics)), why include a young individual in the lead infobox at all?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 08:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It is a fundamental principle in all collages (see the articles about other nations, which I gave like examples above). These people are well known today, especially for young readers. Furthermore, it is way to escape from this some sort of ancient Greek "dead nation syndrom", which has great people only in the past. Actually it is not a list of "The Greatest Americans". It's just a mosaic with 30 famous and significant Americans (too many people for infobox collage, especially for nation, which officially exist from only 238 years, but it is interesting exception and the mosaic here is different aranged as well). --Stolichanin (talk) 15:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

It is a fundamental principle in all collages

If it is so fundamental, where is the policy or guideline?
RECENTISM is an essay (granted), and one that has received a lot of support over the years. If anything speaks against including recent, "today", based editing. This is an encyclopedia, not Tiger Beat.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

No consensus for the mosaic[edit]

There have been alot of complaints above regarding the choice of images, and there has been no response from the drive-by user who added the mosaic. Given that there was absolutely no discussion about replacing the individual images in the infobox with a mosaic in the first place, I am restoring the previous format. Please do not readd mosaic without getting a consensus first. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 17:32, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I see only suggestions above, but no one objection or opinion against the mosaic. --Stolichanin (talk) 08:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
There was not consensus for it either. Having individuals instead of a single mosaic makes it easier to edit, but leads to a slow moving edit war over whom is selected.
Personally, I say it was better not having any collage or mosaic, and leaving the infobox blank. There are sufficient infoboxes in the different sections below the lead section to more accurately represent the diversity of Americans.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 09:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

In the name of reason I smite your silly PC nonsense[edit]

Why is Geronimo on there? I understand that it's PC to add an American Indian, but I'm pretty sure Geronimo spent his time fighting the American army and trying to keep his people from being conquered, so he would most likely take offense to being grouped together with the conquerors of his nation. There should be a different guy on there, an American Indian who also clearly considers themselves an American (that means no Russell Means). (talk) 13:25, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I think either are fine, but I think the question is is there a consensus that Native Americans are not Americans? If it is a a question of citizenship, then pre-1924 Native Americans might be excluded, as the Indian Citizenship Act didn't extend U.S. citizenship to those with tribal citizenship until then; and possibly not until 1940 when Jus soli came into effect with the Nationality Act of 1940. Of course individual Native Americans were citizens prior to 1924, however that is whether one requires citizenship to be considered American, and whether U.S. Nationals are Americans (which IMHO they are).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:09, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a good place to look is this article's section: Native American civil rights#Voting. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

No good can come of this. If we exclude non-citizens, then inclusion of colonial Americans like Franklin and Americans born as slaves, like Frederick Douglass, becomes problematic. I think Geronimo is fine, and I'd be very tempted to add Tecumseh. For a native American in the arts, one might consider Nampeyo. The mosaic is a continual source of mischief, and I continue to believe it would be better omitted entirely.MarkBernstein (talk) 16:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

It is not clear to me whether including early Indians or excluding them is the current PC choice, but I favor keeping them. I also feel that the mosaic should be a constantly rotating event, one month politicians, another all artists, musicians, black history month, immigrants, women, athletes, serial killers, etc. Not sure if this would make the current squabbling better or worse but at least it would be different. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 18:17, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with MarkBernstein, the infobox editing has become a slow moving edit conflict that may never be stable. I think the infoboxes for the different races and ethnicities adequately provides for representatives of those individual subjects for this article, therefore making the portraits in the infobox unnecessary IMHO.
That being said, Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers would be included as the Constitution extended them citizenship upon ratification explicitly. Same can be said about the Fourteenth Amendment for African American former slaves. As for Native Americans, I don't see why citizenship need be required for inclusion in this article, but was making my statements based on one potential position, not that I agreed with it; if anything they are the first Americans, IMHO--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:19, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
On the infobox photos edit war, as the one who restored the photo section a number of months back, I'm sorry.that is has never been stable, and I now agree that it probably never will be. But if we do remove it I'm afraid that at this point the edit warriors will just move on to the race sections, as they're used to adding faves and removing hates. But I'm willing to give it a try. - BilCat (talk) 21:31, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
In a large part, I added the infoboxes portraits to the race sections, doing so based on the different ethnicity and ancestry population sizes within each subject. They have remained relatively stable due to this. The largest change has been to the White/European/Caucasian section, which IMHO should changed back to by order of population, but that's a different discussion for a different time.
If the portraits in the primary infobox is kept, a strong consensus of whom should be there, and why should be formed, and once consensus for whom should be in the infobox has been established, it should be defended vigorously, with the onus on the attempting editor to show that consensus has changed drastically.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:05, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Okay so in "laymans terms" I think Sitting Bull is a better replacement for Geronimo if it is to be done. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 01:35, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Geronimo or Sitting Bull? How to choose? Why not Tecumseh? Sacagawea? Nampeyo? It's difficult to see how to arrive at a principled selection. MarkBernstein (talk) 20:24, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
If there is consensus not to have any portraits in the primary infobox in the lead section it is a moot point.
If we are seeking a consensus, I say we do straw poll. Get nominations (say a week or two nominating period), followed by a voting period (say three weeks). Majority support gets placed in infobox.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:01, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I also reacted when I saw Geronimo, but I guess one could argue that native american is a kind of american. Personally, I´d like to see Eisenhower and Robert E Lee in there. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:43, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Multiracial American portraits[edit]

Perhaps the Multiracial American portraits should be reviewed, it is politically one sided (a single Democrat politician), and may over represent some sub-groups.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:09, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Who would you add or remove, and why? Which groups are "over-represented"? It's easy to make vague criticisms, but specifics would be more helpful. - BilCat (talk) 09:25, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Look at the article Multiracial American, and it does a decent job of listing the multiple interracial categories that are statistically observed. From a quick look, the images that are on this article do not represent all the categories that are represented on that page, and there is still the political unbalance in that infobox and here (that I had previously mentioned).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 13:24, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't answer my question: which groups are overrepresented here, and which political faction? Are you counting only politicians, or reading every bio to see which way a person leans? I'm not reading every bio on each person to determine which races are overrepresented, but I assume you did, so which is it? And have you taken into account which groups tended to mix more than others? - BilCat (talk) 14:09, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Politicians (of which there is but one Democrat politician)
Just looking at the identities listed in the Multiracial American article, there is a section about Whites, section about Black/African American, section about European & Native American, section about African and Native American, section about Pacific Islander, section of Euroasian, a section of Afro-Asian, and a section of Hispanic and Latino.
Article has Black/White (Politican), White only (Jobs was removed from Multiracial article in October 2014), European & Native American, Hispanic, EuroAsian, Black/White, and White/Black & Native American. I already see missing identities.
If we go base on demographics, even in the race sections above this section in the article space, each group, regardless of population size only receive one representative (if they have suffignificant population within that category).
White/"Some other race"=1.7m
Black/"Some other race"=314k
(Table 2 info)
(Table 7 info)
Therefore, based on either format, the portraits in the section in question should be changed or rebalanced.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:03, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have boldly changed the gallery to a sectional infobox similar to the ones used in other race sections. I have left out representatives for "Some Other Race" combinations due to the ambiguaty of the term, just as how American ethnicity is left out in the White and European Americans section.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Getting rid of the infobox mosaic for good[edit]

I posted a poll about this earlier on the talk page, but nothing became of it. Here I am just going to list the reasons why the infobox mosaic is silly, feel free to add on reasons.

1. It is difficult to capture the diversity of the country in a limited space.

2. The images have caused endless conflict on this page, and it impossible to have "consensus" on the correct images for the page.

3. Images of famous Americans are barely relevant to the topic of American people.

4. Personal biases are inherent in the selection of any group of people to represent "Americans."

5. The mosaic consistently remains incredibly slanted towards a white male perspective. Women have never been equally represented in the images despite the fact that they comprise half the population. (This is seems to be a side-effect of how out-of-touch with reality many editors are. This shouldn't even be a problem.)

6. Other culturally diverse nations do not have infobox mosaics. See British people, for example. Instead of displaying a massive wall of images of all sorts of British people, images are reserved for more specific pages, such as British Asian or Welsh people.

7. The infobox mosaic distracts from the content of the page and provides little additional information to readers of the page. If someone read this page genuinely interested in learning about Americans, these images would be very ineffective in illustrating the topic of the article.

8. The issue of removing the infobox images has been brought up several times, yet there has never been consensus. The discussion has been for the most part ignored by participants in the edit war, and very few attempts to actually refute this change have been made.

Secondplanet (talk) 04:09, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

As their primary supporter of the mosaic in the main infobox, I am sad to admit that it has proven unworkable, one of the reasons it has failed is this misguided attempt to "reflect diversity"! "Famous people" are famous usually because they were leaders of some sort, especially politically, and historically those have been white males. George Washington was the commanding general of the Revolutionary War, and the first president of the US under the Constitution. We can't change who he was ethnically, or his accomplishments. The first 43 presidents of the US were "white" males, even though their ethnic backgrounds differ considerably, with several being from ethnic groups that were marginalized historically, notably JFK being of Irish descent. The 44th president is still half "white", regardless of how he choses to self-identify. Other famous or infamous leaders and pioneers of industry, art, etc. were also "white" males. Simply looking at a mosaic and saying things like "The mosaic consistently remains incredibly slanted towards a white male perspective" is just plain silly. Have women and minorities played a significant role in US history and culture? Of course they have. But that doesn't change who has been historically significant. Also, looking at people solely though the lens of color and gender minimizes the great accomplishments of people who are derided simply because they are "white males". The US is a nation of immigrants, and many of the historically significant white males had ancestors who came from European countries were they were marginalized because of class and ethnicity, were poor, and without any hope of achieving anything significant in their own countries because of those factors. Many were ethnic minorities, or were oppressed by an ethnic minorty, such as the Irish by the English. The great thing about America has been that it doesn't matter where you are from or what you look like, you can come to the US and have a chance to succeed that you would never have had in your own country, or at least see your children or grandchildren succeed, in whatever their own definition of success is. In the over 200 years of American history, we have seen an expansion of the ethnicities that have become part of the mainstream of America. Some had to fight for it, and many "white males" died to free other who did not look like them in the Civil War and other conflicts. Martin Luther King led a peaceful march on Washington to redeem the promissory note made in the Declaration of Independence, that all "men" are created equal. And we've expanded that to include women. It hasn't been easy, but it had happened, and many of the people who made it happen were white males.
It makes me sick to hear Americans, usually white males themselves, judge people solely on their gender and the color of their skin, as if they are so much more enlightened than the rest of us "white males" who genuinely try to judge people "on the content of their character, not the color of their skin." This has always been why I have supported having a mosaic of significant, famous, or even infamous people in the main infobox, rather than having them be segregated by race or color into separate sections throughout the article. So yes, my attempt has been a failure, because now we have users holding up British people as an example of how to segregate their own people in the name of diversity. It's shameful. I had honestly hoped for better for this page. - User:BilCat|BilCat]] (talk) 08:57, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
If it´s more trouble than it´s worth, get rid of it. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:39, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
On that point, I do agree with you, as much as I would like to keep it in some form. For the record, most ocf the edit warring over the photos has been done by drive-by users who usually don't participate in the discussions at all, many of whom are simply editing to be disruptive. If an alternative single-file mosaic could be made that could be edited by admins, in case the mosaics creator i s not available, I would support that, even a later date. - 09:46, 15 November 2014 (UTC) Belated signature BilCat (talk) 04:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
This was tried; it's still impractical. In many ways, it's worse because it locks arbitrary judgments and places them beyond discussion. There's no likelihood that we can achieve a reasoned consensus on whether, for example, Beyonce is more significant than Robert E. Lee, or which of John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Grace Hopper, Tecumseh, or Ronald Reagan deserve the 64th slot. MarkBernstein (talk) 15:57, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Gråbergs Gråa Sång, are you saying that white men just happen to be the most notable figures in history? Because there are plenty of women or minorities that are considered undeniably historically notable and easily included in the mosaic. In fact there are plenty of "leaders" who are not white males. Also, do you really think diversity is a form of segregation, or that it is "shameful"?
I'm glad you at least see this is more trouble than its worth, but you it did not address why the inclusion of "notable" Americans is relevant to an article that is not about notable Americans.
Lastly, if you genuinely believe that people are "derided simply because they are white males," then I refer you again to point 5 on my list) 04:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)Secondplanet (talk)
Sorry for the confusion, I (BilCat) must have mistyped my signature. No, I am saying many of the notable leaders in American history were white men, nothing else. I gave you some specific examples of notable men in US history, presidents. Many of these men were significant and major leaders in US history. I love diversity, I just chose not to restrict my definition of it to only gender and color. Lincoln was the son of backwoods settlers in Illinois, who rose to become the President. Only narrowminded people see diversity only through the lens of color and gender. It is your definition of diversity that is shameful, not diversity itself. You look at at the mosiac and see only color and gender; I see people from all walks of life, class, backgrounds, children of immigrants, farmers , singers, trademens, etc, some white, some black, some in between, some male, some female. Most article on WP include people who are notable in such mosaics, even the articles that you hold up as examples to follow. We shoild include unknowns who aren't notable at all?? Nonsense. - BilCat (talk) 04:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I didn't realize that there were two separate comments there. (Sorry Gråbergs Gråa Sång for addressing you.) I am arguing for removal of the infobox images entirely from this page, but yes featuring "unknowns" would be better than "notable" people. Subjectivity would play less of a role, there would be less arguing about who is most fit to represent Americans, and it would be more relevant to the content of the article.
You are correct in saying that diversity goes far beyond gender and ethnicity - I agree with this. Gender and ethnicity are simply components of diversity. However, the content of Wikipedia has consistently under-represented women and minorities, an issue which can be important both from the perspective of accuracy and of acknowledgement of these groups. This, and many similar articles feature more men than women. In fact, there are very few similar articles that portray more women than men, which leads me to believe that there is a prevalent bias towards male representation. If these images were truly representative of diversity (on multiple levels), I would think that men and women share roughly 50% of representation each. This is rarely the case. The people currently shown are diverse in some aspects, but there is capacity to do a whole lot better. This may seem like a trivial argument, but I think that making these kinds of changes to Wikipedia could at least help dampen toxicity in the site's culture and prevent the discouragement of potential readers and editors. The current edit war on this page is certainly not healthy.
Regarding the example pages I posted: I simply wanted to make the point that the illustration of a group of people makes more sense in the context of a specific, smaller group rather than a massive one like this. The actual content of the infoboxes is still problematic. Secondplanet (talk) 06:51, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The mixup on the posts was my fault, as my sig originally didn't show. We could go back to just having the large American flag, but somehow I think someone will object to that too as not representing diversity, and that will have to be removed too. - BilCat (talk) 07:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Eh, I don't think anyone will reject the flag, its pretty uncontroversial It's worth a try at least. Secondplanet (talk) 07:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't like the flag idea. The article is about the people, so any image should be people. Carptrash (talk) 17:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
All I did was increase the size of the flag that was already there, as it was in the years when we didn't have a mosaic. It hepls to fill out the white space better. - BilCat (talk) 18:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The flag is inclusive, the lead section infobox portraits lead to slow moving civil editing disputes, due to differing editors opinions on prominence, balance, etc. To not have that, creates a more stable article. I myself have suggested in the past of using representative group images from each century of the nation's history, but that view has never gained much momentum.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I like the group idea much better than the flag because the flag is not them (Americans) and will probably replace the flag when I find/take the picture I'd like to see there. Won't be notable Americans, be sure of that. Carptrash (talk) 05:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I made a proposal somewhere above that the mosaic not attempt to capture the 36 (or whatever) most notable Americnas but rather be an ever changing vignette of the American people. One whole "sheet" of Presidents, another of soldiers, then scientists, musicians, actors, African Americans, Asian Americans, Icelandic Americans, North Dakotins (?) etc. and that they need not all be notables either. However, given that I am not an editor who dabbles in mosaics, once this plan of mine has been jeered off the table, I'll likely support removing it, using the Matt:18 rule, "If your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you." einar aka Carptrash (talk) 17:01, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

What could be neat is a bot that displays random images from Category:American people. Don't know how feasible this is though. Secondplanet (talk) 04:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

On another note, I am in full support of an image like this being used instead of a mosaic: "" (See discussion at the top of this talk page.)Secondplanet (talk) 04:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

As long as it has the proper proportion ofvrace and gender, you mean. I assume you've already counted to be sure? - BilCat (talk)
lol no I haven't counted. You can if you like though. Secondplanet (talk) 20:53, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Why didn't you? Aren't you concerned with over- or under-representing certain groups, or enforcing a white male bias? You counted the people in the mosaic, why not this pic too? - BilCat (talk) 19:53, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It didn't seem necessary. Secondplanet (talk) 02:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm also one who doesn't like the flag here. I think it would be better not to have any image. Nothing says that there needs to be an image in the infobox. --Musdan77 (talk) 00:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Mosaic alternatives[edit]

OK, so if the infobox does abandon the mosaic format, then everyone should voice their opinion on what should be in the infobox. In overview, the requirements are:

  • does not provoke edit war
  • clearly related to the article

And the alternatives people have proposed, so far:

  • American flag
  • no image
  • a crowd/large group of Americans
  • groups of Americans from various time periods

What are the pros and cons of these options? Are there better solutions? Secondplanet (talk) 23:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Replace Sam Houston[edit]

Can we replace Sam Houston in the Scottish ancestry section with Ronald Reagan, since Reagan was more recent and readers would know who he was without clicking to view his article. Reagan was scots by his mother side. Just a suggestion and if you don't agree I completely understand :) . --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 01:05, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

I would not object to it, but Sam Houston can be argued to be more historic, being seen as the George Washington of Texas; also I believe Reagan is seen more related to his Irish ancestry than his Scottish one.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:09, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Definition of "American" includes non-citizens[edit]

The definition of an American includes those who are not citizens, however, the first sentence of the article currently says, "Americans, or American people, are citizens of the United States of America." The scope of the article includes Americans who were not citizens. I am changing the first sentence so that the definition matches the scope of the article. Sparkie82 (tc) 21:18, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

I also changed the third sentence with [this edit] so that the statement more closely matches what the sources say. Petersen, et al says, "To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be of any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American." I've also checked a couple of dictionaries that define the word American as a native or inhabitant of America. In addition to comtemporary usage, historically there were Americans before there was U.S. citizenship. Sparkie82 (tc) 22:21, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Change has never been agreed to by editors of this article Hmains (talk) 05:52, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
The lead sentence, and thus article scope was fine as is, and consensus does not appear to support the bold change suggested above. Thanks for attempting to improve this article, and I understand that the editor making the change means well, however for a radical change such as this, please discuss it first and see if there is a consensus for or against changing the scope of an article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:05, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Please go ahead.... I made some points, discuss them. Sparkie82 (tc) 18:39, 16 December 2014 (UTC)