I’ve said it with pride all my life.
“I’m a Dubuquer,” I’d say, when people ask me where I’m from or how I ended up here. By that, I meant that I grew up in Dubuque.
Sure, we’ve all heard the newcomers’ lament that you have to be fourth-generation to really claim the title of Dubuquer. Actually, I would meet that standard, but I never really bought it.
In fact, I had just never thought much at all about the word and how Dubuquer might fall on some ears as a word of exclusion. But if we reserve the term Dubuquer for only those who have been here for generations, let’s face it: It becomes a label for white and mostly Catholic people.