Presidents Trump and Obama leading naturalization ceremonies. (L: Reuters R: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov)

Presidential Naturalization Speeches and the Politics of Belonging

I have never once heard my mother refer to herself as an “American.” Instead, it’s: “The Americans across the street are hosting a party tonight.”

Or: “Why do Americans like turkey so much?”

My mother’s been a U.S. citizen since 1996. And yet, she almost always uses the word “American” to refer to people who are native-born…