why do I need to explain myself to you? Especially since your comments were not of the kindest in nature.
That's how I felt. I explained why many Americans don't simply call themselves "Americans." There is no singular American heritage, so many people identify themselves with their family heritage and background, despite where they were born. To say that one is American when someone asks about your background when you're in the U.S. doesn't say much. So, hence someone saying that they are Irish, Mexican, French, whatever. In our culture, being "American" has little or no meaning when it comes to identity. For most of us, our identity was heavily shaped by our family's foreign, national background. For example, my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were born in this country. However, my great-great-grandparents came from Ireland and France. Obviously, when I'm abroad and someone asks what I "am" I will say American. Duh. But in my own country, if someone asks me this, they're usually looking for a more complex answer, and that's what I give them.
It's not about being embarrassed about having a young country either-trust me, most Americans have not thought that hard about it :)
I'm not saying you didn't think about it to begin with. But, maybe if you had your post wouldn't have had some rude undercurrents. You shouldn't criticize a group of people over a cultural difference in identification, which is what this is. You seemed rather offended by the fact that Americans would call themselves this way, and, really you should understand that it's a cultural thing. Not every culture is like yours, and that's okay.
Poles are criticized for their culture on this site so much, and it's very wrong. You can't say that an aspect of another culture is stupid or fake, whether you disagree with it or not. In the global community our world has become, this kind of thinking is very small-minded and problematic. Within the context of that culture, it makes sense to those people. I'm not saying you are small-minded, or that you always think this way, but your comments could be construed that way.
I think Irisheyez summed up any other response I could have made quite nicely.
I will also second her thought that many Americans talk about their background because they are proud of it. Most of the Polish-American and Italian-Americans I know are very, very proud of their heritage, and they want people to know how it has influenced them.