Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I remember!

Mt roomates and i discussed this in depth last night, and it is something that has been bothering me since I saw a "native pride" sticker the other day.

How many generations does my family have to live here before we are considered Native Americans? Now, I cannot claim a direct line with the Mayflower (I think) but I was born here. so were my parents. so were their parents. If you count the Mexican side, well, we've been here all along, and on my mom's side, at least a long time, so tell, me, how many generations before I am considered a Native?

I already don't list myself as white, when I can, even though I tend to glow in the dark. I'm not White, I'm "other". I just appear to be pale on account of my expressed genetics. I mark "other" on the census because I am proud of my mutt heritage.

What I really want to mark, what I would like all of us to mark, is American. If ou were born here, you're American. Not African American, Mexican American, Asian American. That's your heritage. Your bloodlines. That's your ancestry. You're from America. The United States of America, actually. Stand up. Be proud. I'm going to stop fooling myself by listing my ancestry to anyone who will listen. I'm not Irish. I've never even been to Ireland. I'm not Mexican, I've never been beyond Baja. I'm not German or Dutch or anything, my ancestors were. Me? I'm an American. Love me or leave me, it's time I started being proud of it.


Andrea J. said...

Umm...actually, the only ones generally referred to as Native Americans are the ones whose people were already here long before the Mayflower - e.g., Iroquois, Cherokee, Cheyenne, etc. - you know, the ones that Columbus called "Indians" because he was lost.

Ginamonster said...

I am well aware if that. I can trace my Mutt ancestory back to them too. But while they have been here a very long time, studies have shown that eventhey migrated here. So, my question is, how many generations before you are considered native? There was a tribe (since destroyed by smallpox)that was discovered to have light hair, eyes and skin. The thought is that they were decended from Eric The Red, a Viking explorer. Since we think that they likely decended from Europeans, does that mean they are not "Native Americans", or that they are, simply because they were here before Columbus?
SO my argument is, since I was born here, doesn't that make me a native too? Or, would I be only considered a native because my great, great grandmother was Blackfoot and my great grandparents came here from Mexico? Why are people only considered native here if their family tree roots back before columbus?