This Fourth of July, I’m officially changing my race (I heard we can do this now). Unlike Rachel Dolezal, I won’t need to alter my appearance, because from this point forward my ethnicity will be one that goes beyond appearance and speaks to what I believe: American. Unhyphenated. Indivisible, you might say.

While we all laugh at an NAACP Chapter President basing her career claims to be black or an Ivy League socialist who sought promotion for being Native American, ethnic self-identification is an increasingly serious issue — my family could lay claim to ancestry from all the major ethnic groups and several minor ones, and that’s going to be case for more and more families as miscegenation becomes an ever more popular contact sport.

And ultimately how we self-identify dictates what kinds of decisions we make, what kind of communities we form. Low crime communities are filled with individuals who for whatever reason are philosophically reluctant to commit crimes, especially violent crimes. High income communities tend to be full of people who have decided to work harder at creating value. Race is irrelevant, character paramount, institutions decisive.  Higher incomes, lower crime: this is the future.

America is not the government, or the borders, or even the people within those borders. America is an idea, an ideal — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Recognize that that which unites us is more important than that which divides us. On this July 4th, be an American.