Who is an American?

The events in Ferguson, argues Taiye Selasi, gives us a clue:

Some 10 years later, leaving Lana, I viewed the matter anew. My original question (who is Italian?) pointed to a more important one: Who belongs in Italy? What my Sicilian hosts were lamenting was the lie of national belonging: An Italian passport offers no guarantee of equal treatment in Italy. The same holds true worldwide. The day I traveled from Pantelleria to Lana, riots broke out in Missouri, where hundreds were protesting the killing of American teenagers by American police. Darren Wilson, the 28-year-old officer who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, may not have perceived his victim as “a fellow American.” That we don’t hear of American-on-American violence as we hear of black-on-black crime suggests that the identity “American” does not, as advertised, imply a single community. Very simply, Michael Brown was not a member of the culture that is said to define American-ness. He was a national (and victim) of the state, but never fully viewed as “an American.”