"Anyone can fight for America, . . . even you boys. In a time of need, anyone can fight for her. . . . . Now I know you boys love America as much as we do, but this is your big chance to show it!"
The above can be found on page 64 of Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony. It's probably obvious that this is being said by an army recruiter. What isn't obvious if you don't know the context is that he is speaking to two Native American young men.
So, now that we know the context let's take a close look at the wording.
"Anyone can fight for America, . . . even you boys." Translation: "You aren't real Americans, but we'll let you fight and die for us."
Oh, yes, and about the word boys -- that was a word used for black men to belittle them. I don't know if it has ever been used in the same way for Native American men, but its use here seems at least a little condescending to me.
"Now I know you boys [there's that word again!] love America as much as we do, but this is your big chance to show it!" Translation: "I'm going to subtly emphasize here that you aren't really a fellow American, but that you should love American as much as I do."
So tell me, do you think I'm just being too cynical here or am I on to something?