Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it OK to call Mexicans "Native Americans?"?

Asked by Dutchess_III (40243points) October 6th, 2013

Yesterday I was at a birthday party for my step-granddaughter, who turned 9. There were a bunch of other kids there, all different colors.
After they’d eaten their cake and ice cream they all ran off to play. One kid had left her paper plate and bowl in the driveway, where she’d been sitting. My step-daughter saw it, asked whose it was.
I thought about the order that the girls had been sitting in and I said, “It was the Indian girl.”
My step-daughter said, “She’s Mexican,” and her tone of voice implied, “Duh.”
I said, “Same diff.”
My step-daughter just shook her head, like there is some big, obvious difference between a Mexican and a Native American, which there isn’t. They’re the same base race.

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206 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I suppose it would be if you lived in Mexico and were talking about the native born ones. But you would be right: either or. Here in the States we call them Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Latin-Americans or Latinos. Or just American. Why use the color of a person’s skin as a device for description? Did she have long black hair? What color was the dress or other clothing she was wearing?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper Because there were about 10 girls there, all different races. Some had black hair, some brown, a couple blond, a couple had curly hair. I certainly couldn’t tell you what each kid wore. In her case, her pretty face and pretty skin and pretty sloe-eyes stood out to me more than anything else. It was a quick ID, and my step-daughter knew who I was talking about instantly. It would be stupid to try and spend 5 minutes describing her height and weight and the color of her shoes or whateever just to avoid mentioning her race.

Mexico didn’t even exist until 1846. There was no such thing as a “native born” “Mexican” before then. They are all descendents of the original Asiatic people who crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Europe 20,000 years ago, and eventually settled all throughout Canada, North America and South America. They’re the same peoples.

tups's avatar

It’s not the same at all. Some of the Mexican population are Native Americans, some aren’t. Some are immigrated Europeans, just like most people in the United States.

janbb's avatar

I think if you called a Frenchman a German because they originated in the same region, you would be hogswallowed for replying “Same dif” when called on it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tups What? There wasn’t a whole lot of intermixing between Caucasian Europeans and Native Americans until 1519. And up until the 18th century that was pretty much limited to the Spanish intermingling with the Native Americans in what would eventually become Mexico.

@janbb How could one even tell the difference between a German or a French person? You couldn’t. But you could call either of them the “white” girl or boy, especially if they were the only white person in the group. German, French, Polish, Swedish, whatever…..they’re all Caucasian, all come from the same descendents.

tom_g's avatar

For what it’s worth, the “same diff” comment would likely get you booted from my house, if the “Indian girl” comment hadn’t already.

tups's avatar

@Dutchess_III So Spanish people are not Europeans? Try watching a movie called La Zona. This movie shows that race is also an issue in Mexico.

tups's avatar

Also, if someone said “Indian girl” to me I would assume they were referring to someone from India.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III You often ask questions that seek corroboration only for your take on the situation rather than looking for others’ input. This appears to be one of them.

And yes, I could tell the difference between French and a German person. It’s not the “same dif.’

If you’re going to go back that far, why not call us all “Africans”?

livelaughlove21's avatar

Mexicans are from Mexico. Indians are from India. “Native American” is not synonymous with “Indian.” If the girl is of Mexican descent, she’s Mexican. She’s certainly not Indian.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes @tups. Spanish people are Europeans. But they didn’t start intermingling with the Native Americans until the 19th century.

@janbb and @livelaughlove21, Mexicans ARE Native Americans.

@livelaughlove21 as I said, Mexico didn’t even exist prior to 1846. It was all just the North American continent, and all of the indigenous people were descended from the people who crossed the Bering Land bridge 20,000 years ago. They ARE native Americans, and have the same physical features in common.

Just what exactly do ya’ll find so horrible about that?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III You didn’t call her a Native American. You called her “the Indian girl.” It hasn’t been correct to call a Native American an Indian for awhile. Whether Mexicans were Native Americans (or indigenous people) prior to 1846 or not, I’m pretty sure the little girl and her parents and grandparents were born after that. I’m also pretty sure Mexicans call themselves “Mexican,” not Native American.

It’s not “horrible,” it’s just not entirely correct – your use of “Indian” in particular. Not to mention the use of the term “same diff.”

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I knew a guy that married a nice lady from Puerto Vallarta, she had Blue Blue eyes, Native Americans have Brown eyes. Her ancestors were mostly Spanish and French.

Indians are from Asia.
Mexicans may have a blend of Native American and European ancestors. Some tribes are indeed Native American with little or not European blood in their ancestors. But are from Mexico.
Native Americans are native to America.

Red is Red and Green is Green, Brown (a blend ) is not Red or Green but Brown.

Dutchess_III's avatar

WHATEVER @livelaughlove21! You guys are just being so silly! It’s insane. It may not have been “correct,” put it was a very quick and accurate description and my step-daughter knew which kid I was referring to instantly. I guess her brain isn’t very “correct” either, is it.

@Tropical_Willie But it’s only been in the last 500 years out of the last 20,000 that Europeans have started intermingling with the Native North Americans (ok, did I say that right, people?)

@janbb Going “that far back,” we should just call us all Africans? You can’t compare the last 500 years to the last 50,000 years.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Watching a pro NBA game.
“Dude! Did you see that shot?”
“No! I missed it!”
“Well, that one guy came from clear across the court and for an AWESOME slam dunk!”
“Cool! Who was it?”
“Oh, it was…I don’t know his number. It was that one tall guy in the red jersey.”
“What? They’re all tall and half of them have red jerseys.”
“Well, it was that one guy with those shoes…those shoes that had blue stripes on them!”
“I really haven’t paid attention to their shoes. Still don’t know who you’re talking about.”
“Oh! That one dude! Brown hair, kind of longish…”
“You mean the white guy? The only white guy on the court?”
“GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU RACIST MOTHERFUCKER!”

That’s what this whole conversation is amounting to.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III You asked if it was “okay.” If you don’t care whether or not it’s okay, why the hell would you bother asking the question? You got your answer – sorry you don’t like it.

If someone referred to a man from Africa as an “African American,” I’d know who they were referring to even though it’s not correct. So, that’s not much of an argument.

No one said you were racist. We’re being silly? Ha, okay…

Dutchess_III's avatar

So it’s not OK to identify a kid as an “Indian,” as we in America identify an “Indian” (and blame Columbus for that, not me,) @livelaughlove21, even though the majority of Mexicans share the same gene pool / physical characteristics of the rest of the American Indians?

No. I haven’t gotten the answer to my question. Why would it not be OK?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’ll just call them friends who live South of the border.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Step daughter: “Do you know which kid left this plate here?”

“It was our friend who lives South of the Border, but who is very closely related to our friends North of the American border, and in fact, I thought she was a friend who actually lives North of the American boarder, but, as you pointed out, she actually is a friend from South of the Border who lives North of the Border, in Kansas.”

Yep, clear as mud @RealEyesRealizeRealLies

dabbler's avatar

“Majority of Mexicans share the same gene pool / physical characteristics of the rest of the American Indians” This is not really correct.

They share some ancestry with “American Indians” because they are Mestizo, which is a combination of the Spanish Conquistadores and the indigenous people (Siberian-Americans, or the originally misnamed “Indians”).

But Most Mexicans are not pure-blooded indigenous racially. They are a mixed race. Most people you’d refer to as Native American in the U.S. are not racially mixed.

gondwanalon's avatar

People who live in Mexico who have Native American genes can properly be called Native Americans. People of European (including Spain), African, etc. decent who have no Native American blood lines but happen to live in Mexico should not be called Native Americans.

tups's avatar

No, not all Mexicans are of Native Americans descent. I have known and talked to Mexicans and they were not of Native American descent – so putting all Mexicans into that box is not correct.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Would it be racist if I couldn’t tell the difference between a Choctaw Indian, and Nez Perce Indian? One has ancestors who hail from the region we call Florida, the other from the region we call Washington State, 4000 miles apart.

No. It would only be racist if I couldn’t tell the difference between a Comanche Indian, whose ancestors hail from Texas, and a person of Aztec descent whose ancestors hail from right next door. And only because the white people decided to split the geography into two separate countries. That makes it racist.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m speaking historically, @tups. Historically the people of Mexico WERE Native American. That’s ALL they were, until about 500 years ago, and you can still see it in most of the Mexicans today. It was especially prominent in the kid in question yesterday. She was beautiful, btw. Reminded me of my kids.

Virtually no one in American is 100% any one race anymore. No one. Perfect example. This kid is white and Mexican and Indonesian and Dutch and who knows what all else, and he’s my grandson, Aden.

We call Obama an “African American,” even though he’s half white, because the African traits are the strongest that we see in him. I don’t consider it an insult, do you guys?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Some Mexicans are as are most of us but it brings to mind NA Indians. So maybe ok but confusing.

tups's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s just that this generalizing the entire Mexican population into being Native Americans seems a little ignorant to me. If someone generalized the whole population of the United States, I think some of you would be pretty pissed. Your question was if it is okay to call Mexicans Native Americans and my answer is I don’t think so. Just call them Mexicans if they are Mexican.

dabbler's avatar

Back to the original question, though, calling the youngster who sat on the driveway “Indian” because she is Mexican is inaccurate, unless you know she is nearly pure Indio racially.

Mexicans themselves distinguish between Mestizo and Indio.

I agree with @tups that “generalizing the entire Mexican population into being Native Americans” is simply incorrect.
It might be more correct to do so in Mexico than it would be to generalize all U.S. citizens as Native Americans, only because there is a higher likelihood that a Mexican person has some bit of indigenous DNA, But when people say “Native American” in the U.S. they usually mean a near-purely-native set of genes. Most Mexicans have substantial amounts of European ancestry.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

By your logic, we should all be Africans since the oldest human remains are in Ethiopia.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t read the answers above, so forgive me if I repeat something.

Mexico is a country.

My husband is Mexican because he was born there and his parents are Mexican citizens and they were born there, but their parents were immigrants from Spain, France, and Israel. My husband does not have a drop of indigenous blood from the Americas. Indigenous is basically the word his family would use to describe Native Americans/Indians in their country.

Americans might stereotype Mexicans as looking Indian, but that is because of the Mexicans who come over, the majority have some indigenous blood. It doesn’t really make sense though, because it would be like saying Native Americans and I are all the same ethnically. You can call us all Americans, we are all Americans, we all live in America and are citizens of America, but I am Eastern European, and they are Native American.

Friends of ours once asked my husband and I what we think of the term Hispanic. I said I prefer Latin American to Hispanic, but mostly I prefer to use the Specific country. I would describe my husband as Mexican before I would say Hispanic. They were shocked, because where they are from Mexican is a derogatory term. To us, Mexican is like saying any country, American, Argentinian, Austrian, British, it is where he is from and where he was raised. It does not identify his families national background though, because all of the Americas have immigrants from everywhere, his last name is way more telling than the country he was born in.

Mexican is not a race. However, if the girl in your example is indeed native American, whether it be US or Latin America, I would say yes, she is Native American/indigenous/Indian, but all that gets tricky because people get offended. Indian is not politically correct anymore from what I can tell. Some people don’t like to be identified as Mexican. We know people in TX and in MI who are “Mexican” third generation American. They don’t Spanish, and they deny being Mexican. They just want to be regarded as American. That sort of thing bothers my husband. His own brother changed his first name when he moved to the US so it sounds less Mexican, because of his perceived prejudices against Mexicans in the US.

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Would it be racist if I couldn’t tell the difference between a Choctaw Indian, and Nez Perce Indian? One has ancestors who hail from the region we call Florida, the other from the region we call Washington State, 4000 miles apart.”

The issue is not whether you can tell the difference visually. The issue is that you know there is a difference, but you don’t appear to care. These cultural distinctions are important to those who you are lumping together as “other”. Have you ever heard the phrase “They all look alike to me!” described as a racist remark? You are not only saying “They all look alike to me!”, you are also saying “They must be the same because they all look alike to me!” It is arrogant and disrespectful.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tups but there was NO SUCH THING AS MEXICO, ERGO NO SUCH THING AS A MEXICAN until just 200 years ago!

@Michael_Huntington No. There are physical characteristics that became unique to tribes of people since our ancestors came out of Africa 50,000 years ago. If you want to get really technical, American Indians are a member of the Mongoloid race (East Asia, Oceania, the Arctic and the Americas) as are the Japanese, Chinese, etc.

I would be most identified as being a member of the Caucasoid race (Europe, West Asia and North Africa.) My sister, on the other hand, would be most strongly identified as belonging to the Mongolian race, even though we have the same parents, because she has the dark skin and eyes of our common “Black Dutch” ancestors. (Black Dutch in this case referred to the intermingling of Europeans in the Netherlands with Indonesian spice traders.) She is often asked if she’s Native American. However, you can’t see the strain in me, but boy, can you see it in my kids.

Obama would be most identified as a member of the Negroid race (Sub-Saharan Africa,) even though his mother is of the Kansas race. (THAT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE! Don’t get your undies in a bundle.)

I’m not understanding why describing a person by their most obvious genetic trait is considered racist or why in the WORLD would any one be offended to be described by the race they most resemble?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@glacial You’re doing That Nasty Fluther thing of jumping to all kinds of conclusions about a person based on very little information.

There is little genetic difference between indigenous peoples from South America and people indigenous to North American. They have many of the same physical traits so in many ways they DO look alike, as do all indigenous Japanese and indigenous Africans, etc. That’s not to say there aren’t differences between individuals. I saw the kid, saw she was American Indian, and identified her as such. Just what is so wrong with that?

janbb's avatar

Why did you ask the question if you don’t want to hear any responses other than “You’re right”?

tups's avatar

@Dutchess_III So what? This is not 200 years ago, this is now.

YARNLADY's avatar

Not all Native Americans are Indians, but all Mexicans are Native Americans.

My mother told me when she was growing up it was an insult to call her a Mexican. She was ¼ Choctaw.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree it should not be offensive to be described by ones own features whether it relates to race or ethnicity. I think when people don’t identify with how they are being described sometimes they don’t like it. I also think if they question your intent they don’t like it. For instance, my BIL who I mentioned above, he doesn’t like being described as Mexican because he feels people are negatively judging him.

Also, when someone used to call my ex Mexican he corrected them, because he isn’t Mexican his family is from Ecuador. He wasn’t angry, just corrected them, which I think is fine. The thing we thought was odd was when they would say, “same thing.” Like Mexican is the same as Equadorian, which it isn’t. It took me until 20 years later to understand people used “Mexican” for anyone south of the border, I still find that odd and ignorant. But, I don’t find it ignorant to describe how they look as being typical so that Americans understand. My husband is Mexican, but I never describe him as looking Mexican. If you had to find him in crowd I would say he looks kind of Greek. Tanned skin and black curly hair. Because, I think Americans think of Greek people as looking like my husband, and Mexicans looking like Native Americans. I would just be going with the stereotypes so you could find him. Even if some people might argue the stereotypes are a bad thing.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY All Mexicans are Native American?

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, Mexico is part of North America. American is a name that fits all, not only U. S. A.

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III “There is little genetic difference between indigenous peoples from South America and people indigenous to North American.”

I think you are missing the point. Native Americans may be native to either North America or South America, but what people here are trying to explain is that many Mexicans are simply of Spanish descent… these people are not Native Americans by any definition of the term.

janbb's avatar

@YARNLADY I think the “Native” in “Native American” here is used to describe indigenous people who were here before the Europeans came which is not true of all Mexicans.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY Then what do you consider my husband? He is Mexican and not Native American.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I think @Dutchess_III Is saying if they look Native American it isn’t so horrible to say they “look Mexican,” or “look Indian.” I can’t speak for her of course, but that is how I interpret it. Someone who is 100% European doesn’t look Indian usually. The German-Argentinians for instance look German.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie Jeepers, that’s no better.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Why did you ask the question if you don’t want to hear any responses other than “You’re right”?
Fluther in a nutshell

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie The term Native American actually applies to everyone born in either North or South America. It is usually defined to mean descendants of pre-European inhabitants, and further defined as living in the current U. S.

There are various legal definitions as well. For instance, an artist cannot label her art as Native American unless she is a registered artist of a recognized tribe in the U. S., which I am.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tups So what if it’s now? How am I to know that a kid I’d never met before had ancestors that lived in the country we now call Mexico, and not North of that border? Further, how is that an insult? My step daughter needed a description, I gave her one. She knew who I was talking about, and I thought it was ridiculous to correct me. There was no way to discern the kid’s historical CULTURE from looking at her.

@glacial As of the last 500 years, yes, a whole bunch of Mexicans do indeed have a European Spanish strain, but a whole bunch DON’T, or don’t have enough to distinguish them from their indigenous American Indian ancestors. This kid fell in that category.

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III “How am I to know ”

The point is – there’s no expectation that you can know. There is an expectation that you can’t assume.

tups's avatar

@Dutchess_III But still you just talked about historical culture, didn’t you? Just a few answers up there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Michael_Huntington No one has yet to explain to me why it’s not OK to describe a kid I’d never met before, who looks like an American Indian, as an American Indian? Especially when her descendants WERE North American Indians!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie thank you. That’s exactly what I’m trying to say.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@glacial Of course I can assume! Why can’t I assume? People assume I’m of European descent. I do not find that offensive. I am not offended by the fact that they can’t see the strain of Indonesian in me that is so prominent in my sister and my kids.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I agree with your definition. My husband is Mexican, but he is not Native American. The same way I am American, but not Native American.

@glacial Why is that worse? Why is it offensive to say someone looks Native American? The only reason I can think of why you think it is offensive is because you think it is negative to look Native American. My guess is @Dutchess_III feels like me, that there is nothing negative about it. I do think once someone knows someones national background or how the person identifies we should be respectful of that. For instance once people were told my ex was Ecuadorian they should not still continue to call him a Mexican. Although, I do think there is a difference saying someone looks Mexican and someone is a Mexican. The other day a Polish girl asked me where I was from because she thought I looked Polish. So? That is not offensive to me. I am not Polish, it doesn’t matter to me she saw Polish possibly in my face.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie Oh, for Pete’s sake. Is it offensive to call every Asian Chinese? Of course it is. This is no different. Are you seriously trying to say that I think it’s bad to be Native American? You can’t possibly think that I believe that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You can call every Chinese “Asian” and you would be correct, @glacial. And exactly why you would consider that insulting is beyond me.

And you’re making a backward comparison @glacial. I wouldn’t call every Indigenous Indian a Mexican, but I would call every indigenous Mexican an Indian.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I don’t believe that. I don’t believe you are racist or prejudice in any way.

I agree calling every Asian Chinese is not politically correct. @Dutchess_III was kind of calling the Japenese girl Asian in her example though. Well, more like saying Oriental, since the term Indian has fallen out of favor.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie Not really. “Mexican” is the larger set. “Native American” is the smaller set. My analogy is more appropriate than yours.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Backward again @glacial. Native American is the LARGER set. Indigenous Mexicans are a subset of the larger Native American set.

glacial's avatar

Assuming, that is, that the girl was even from Mexico. If she wasn’t, I don’t know what the hell either of you were talking about.

JLeslie's avatar

My main point is, I don’t think people should be so easily offended. We can correct when people say something incorrect, but we don’t have to assume they have mal intent.

@glacial Read the main question again.

glacial's avatar

So… the girl is from neither India nor Mexico. I’ll make it easy for you. You and your step-daughter are both racists. Why are you even asking this question?

DominicX's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with assuming; I’ve done it before. Sometimes a person’s race/ethnicity isn’t easy to figure out. I’d be wary of saying something around them before knowing, however. If it’s not obvious, I’m not probably not going to say anything.

As for the rest, I think we’ve figured it now, but yes, Mexican is a nationality, Native American/American Indian/Amerindian is a race. Many Mexicans are of Native American descent, but the two are not one and the same.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My step daughter told me she was Mexican, after I described her as Indian. I guess she didn’t understand that, indigenously speaking, it’s the same thing.

So we’re racist for even noticing it @glacial?

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I really take issue with calling people racist just because they describe someone by their race, or perceived race. Racist is someone who does not treat people equally, who makes assumtpions about someone based on their race or perceived race. How did @Dutchess_III do that? She didn’t make the dark kid sit in the back for goodness sake. It’s just a PC thing.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie I am not throwing more words away on this question, when neither of you seems willing to read what I wrote. It’s nice that you have each other to talk to. Enjoy.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I read what you wrote and agreed with some of it. I corrected @Dutchess_III Where I think she is wrong, but I think jumping to she is being racist is just too big a jump. I will agree that there are people who might think she is racist for lumping everyone together, or using the term Indian, and that she should be aware of that. Then she can decide what to do knowing that.

Just curious, are you Native American?

Dutchess_III's avatar

But it worked. She knew instantly which specific kid I was talking about. She knew I wasn’t referring to the African American kids who were there, or to any of the kids who had blond or brown hair or the one white kid who had black hair. It would have been stupid to beat all around the bush trying to describe the kid when she had characteristics common to all the other kids, just to avoid mentioning race, which was the ONE most identifying feature of the kid.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Yes, they are the same people. That’s what I meant. But people should get out of the habit of identifying people by skin color. You don’t do it to people of your color, do you? Only racists do that.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper So, if the room is full of darker skinned children and @Dutchess_III says “the white girl” so people know who she means is it then ok? It’s an easy way to identify people. I am brown haired, if every other person is blond, saying the brunette women isn’t offensive is it? Why are people uptight about pointing out skin color? It is a leftover from people being racist, but it doesn’t mean the person is racist.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper I repeat: ” It would have been stupid to beat all around the bush trying to describe the kid when she had characteristics common to all the other kids, just to avoid mentioning race, which was the ONE most identifying feature of the kid.”

I also repeat the following scenario:
Watching a pro NBA game.
“Dude! Did you see that shot?”
“No! I missed it!”
“Well, that one guy came from clear across the court and for an AWESOME slam dunk!”
“Cool! Who was it?”
“Oh, it was…I don’t know his number. It was that one tall guy in the red jersey.”
“What? They’re all tall and half of them have red jerseys.”
“Well, it was that one guy with those shoes…those shoes that had blue stripes on them!”
“I really haven’t paid attention to their shoes. Still don’t know who you’re talking about.”
“Oh! That one dude! Brown hair, kind of longish…”
“You mean the white guy? The only white guy on the court?”
“GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU RACIST MOTHERFUCKER!”

It’s just stupid.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Call it what you want. I call it racist. And, yes, it is stupid.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Not enough tequila at this party.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper Wait, you call it racist and stupid? Lord have mercy. So, we can’t use our brains anymore, we just need to go along with what everyone seems to think is racist.

That is the conclusion I came to a few months ago when I said to my husband it is just impossible to make any reference to race or ethnicity anymore. I basically have given up as it being a reality of society, but it is ridiculous.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So I’m racist when I describe my grandson as being Mexican? Really?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait….I (correctly) identified the child as being (American) Indian. Anyone who jumped to conclusions regarding her skin, hair and eye color, or any other physical characteristics based on that one word description are the ones who are racist. Yes. Pass the tequila please!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Anyone who jumped to conclusions… are racist.”

No truer words ever spoken.

My Negro friends would concur.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Is he Mexican? His ancestry is Mexican?

glacial's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m kind of sorry you toned that down.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Not stomping on anyone’s sombrero here. Can’t you see I’m dancing?

JLeslie's avatar

Indian is out. From what I understand we are no longer allowed to call Native Americans Indians, we shouldn’t say sitting Indian style, nor can we sing one little two little three little Indians. Native Americans find it offensive from what I understand, maybe @YARNLADY can help us understand why, and if they find it offensive that is enough for me to do my best not to use the term.

Seaofclouds's avatar

She may not be Indian (Native American) though. Not all Mexicans have Native American blood. The only way to know would be to ask her and her family. You are assuming she has Native American blood. So you may not have been correct in your identification of her as such. There can be a difference, even if you can’t see it from her skin tone.

Is it that big of a deal? To me personally, no, but some people take great offense to be called the wrong thing. It could have been an issue for that little girl and maybe your step-granddaughter knew that and maybe she corrected you for her friend’s sake. Why not just accept the correction as something learned about someone else rather than argue that you’re right and insist that the girl must have Native American blood?

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I think you have it backwards. The child looked Native American. @Dutchess_III did not say the girl was Mexican. It turned out the child was Mexican. @Ditchess_III was not using the term “Mexican” in a derogatory way, she didn’t even say Mexican.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Among other things, yes @JLeslie. His great grandmother on his Dad’s side was from Mexico.

He’s also white (from me. My kids tell me I glow in the dark! They’re all darker skinned, dark eyed, thanks to their Indo father) and who knows what else. However, I’d say that “Mexican” seems to identify him the most strongly.

The kid in question had strong Native American blood, very little European blood, if any @Seaofclouds.

I see you dancing @RealEyesRealizeRealLies! NOW GIMME THAT TEQUILA!

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie The question is: “Is it OK to call Mexicans “Native Americans?”

It’s not surprising that few of us can see at a glance what the actual question is. The question implies that she called the girl “Native American” when she was actually Mexican – even though that is not what the details say.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I can’t see anything wrong with saying he is Mexican if someone asks his ethnicity or national background. Some people use “Mexican” to describe anyone who is dark from Latin America, that I take issue with as I mentioned above.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But indigenous American Indians and the indigenous people who live in Mexico have the same genetic lines, @glacial. They ARE American Indians. There was no such thing as Mexico until 1846 or whatever.

I would agree that labeling all dark people as Mexican would be wrong, too @JLeslie. Mexico is a culture, not a race.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial Right, and I said Mexico is a country, not a race. I think we agree there. The OP called the girl Native American, because she looked like she had darker skin and hair, and to me the OP is asking if Native Mexicans are also Native American, which in a sense they are. Native to the Americas before the Europeans started coming over.

The OP did not call the girl Mexican and assume all dark people who fit that type are Mexicans. That is where I think people are ignorant, thinking everyone in Mexico is Native, or Native looking. Or, calling Peruvians or Columbians Mexican. She isn’t doing that.

JLeslie's avatar

Just to add, I assume the OP would not describe my husband as looking Native American even though he is Mexican. She might, because he is darkish, but his features are more mediterranean. No matter what he would not be offended, he would just correct her if he heard it. He would say he was Mexican LOL. Which is funny since that is where this all began with the OP being told by a kid that she was wrong and the child was Mexican.

I seriously wish this type of thing was not such a big deal to people.

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I would agree that labeling all dark people as Mexican would be wrong, too @JLeslie. Mexico is a culture, not a race.”

This is all that people have been trying to convince you of on this thread (well, that and that it’s not ok to call Native Americans Indians). What the hell have you been arguing with us about??

“I said, “It was the Indian girl.” My step-daughter said, “She’s Mexican,” and her tone of voice implied, “Duh.” I said, “Same diff.””

In your details, you were saying that Mexican = “Indian” for the purpose of identification. Now you are saying the exact opposite. Why are we all still here?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie No I understood. @Dutchess_III stated, “Wait….I (correctly) identified the child as being (American) Indian.” I was simply saying the girl may not be Native American and it could be an issue for her being called such. I know many Mexican people that do not like being called the wrong thing, no matter if it was meant with good intentions or bad ones. My point was perhaps it is an issue for this girl (being called the wrong thing) and the step-granddaughter was just trying to correct Dutchess for the girl’s sake.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds Well, it might be interesting to know why some Mexicans might take offense to being called Native American or Indegenous. That would be a separate Q though.

I usually do go further to explain my husband is Mexican, but his family is Spanish, French and Israeli. I only bother when people seem confused by his features or most often the confusion is our last name. My husband rarely bothers to go through the explanation though, unless someone asks very directly.

tom_g's avatar

An Indian, a Native American, and a Mexican all walk into a convenience store wearing their pajamas…

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I first met my future ex-husband I asked if he was a Pacific Islander.
He said, “Very good! I’m Indonesian! A lot of people think I’m Mexican.”

@Seaofclouds She was Native American. I don’t think my step-daughter realizes that indigenous people of Mexico are genetically most closely related to the Native North American Ind [redacted]. They all came from a few good people who made it here, on foot, 20,000 years ago.

Maybe this will clear things up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tom_g And everyone said, “OMG! Sorry for stealing your land!” and gave them free candy and pop and slippers.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g LOL.

@Dutchess_III I always like to guess also.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You do realize that makes us racist, @JLeslie.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Dutchess_III You are assuming she has indigenous blood. She may not. That is my point. I know people in the US that don’t have indigenous blood because their relatives that came from Europe never mated with Native Americans. It is very possible that their are people in Mexico than don’t have Native American blood as well. That is my point. The assumption that all Mexicans must have Native American blood is false. I’m not saying their aren’t Native Americans in Mexico, just that not all Mexicans have Native American blood, just as not all Americans have Native American blood.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds She isn’t assuming that. I’m sure the OP understands my Mexican husband doesn’t have an ounce of Native American blood. Why do you think she doesn’t after this long conversation?

@Dutchess_III I guess so.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, prior to the Spanish invasion every single person in Mexico was a Native American. But it this case perhaps the kid’s great grand parents may have been Japanese who moved to Mexico 150 years ago and intermingled only with the white people there. Not likely, but possible.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I must have missed where she said she knows for a fact that this girl has Native American blood. She stated she correctly identified the girl as a Native American, but never stated that she knows for a fact she has Native American blood. She is assuming the girl has Native American blood because she is Mexican. This could be a false assumption. Either way, it isn’t that big of a deal to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds Ok, I see what you are saying. It is a bit of an assumption based on how the girl looks, and looks can be deceiving. I agree with that. Some people look Hispanic and they are actually biracial black and white, or some are Arab and white, etc. Some Native Americans look Asian (which kind of makes sense since we believe they travelled to the Americas from Asia). The guessing isn’t perfect, that is for sure.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie _Yes, stupid to keep making excuses as to why to keep referring to people by their supposed ethnicity based on skin color.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The child had Asiatic features, but not to the extent that a full blooded Japanese or Chinese has (although they are related.)

No, @kritiper, it’s stupid to beat all around the bush when trying to describe people.

tom_g's avatar

Just out of curiosity, were all of these girls dressed identically with matching haircuts, so that assumptions about a little girl’s race or ethnicity was the only way to refer to her?

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Maybe you’ll catch on someday.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So when trying to describe someone you avoid using a word that describes them in a nut shell. Why?

“So, he has black, super curly hair, black eyes, dark skin.”
“Is he a black guy?”
“Yes.”
“Well why didn’t you just say so??”
“Not allowed to.”
“Why?”
“I dunno. Ask @kritiper.”

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper I am all in favor of the easy way to identify. There are several groups around the world who tend to have darker features. If someone wrongly identifies someone as part of a different dark group, so what?! Why are people so offended? Like I said, if someone says I look Polish, I just correct them. I am not offended. I look Eastern European, my family is Eastern European Jewish. Polish is a reasonable guess. In my zumba class I know we have a Polish girl, Spanish woman, a couple Greeks, an Iranian woman, an Indian (from India) woman, a few people from the Philippines, we don’t feel it is racist to discuss our national backgrounds and we know we tend to look like our part of the world, or how people think of those parts of the world, although the Indian women is extremely fair, I would never guess she is Indian. I used to work with a man who also was an extremely fair Indian, and would never guess it. Not that it matters.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tom_g I honestly couldn’t tell you what they were wearing. It’s not like I examined all 10 of them. I had never seen most of them before. All I remember was that at least 3 of them were barefooted, and it was cold! Also, I noticed one of the girls had long blond hair with darker streaks in it. It was really pretty but looked like it hadn’t been combed in a week! I wondered if her Mom had streaked it, but figured it may just have been from the summer sun and swimming in chlorinated pools.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie It is easy to do. I just don’t think that it’s right to describe a person by skin color. and slap an ethnic label on them based on that color. I would say “That dark complexioned fellow there in the blue shirt.” If I had to use means other than dress. Or, as in this case, “I don’t know her name but I think she wore __________.” Skin color is unimportant in this day and age and is demeaning. If I see a group of white guys I don’t say “Hey! See those white guys over there?” I would just say “Hey! See those guys over there?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Color is demeaning? OMG. We have sunk to new lows.

Do you not know the difference between ethnicity and race @kritiper? If not I can understand your confusion. If you do know the difference, what the hell are you talking about? What does a person’s race have to do with their ethnicity?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Besides @kritiper, I didn’t say a WORD about her color. You jumped to conclusions due to my use of the word “Indian.” Shame on you.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper I think I tend to notice a person’s face more than what they are wearing. It depends on the situation whether clothing is enough.

I agree skin color is unimportant, but it is an identifier.

I really can’t help thinking that this is a leftover from feeling dark skin is somehow less desirable or lower in some way. I wish I had my husband’s darker, less wrinkled, sun kissed skin. Most of my life I have been told how pale I am, and not in a good way. Sickly, lacking color. I know black people who are more obsessed with how dark or light people are within their own race than any white person I know would be about black people. Asians who obsess about their eyes having a crease, when for the life of me I can’t see a real difference. White people are not the only ones who notice race and ethnicity by the way.

I don’t want it to matter, I have friends from the islands who never think in terms of race, many many “mixed marriages” the people are very mixed to begin with, but they still know if someone looks white, Asian or black.

When I lived in the south they almost never described someone by race or skin color, and honestly it became ridiculous. They would say the man with dark hair, and that was not enough. Lots of men had dark hair. Their skin color would help. I don’t mean they need to say skin color when describing a friend, I mean if I need to find them in a room full of people. I need a description. I guess the south is so worried about being accused of racism they, in my opinion, go overboard. They also make pretty much zero references to national background like Italian or Greek. The only people I know who did when I lived in south were people who were not from there. The place lacked ethnicity for me. Very little talk of family foods, funny things moms and uncles do who fit a stereotype. I love the diversity, I love the American melting pot, and ignoring it is a loss to me. I don’t want America to be a bunch of assimilated robots, I want to keep the ethnicity, traditions, and food alive.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Good point. You didn’t say the brown kid. That I would actually understand why people would find it offensive, because we don’t use that term now, not for a long time.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper Do you think black people say, “those white guys over there,” when talking amongst themselves? I bet they sometimes do. Probably we default to our own race, and when someone is a different race we tend to point it out. Again, I am talking about in a crowd, not just talking about a friend or aquaintance, or even someone who works at a store who helped us. That’s my guess anyway. Especially if we tend to be around our own race, or if we live in very diverse places.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I lived on the bottom floor of an old, three story house, there were 4 college football players who lived above me for the first two years. Then they all graduated and moved on. I went up there after they left, and noticed that they’d written notes to each other on a door frame. One read something like, “Good-bye my brown friend. I have forgotten the Alamo, but I will never forget these years.” Three of the guys were whi [redacted!!!] and Sal was…..he was…..was….Mex [REDACTED!]. Well, I can’t tell you what race he was because it’s demeaning. But Sal’s family came up to visit and they made some AWESOME home made tamales on my grill.

It was very touching, all the notes were. I wanted to steal the door frame and keep it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’d say it would depend on who is in the majority at the time. Using my example of an NBA game, I would definitely use the term “the white guy,” because he’d probably be the only one out there!

Blondesjon's avatar

@Dutchess_III . . . i think your account has been hacked by archie bunker

Dutchess_III's avatar

I still say “eye ian” for “Iran,” instead of “ah ran,” because of him @Blondesjon! Or is is “aya rabs,” I’m thinking of. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie What I think is really fascinating is when two people who are totally “unrelated” Although we’re all related somewhere along the way can look so much alike. My husband’s nephew has 3 girls. The oldest just came as a shock the first time I saw her because she was the splitting image of my sister’s middle daughter when she was that age. I had to take a picture of her and send it to my sis, who agreed. The similiarty was eerie.
My husband’s father’s side of the family is Greek. My sister’s husband is Italian. I’d just guess that somewhere, at some time, long lost in history, those two families intersected at one point in Europe.

A few years ago I came across a random internet picture and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. It was my brother-in-law. It was. I would have bet the house on it. But…it wasn’t him. It was some picture of some random guy in a star trek outfit. That was eerie.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I also think it’s cool that scientists say that all people with blue eyes can be traced back to a common ancestor, a female who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago who had some sort of genetic mutation that resulted in blue eyes. That means I’m related to Robert Redford and Tom Cruise and Meg Ryan and all kinds of famous people!

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie – Of course I believe black people can say that about whites. Racism isn’t just a “only for white people” thing.
I never said that a person’s skin color should be totally ignored, just not focused on and then labeled as something that they are not. The girl in question had skin of a certain color. Fine. Why not stop there? Was she really an Indian? or Mexican? Or Martian? Did that extra assumed information really matter?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III The mother of a friend of mine was invited to a party through her husband’s job and the host had a side interest in genealogy. My friend’s mom and he wound up talking and without her saying anything he asked her if she was Polish. She is. Then he said, I think your family from, and he named some small village in Poland. He went to his library and pulled out a book. He turned to a page that had a photo of a woman who was the spitting image of her grandmother.

That is a case of the family being Polish for generations, even though they had come to America.

Sometimes when the family is extremely mixed from various parts of the world it is wild how the genes work. The features more than color of skin fascinate me. The shape of the eyes, nose, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I give any information about her skin color. I didn’t offer any information outside of the fact that she is an Indian @kritiper. One word. You’re the one who jumped to the assumption that she had skin of a certain color, and probably hair and eyes of a certain color.

Yes, she was really an Indian. Do you feel there is something wrong with that?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, @JLeslie. Totally agree with the similar facial features of two unrelated people being fascinating!

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper I missed your comment when I first opened the page. So, what in your opinion is the best way to describe the child if we do use her skin color? The girl who is darker than everyone else? That doesn’t sound too good to me. Honestly, in a small group like that I probably would not have said the Indian girl, or Mexican girl, or Native American girl, unless I really knew for sure what she was, but I certainly don’t jump to racism because @Dutchess_III did. That’s my only point. I think people assume racism when it isn’t there. People make un PC comments all the time. Sometimes it is out of ignorance, sometimes because in their community it is commonplace, and we can let those people know a lot of other people may take offense or make an assumption of racism, but we ourselves don’t have to assume they are racist. We can get to know the individual and see what they really think and believe. I know @Dutchess_III a long time on fluther and facebook, and I don’t think of her as racist. She has pointed out she has quite a mixed background herself, I know how she loves all her children and grandchildren, their race is never an issue.

I see you live in Boise, I assume that is quite a white place. Of course, I have no idea what race or ethnicity you are, or other places you have lived, but I find the more diverse a place is, the more relaxed people tend to be about noticing race and ethnicity. But, that is not always true. Also, fluther is very sensitive about racism. Jellies are usually very quick to call the littlest thing racist. Sometimes they definitly get me thinking. Maybe it would be best if we (in the world in general, not just fluther) avoid all conversations about race, ethnicity, groups, stereotypes, etc. I really am not sure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie But she wasn’t the darkest skinned girl there, or the lightest skinned. She was one of 4 kids who had black hair, one of 6 who had brown eyes. I would have spent 20 minutes trying to describe her physical features, including the fact that her eyes had a slight Asiatic slant to them (which I happen to think are the most beautiful eyes—my daughter and two of my grandsons have them) and high cheekbones. Describing her as an Indian gave all of that information, specific to her, in one word. And my step-daughter instantly knew which one I was referring to out of that whole mess of kids.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m ok with that then. I might have done the same. I tend to look at faces more than clothing, as I mentioned above, so if I had pegged her as looking Native American I might have chosen the same way to describe her. Although, for me Native American can be difficult to peg. Maybe because I don’t spend a lot of time around many people who are Native American from the US. Well, not that I know of. The few people I am friends with who are Native American don’t look stereotypical to me, what I mean is how they are shown in the movies, and some of them are a mix. My husband can usually dicern an “Indian” from Mexico in contrast to someone who is from a different Latin American country. I have a harder time. I remember once his sister said someone looked very Inca, and I would have no idea from one tribe to another in Latin America. She seemed more attuned to the facial differences and their typical stature.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, we’re just a few miles from Oklahoma and they have a very strong Indian presence there.

JLeslie's avatar

Makes sense.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My son’s best friend, Zach, was from Oklahoma and he is of Cherokee descent. He was one of the many motherless boys my son brought home for me to raise, which included, among others, Zach and a Mexican and a kid of Irish descent.

Not bad for a kid with a racist mother! :)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’ve written a song… called Funnybone.

It speaks of hound dogs, jail birds, alley cats, and monkeys.

My friend says I need to pull the “monkey” line because it’s racist.

“Girl you got believe me please believe me gaul dangit”
“Don’t be swingin’ wit’dem monkeys”
“They cain’t show ya howitz hangin’”

I’m like, “how is that racist”? He says, I dunno. It just is.

So I changed monkeys to pansies. Now it’s not racist. But it’s discriminatory.

He wants me to use turkeys instead of monkeys and pansies. So I said, ok Jive Turkey! Now he doesn’t want turkeys any more.

Racist bitch.

Katniss's avatar

I probably shouldn’t be laughing right now, I apologize.
But the basketball analogy, @Blondesjon‘s comment about Archie Bunker, and @RealEyesRealizeRealLies song have my dying over here! Hahahaha

jordym84's avatar

I read the majority of the answers above and, from what I gathered, most everyone (myself included) is taking issue with your attitude (i.e. “same diff”) and not necessarily with your choice of descriptors for the little girl. I find it rather arrogant (not to mention beyond ignorant) that you dismissed your step-granddaughter’s annoyance by saying “same diff” and thinking that was ok.

For instance, I get called Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Indian (from India), Jamaican (just today by a Jamaican person), African American, Cuban, etc., on a daily basis based solely on my light brown complexion/curly hair (à la Halle Berry) and the languages that I speak (Portuguese and Spanish being the main two that cause people to make such assumptions). The funny thing is, I am none of those things and I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s gotten my ethnicity/race right. I was born and raised in Cape Verde which is in Africa, my father (born in Guinea-Bissau) is half Palestinian (dad’s side) and half Bissau-Guinean (mom’s side), and my mother (born in Cape Verde) is half Capeverdean (dad’s side) and half Portuguese (mom’s side). I never get offended when someone gets my ethnicity wrong and have absolutely no problem explaining my actual ethnic background to people. However, if someone ever called me something other than what I am (which, like I said, happens all the time) and dismissively said “same diff” after I politely corrected them, I would certainly take issue with it and think them ignorant.

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 I agree the same diff can sound dismissive, but what if you are Palestinian 100% and someone says you are Arab. Then it kind of is the same diff. Unless the person simply doesn’t identify with the term Arab. I have Iranian friends who call themselves Persian, but they don’t mind being called Iranian. Both are true. (I think some people do it because they think the US is kind of anti-Iran now). Someone who is Native to the Americas and Mexican is Mexican and “Indian.” Again, I agree the same diff is not the best attitude, but your example is implying the two labels are actually innacurrate. They can both be accurate. Now, if someone is Palestinian and someone calls them Lebonese and says that is the same diff because they are all Arabs, that I would take real issue with, because that is completely innacurate. It would be like saying someone Colombian is the same as someone who is Mexican, or an American is synonomous with being Canadian.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jordym84 I agree with your post. The thing is, we weren’t going deeply into the child’s cultural history or anything like that, and we certainly weren’t discussing it with the child. She wasn’t even around. It was a 2 second exchange of a total of 3 sentences. My step-daughter just wanted a physical description. Had the child been there, within sight, I would have pointed her out and said, “She was sitting there.”

However, she wasn’t there, and in saying, “The Indian girl was sitting there,” I gave her a whole slew of physical characteristics, in a nut shell, that applied only to the one child in the whole group.

In correcting me I’m pretty sure she was suggesting that the native Mexicans (those prior to the Spanish invasion) were somehow a completely different people, maybe a different race, than those native people north of the border just because we decided to call that area by a different name, and call it a different country. My point is, they originally weren’t. The original natives in Mexico were descended from the same very small number of people who immigrated across the Bering Land Bridge 20,000 years ago. When my step-daughter impatiently said, “She’s from Mexico,” that confirmed my impromptu description instead of the other way around.

The child in question certainly appeared to to have been the recipient of predominately Native American genes, with little to no Spanish / European influence. There is no way, in looking at her, that I could tell whether her ancestors came from Mexico or Texas, just that they were Native Americans.

Now, having said that, if I was having a discussion with a Native American whose descendents were Choctaw, from the area we call Georgia, and another American whose descendents were Chinook, from clear across the country in the area we named Washington state, and we were discussing cultures and religions and beliefs and other tribal difference, I would be horribly out of line, and completely wrong, to say “Same diff,”

BUT if we were referring to their historical physical, genetic make up, I wouldn’t be wrong. I wouldn’t say it,but I wouldn’t be wrong.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III _I have no problem with the girl being Indian any more than having a problem with myself being Indian. Or Irish. Or Scotch

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think this sort of discussion gets more complicated with old definitions and how words evolve and what is PC and what is common usage. For instance, semetic is basically people from the middle east, but it is only used now for Jewish people. In America we use Asian to mean East Asia. For the longest time I referred to Indians (from India) as Asians also, but then realized no one thinks of Indian people when we say Asian, nor do they think of middle eastern people as Asian even though they are living on the continent of Asia. I don’t know, race vs. location I guess? But, sometimes we shorthand by using someones race and sometimes we use their country or continent. It’s kind of like you have to use the word that is accpeted at the moment and time you are saying it, and hope that it is understood. It doesn’t matter what happened hundreds of years ago and being technically correct.

Think about the term African American coming into vogue. Most of my black friends prefer black to African American. I have South African friends who are pale white and blond. The world is so small and we are getting so mixed and moving around so much everyone is a bunch of things. A black friend of mine is annoyed her daughter is identifying herself as biracial. I’m not exactly sure why it bothers my friend so much but it does. She is black (my friend) and her husband is also, but my friend is the great granddaughter of a slave owner, and she even had an uncle who was so fair he lived as a white doctor in a white community. So, anyway, her daughter has decided she is biracial. A huge percentage of black people in America are biracial if we look at it that way. If I said she was black, she might not like it. I don’t know. My girlfriend is trying to explain to her daughter it doesn’t matter how she identifies herself, most of society will call her black or African American. She is very light, she easily looks biracial. I have taken her out to play when she was a little girl and people don’t blink at thinking she is my daughter.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Me either @kritiper. Nor did anyone else there.

Everybody is biracial @JLeslie, someway or another. I know you know that (my husband, who identifies as Greek has a great grandmother on his Mom’s side who was a Cherokee Indian…I can see traces of it in his face, but “European” would best define him overall. And me, although I have traces of Indonesian (Asian) blood in me. But you can’t tell it and I wouldn’t expect anyone to see it.

As for your friend…there is such a complex, convoluted history there between the enslaved blacks in America and the whites here, and it’s really recent history too. Maybe you could ask you friend why that bothers her? Perhaps the fact that in many cases, in the 19th century, black slave women were taken by force and the result was often a “biracial” child. Could just be a reminder (to some…maybe older generations) of an awful time and “admitting” that one is “biracial” suggests that kind of conception. However, in her daughter’s case, she doesn’t feel that stigma and instead knows there is nothing to be ashamed of. Better yet, she’s proud of it. Maybe it’s just a generation gap.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well, I discussed it a little with her, and I think it is the same as when I tell Jewish people their children might as well identify Jewish, because the antisemites don’t care if we say we aren’t Jewish, Jewish parents Jewish child. I think Jews should know their history so they can have some pride and be able to defend themselves.

Remember Qingu? He was raised Jewish, but pretty much hated religion and didn’t like when people called him Jewish, because he does not personally identify as Jewish and is not religious. I am guilty of thinking of him as Jewish myself, because I still think he is ethnically Jewish, but at the same time I think it is important to honor how people self idenitfy.

My girlfriend thinks the same about the black thing. I think she wants to make sure her daughter is proud of her black history and that she realizes most people will see her as a black woman. I remember once my friend had a chance to take a promotion and move to Atlanta. Her boss, who is also black said, “you would really like it, more black culture, it would be good for your dauhter too.” I wasn’t even sure exactly what he meant by that. My girlfriend lives in a very white area, her daughter is one of only a handful of black kids in her school. I just wonder what specifically is involved in “black culture?” What is she supposedly missing out on?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know. I don’t know @JLeslie what all is involved in the “Black Culture.” That would be a good question. One I shall not ask!

JLeslie's avatar

Hahahaha.

Katniss's avatar

@kritiper ScottISH :0)
Scotch is an alcoholic beverage.

kritiper's avatar

@Katniss – Same diff, according to my dictionary.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie and @Dutchess_III please note that I never mentioned a word as to whether the OP is technically wrong or right about the girl’s ethnicity and whether Native American is an accurate description for a person of Mexican descent. Quite frankly, I have no idea because Native American history is not one of my areas of expertise. My gripe, as I mentioned in my post, is with her dismissive “same diff” comment.

What really bothers me is the fact that the OP is never willing to concede that she may be wrong in her assertions about the people she talks about in her questions as evidenced by many of her posts on Fluther. It always goes like this: provocative title, long rant in the details ending with “am I right or am I right?”, and getting defensive whenever someone points out a flaw in her “logic.” Again, whether she is technically right or wrong doesn’t really matter because, well, telling her that she is wrong will get us nowhere because we’ll just keep going around in circles as evidenced in this and other threads. I may be wrong in saying this because I don’t know her in real life, but she seems to have an extremely high opinion of herself and her immediate family and what I’ve gathered from most of her posts is that she is very prejudiced towards anyone who doesn’t act in the same way as she and her family (i.e. the lazy unemployed who wear pajamas outside and buy pop and candy, the single mom whose son was having trouble at school, the friend whose clothes didn’t fit, etc). Not only that, but she is incredibly unwilling to accept others’ opinions when the question at hand clearly asks for opinions.

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 I think the main point in the OP’s description of the child was how the child looked, not what she really is. Being able to communicate which child by three words rather than a long description. Let’s say the girl was Native American, then is it ok to call her that? Or, we just cannot do that at all? I’m getting the feeling we should not point out how people sometimes look like their heritage at all.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The challenge is in using incorrect labels to use as descriptors. In today’s world, where people are moving to different countries more frequently, there are several basic descriptor categories, and they often get mixed up.

Race There is only one: The Human Race. Unfortunately, the term is often used as a descriptor for one or more of the other categories. It needs to be removed from our vocabulary.

Heredity This is a person’s DNA prize from the gene pool of their parents; the biological heritage.

Ethnicity This is a socially defined group based on common practices and heritage. It includes food, dress, religion, language, etc. They are ever-changing and new ones can be created. It’s culture.

Nationality Where you were born and/or where you are a legal citizen.

There are others that can be added; age, gender, disabilities, etc. They are all used in identifying a person’s make-up. All are just as important.

@Dutchess_III in the case of attempting to help the step-daughter identify which child left the plate and bowl in the driveway, saying “The Indian girl” was not correct. India is a country.

While Native Americans were once (incorrectly) referred to as Indians, it was because settlers in the US originally thought that they were from India. The term Native American has been in use in the US long enough that we should all know better by now. If not, then lesson learned.

Like others, I find fault in the dismissive attitude of using, “Same diff.” That may well be from your perspective, but for the one it is being applied to (the little girl in this case), it may not. It sounds as if the step-daughter was not pleased with the quick and incorrect label used to describe the child.

It’s one thing to make an honest mistake. Most of us have done it at one time or another. What I have found is that showing a little humility when admitting to an incorrect assessment can go a long way.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I think if the OP had used Native American rather than Indian (I agree Indian is an old term which can be taken as a derogatory term) people would be just as upset. Mexico is a country (I know you know that) so guessing someone is Mexican or stereotyping how Mexicans look might be worse, or let’s say less accurate than saying someone looks Native American. Although, I realize Native Americans come in many shapes and sizes and features.

I think the step-daughter either finds the term Indian offensive, or she herself thinks Mexicans all look like that. The step-daughter actually might be the more ignorant one. We don’t know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I understand that the use of the word “Indian” was/is technically incorrect. But here in Kansas and surrounding states the use of the word to describe Native Americans is still common usage, even among the Indians themselves. It isn’t an insult in any way.

And she may not have been pleased with the quick label, but I imagine she would have been more displeased had I spent 5 minutes picking out identifying features one by one, finally to have my step-daughter say, “You mean the Mexican girl? Why didn’t you just say so?” (Because I didn’t know she was Mexican? “Mexican,” comes under ethnicity and nationality, and there is no way one can know what that is at a glance.)

And how do you know my assessment was incorrect? My description was based on her apparent heredity, not her ethnicity or nationality, as @Pied_Pfeffer listed. And the fact that, as it turns out, she is Mexican shows my assessment of her hereditary was more than likely correct. It was accurate enough to make an ID, anyway.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Was spot on up there. My step-daughter thinks all brown people are Mexicans AND illegals, and “everyone knows that.” That’s what the “Are you stupid?” impatient glance came from.

jca's avatar

I’m late to this party (as usual) and I skimmed most of the answers above, but not all in detail.

My father is from Mexico, but I am whiter than white. When I describe myself as Mexican, some people laugh. People that have been making derogatory remarks about Mexicans sometimes look confused when I say it, or they laugh nervously.

I say that because my father’s family is from Mexico, but they are of Castilian descent. They are tall and white. The Central and South Americans who live around here, who people refer to as “Mexicans” look nothing like my father and his family.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Is Indian considered a derogatory term? If so, that is news to me. I just thought that it was a misused label in the case of Native Americans.

The key is in your statement, “Someone is…” vs. “Someone looks…” Is implies that it is a verified fact while looks implies a stereotype.

@Dutchess_III Ah, thank you for sharing additional information that wasn’t offered before. I didn’t realize that “Indian” is still used in some areas of the US to describe oneself when the person is of indigenous heredity.

From what JLeslie says, it doesn’t sound as if “Indian” is the proper term for someone of indigenous decent from Mexico. An honest mistake on your part. Maybe the step-daughter knows this and is basing your statement, “The Indian girl”, on nationality. We don’t know what she knows.

And if she believes what you say she does, we have one more person identified as a challenge to educate.

It sounds as if this all boils down to education through communication. Maybe it’s time to sit down with the step-daughter over a preferred beverage and have a chat about where each of you were coming from without judgement. Then again, if she is going to get fussy over you taking more than a word or two to describe a child accurately, it may not be worth it.

In hindsight, it may have been best to respond to the step-daughter with, “I don’t know.” :)

janbb's avatar

Just to confuse matters, I have heard that some Native Americans are using the term Indian again. But I don’t know in what context so I wouldn’t presume to use it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer You are correct. If I had known her nationality was “Mexican” I would have identified her as such. When someone says someone is “Mexican,” to me it implies a genetic mix of Native American Indian and European, and often you can see the blend.

However, many Mexicans have managed to retain most, if not all, of their original heritage. If the child really was Mexican, I’d say she was in the latter group.

Sure there are white, blue eyed Mexicans, and every color inbetween, but only because of the impact the Europeans had on them 500 years ago. Before that, they were virtually identical, genetically, to their Northern neighbors.

I’m actually starting to wonder if she really WAS Mexican, or if that was an assumption on my step-daughter’s part…but, I guess she should know. Although, one of the first things she asked me after she met my daughter was if she was Mexican. I wasn’t offended. Why would I be? I said, “No, she’s Indonesian, but she could pass for Mexican, couldn’t she. But no, she’s my island Princess!”

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I think some people feel Indian is offensive or at minimum politically incorrect. From what I understand many people still use the term, including Native Americans, because it has been used for so long. I did know that it is basically a misnomer going back to when explorers thought they found “indians” as in similar to those found in Aisa, and it basically explains why in the carribeean we have the islands of the West Indies, but Indian was used for so long in America it still holds on in some communities I think. Probably similar to my black friend still using black not African American.

The Latin American indegenous people also are referred to as Indians. For instance Mayan Indians and Aztec Indians is accurate. I don’t know if Indian has falled out of favor in Latin America or not. I think all of the native people in the Americas probably can be, or have been referred to as Indians. I’m pretty sure indegenious is the official overall umbrella term, meaning worldwide acceoted umbrella term. It includes the Aboriginal in Australia I think. But, each country and community probably has their own terms they use, and what they feel is proper. It just happens my husband’s Mexican family tends to use indigenous, but they would use Indian also, or sometimes an actual tribe if they know it.

I think for a while Native Americans felt discriminated against, maybe some still do, and so they did not feel pride with the label Indian. Maybe @YARNLADY can speak to this. I’m making a lot of assumptions right here. So shedding the name for a new one, one that says, we were American before you were American, gave the community something to be proud of. I have spoken to Native Americans who feel like other people look down on them and make fun of them. My experience is the complete opposite. I was raised thinking they were a wonderful people who loved the land and had the land unfairly taken from them. But, they didn’t grow up that way. For instance, it seems sitting Indian style is supposedly offensive, and now children use the term cross legged. Maybe it was offensive because it’s not like all Indians sit that way? I really have zero idea. But, if it is offensive I will do my best to use the new term. Some school mascots have been changed from Indians to something else. I still don’t understand why that was offensive? But, if they feel that way I will go along with it. I just wonder if they misunderstand the intent? No matter what I think what most matters is how the individual or group feels about it themseves, we need to respect that.

I remember an ex of mine once got offended because someone said he looked Indian (this was many years ago, before Native American was popular) and he took offense. His last name is literally a tribal name where he is from. Why is he offended? Maybe he needs to check his own prejudices? Or, maybe he just does not understand the history of his people? He identifies as an American, he says his family is from Equador, before that he doesn’t bother to delve. Well, in his defense we were teens at the time. Now he might have a greater awareness. I absolutely don’t think of him as racist or prejudiced really, I think it was more of an identity thing. Like a woman I used to work with, she was raised ultraCatholic. She got married at 19 to have sex, all those strict Catholic things, except she divorced within two years. When I knew her she was in her late 20’s. She found out her grandmother was half Jewish. It rocked her world. She had a crisis of identity. A few years later she married a Jewish guy. People are funny.

JLeslie's avatar

I just found this about the use of the terms native american and Indian, it has a lot of interesting information.

@Dutchess_III Your daughter is model material. So beautiful. She could be dropped in a lot of countries and blend right in. She easily could be from Latin America. I wouldn’t know where to start with guessing what mixture she has. She looks like she could have some Native American and also parts of Europe.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie…The fans of the KC Chiefs aren’t allowed to do the “Tomahawk” thing any more. I think it’s stupid.

Probably the term “Indian” can still be offensive to some as it was so tied up with derogatory adjectives. “Thievin’ Injuns,” “Drunkin’ Injuns,” “Damn Redskins,” bullshit like that.

Re My daughter (all my kids:)That’s about right, @JLeslie! And she DOES share some genes with Native Americans because the Indonesians are the same base race as the Native Americans and the other Asiatic groups. If you subscribe to the theory, there are three main races: Negroid, Mongolid and Caucasoid races. The Asiatic races, which includes, for example, the Chinese and the North American Indians, would come under the main heading of the Mongolid race and they would share similar genetic characteristics.
It’s really interesting to study the Indonesian chain of islands as they stretch basically from Vietnam to Cambodia, across the Indian Ocean (we need to rename that ocean! It’s OFFENISVE!) over to New Guinea to Australia.

The closer the islands get to China the more Asiatice the indigenous Indonesians look The closer you get to Australia, the more Negroid the Indonesians look, like the Aborigines.

It’s all pretty fascinating to me!

Oh, and here are some pics of the kid’s dad when he was little. You can see it pretty clearly. One, two, three

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I realize the Native Americans came over from Asia. Several of my ex’s relatives looked quite Asian actually. I think it is really easy to see the connection in Alaskan Natives/Eskimos. Probably, just working from logic, they had less mixing with Europeans and Africans so they most resemble Asian features still. But, even Native Alaskans have intermingled of course.

I know the “three races” but I don’t even know if that is taught anymore, is it? Is it still an acceptable way to look at the races? I have no idea. My husband and I are both white technically and based on the three races, but he is obviously from a different part of the world. His coloring, features, even the genetic disease in his family is from his family’s part of the world. I usually don’t think about race, I generally think country or region. But, it is interrelated obviously.

janbb's avatar

Might be worth moving this to PMs at this point or I know – I can stop following.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Interesting article! Looks like in the 60’s the Native Americans were getting a bit up in arms about not differentiating them by tribe, for example, “Algonquin-speaking peoples,” “Pueblo-dwelling peoples.” See how difficult and convoluted it can become? I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Plains Indian and a Seminole, although, quite possibly, the two could tell the physical differences between themselves.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I have to say I don’t blame them. It’s like when we use African for everyone from Africa. That continent has so many countries, so many different people, different cultures, and each country has its own problems and wonderful things about them. You can’t really lump them altogether. Same with Latin America, each country is different, and within the country there are different regions and subcultures.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree, but to an outsider…it’s like a mine field! If you don’t know the subtle differences…I mean, what do you do? (You end up asking questions like this on Fluther and gettin’ the livin’ shit beat outta you, is what you do!)

People lump me under the White People category. I couldn’t expect them to know I’m actually of Dutch and Texas cultures.

JLeslie's avatar

Dutch and Texas?! LMFAO!

Dutchess_III's avatar

:) Mom spoke of her Dutch heritage often. Dad just talked about Texas. His Dad was a sheriff in Sunray and he was in on the hunt for Bonny and Clyde. Things like that. I Have NO idea what actual ethnic heritage he is, so Texas it is!

JLeslie's avatar

That’s typical southern. TX might be more extreme since it feels like it is its own country. Too funny. A woman I met a while back when I was living in TN became interested in tracing back her family. When she aked her dad about his family he said, “our family comes from North Carolina.” She said, “no I mean before that, before they came to this country.” He actually got kind of pissed and insisted they were American. LOL. I’m not saying your dad would be pissed, it just reminded me of the story. I met a lot of people in the south who had no idea where their families had come over from. I even began to realize that their ethnicity is southern. Food, language, culture, their families have been here so long that is how they identify themselves.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s actually true in parts of the midwest and west also. My friend from Oklahoma said when she moved to NY for school and people asked her what she was or where her family was from she had no idea what they were talking about.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie From your reply to my last post: “Let’s say the girl was Native American, then is it ok to call her that? Or, we just cannot do that at all? I’m getting the feeling we should not point out how people sometimes look like their heritage at all.” If you re-read that same post, you’ll see that I never said a word regarding the OP’s use of “Indian” or “Native American” to describe the girl as being right or wrong. You’re completely missing the point of what I’m trying to convey to both of you.

For what it’s worth, here’s an excerpt from my last post:

“Please note that I never mentioned a word as to whether the OP is technically wrong or right about the girl’s ethnicity and whether Native American is an accurate description for a person of Mexican descent. Quite frankly, I have no idea because Native American history is not one of my areas of expertise. My gripe, as I mentioned in my post, is with her dismissive “same diff” comment.”

I don’t even know why I bother anymore…

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s funny! I wonder if some people can’t trace their heritage because some ancestor did something way bad in “the old country,” and were forced to leave, so they kept it secret?

I thought everyone one would be interested in their heritage. I guess not.

My maiden name was Henson…does that tell us anything?

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 Ok, but “same diff,” she meant that what she said is accurate. Let’s use a different example. If she had said the Arab girl and then found out the girl was from Saudi Arabia, would that be OK? Is that the same diff? Even if you agree both are true, I guess you take issue with saying they are the same?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess he takes issue with saying they’re the same even when they’re the same.

Like if someone asked me, based on my accent, if I was from Northern Oklahoma, and I said, “No, Southern Kansas,” and they said, “Same diff,” well, that’s pretty accurate. It would be different if someone commented on my southern accent but said, “Are you from New England?” and I said, “No, Kansas.” They’d be silly saying “Same diff,’ because the accents are no where near the same.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We’re talking about genetics, btw Jordy. Not culture or countries.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie I’ll try this one last time and then I’ll let you have the last word: My issue with the OP doesn’t stem from this question. She consistently posts questions that are judgmental and belittling. Had “same diff” been uttered by anyone else, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me. But because I’m familiar with the OP’s arrogance and lack of humility, I don’t think I’m wrong in assuming that she meant it derogatorily.

Another excerpt from my previous post:

“What really bothers me is the fact that the OP is never willing to concede that she may be wrong in her assertions about the people she talks about in her questions as evidenced by many of her posts on Fluther. It always goes like this: provocative title, long rant in the details ending with “am I right or am I right?”, and getting defensive whenever someone points out a flaw in her “logic.”””(i.e. the lazy unemployed who wear pajamas outside and buy pop and candy, the single mom whose son was having trouble at school, the friend whose clothes didn’t fit, etc).”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Jordy, who was there, in the part of the continent we now call Mexico, when the Spanish arrived?

JLeslie's avatar

Derogatorily? Now, I take issue with that. Is that what you have meant all along, that she said in a slanderous way. I don’t agree at all. Even if the whole world thinks she is wrong to say same diff, and that it is in bad taste, I will never feel like the OP purposely said something to be demeaning nor that she in some way feels better than the Native Americans or Mexicans. Or, do you mean she is trying to put down all the people who disagree with her?

And, please don’t sigh and be annoyed you have to repeat yourself, I read what you wrote, I am just tryng to make sure we don’t miscommunicate or misunderstand each other. Sometimes it takes more than one paragraph or one conversation to communicate well. It’s true in real life and worse on the internet. Maybe rewording would be more effective than copy pasting.

You didn’t answer the Arab question, so either you don’t understand what I am asking, or you are too busy being annoyed that you feel misunderstood. How about just take this q for what it is, and not generalize about how you think the OP’s attitude needs to change. I am not the OP. I am trying to understand exactly what people take issue with for myself.

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 I went back and read your post, part of what you wrote was However, if someone ever called me something other than what I am (which, like I said, happens all the time) and dismissively said “same diff” after I politely corrected them, I would certainly take issue with it and think them ignorant.

You are annoyed with same diff in your example because it is not the same diff, it would be simply wrong if they were calling you something you aren’t. That is not the case with someone being Mexican and Indian. It’s not that it is always the same, but for that girl both labels were probably accurate. The little girl didn’t correct her, it was the OP’s stepdaughter who now we find out would probably call you Mexican too. LOL. If you aren’t white like the nordic people it seems this girl will label you Mexican. So, she lost all credibility basically.

JLeslie's avatar

If someone says I look Jewish and I look American, it isn’t really the same diff, but they both are true. That’s all I am saying, both can be true.

YARNLADY's avatar

I am Native American by the fact that my grandfather was an original enrollee on the Dawes Rolls. That is the only requirement for membership in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

I was not raised with any of the people or traditions of the Choctaw. However, I do know that some are very racist and some aren’t, some are very PC, but most are not.

When my mother was growing up in Colorado, it was considered an insult to be called Mexican, but not Indian.

P. S. I was once married to a man who came from a family of Indigenous people who were proud of the fact that they were 100% non Spanish, nor Indian. They were descendants of refugees from South America.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY The people who were insulted about being called Mexican, was it because they were not Mexican? Or, did they look down on Mexicans?

Also, the last part of your post, they were not Spanish and not Indians, but refugees from South America? I don’t get it? So who were they? That’s confusing to me, forgive my ignorance. They were Indegenous, but not Indians; I wonder what exactly they are? I guess I always think of Native people as Indians in the Americas.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just thought of something. If someone says, “That guy over there is a Cherokee Indian,” and his friend says, “No, he’s an American Indian,” would the first guy be out of line to say, “Same diff.” ? That’s the crux of this whole question.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(What happened to my other post?)
@YARNLADY I’m a little confused about the refugees from South America….what were they refugees from? I mean, what event caused them to leave?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think they looked down on Mexicans

Sorry, I meant Central American

The village in the mountains of Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado are descendants of a large group of people who migrated from Central America to escape the Spanish invaders in the 1500’s. They still speak a version of the original language.

They claim to have never intermarried, and when my former Mother-In-Law married a Swede, and gave birth to a blue-eyed son, she and her family were expelled. We know the only way that could happen is an indiscretion by an ancestor.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY Interesting about the blue eyes, and being shunned.

So they weren’t Mexicans, it makes sense they did not want to be called Mexicans, it was inaccurate.

If they escaped Central America, still weren’t they considered native? Are you saying they just reject the label Indian? But, they might fit the definition of being an Indian? I’m fine with it. Like I said, I respect however people identify themselves. I just din’t get what they are? Not that they have to be anything; I don’t have to put people in a group; I just find it interesting from a historical and cultural persective.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@YARNLADY But they were still “Indians,” in the sense that the original inhabitants of Central America AND the Plains Indians (for example) were descendents from the same small bands of Paleo-Indians, who crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia 20,000 years ago.

The gene pool was really small, (some think it originated with less than one hundred people from Eurasia, perhaps as little as 40,) and it wasn’t “diluted” until the advent of the Spanish just 500 years ago. Therefore, the Central American “Indians” were still genetically identical to the Plains Indians of North America. Your ex’s family fought to keep it that way.

I find it very interesting that the family took pride in not carrying any Spanish blood. I’d be willing to bet that there were others, many others, who resisted that too, as far as they could Sad to say, the“indiscretion could have been a rape. :’( and THEIR descendants still live in Central America and Mexico. And Kansas (and was at a birthday party on Sunday.)

Perhaps the ancestors of the child in question took that same pride in being “pure” and that’s how we can still end up with an “Indian” from Mexico.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I was thinking the same, that it could have been a rape. How awful that a woman might be shunned for having been raped, but that is true in many cultures. I think a lot of people think only caucasians want to keep the gene pool “pure” but it happens in many races and cultures.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sure it does. It makes sense in a narrow minded, proud kind of way.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I hate that thinking. But, here is the rub. Sometimes I wish I had ten Jewish children. I understand that feeling of wanting to continue. I guess that is a similar mindset maybe? But, I also want thick hair and darker skin, and if my husband and I had had children I would have had my chance to produce an offspring like that. LOL. I would have been amazed to have someone who looked like that come out of my body. It reminds me of when on Old Christine her son is going to go to a school dance with a blond and she practically swoons over possibly having blond grandchildren. My family is fascinated by blonds, but I have an afinity for dark hair.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Interesting theories:

From Wikipedia ” A study by Jody Hey[16] has indicated that of the people migrating across this land bridge during that time period, only 70 left their genetic print in modern descendants, a minute effective founder population—easily misread as though implying that only 70 people crossed to North America. ”

and

…every human who migrated across the land bridge came from Eastern Siberia, and that every Native American directly descends from that same group of Eastern Siberian migrants.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah…..“Does the baby look like me?” Everyone in the family asks that same question of that same baby. (No, my most recent grandbaby won’t look like me, I can tell you that now. Not only does she have a bunch of Indo genes in her, that are predominate in my son, but she has a bunch of diluted paleo-Indian genes in her from her mom, and I don’t have any of those that I know of. She’s already darker than me and she’s going to have brown eyes….maybe black if we’re lucky! :)

JLeslie's avatar

I never feel I am rocking it. But, I am around a bunch of people who are darker than me. My MIL told me twice I looked good, had a lot of color in my face specifically. One time I was sick with a very high fever, and another I was in the hospital with an ectopic pregnancy. Although, I think my anemia plays more of a part actually. When I was little I was white, well of course, but my lips were really red, and I had freckles.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In the past I’ve been asked, “Are you feeling OK? You don’t look well.”
“I’m simply not wearing make up you moron!” Sheesh!

JLeslie's avatar

Hahaha. I say that at least once a week.

tom_g's avatar

still going?

relevant?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Up to you @tom_g! @JLeslie and I are just chillin’

Dutchess_III's avatar

What? What? What does that have to do with 100 Paleo Indians crossing a bridge?? LOL!

JLeslie's avatar

How is that relavant? Do super white people have more double chins or something? Lord my husband tells me that too. I look pale and sickly and have a double chin. How did this turn into me feeling like crap about myself? ~

tom_g's avatar

Sorry, corrected link.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’s just being racist @JLeslie. I’M KIDDING @tom_g! Just kidding!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok, tom g…. new link means…we need to protect ourselves from 100 Paleo Indians crossing a bridge, or from pale white people with double chins who try to hang themselves from doorknobs?

JLeslie's avatar

I want to do the math on how many times the population of the Paleo Indians increased since the time they walked across the land bridge. :) I was just in the Tampa Bay history museum last week and it talked about how the many of native Americans in this area were relocated to Arkansas. I wish I could remember the tribes and all the details. History is so difficult for me to keep in my brain. As I walked out of the musem I thought to myself I need to come back again.

Anyway, it all made me sick what was done to the Native Americans in the area. Not just moving them, but many were killed or died for various reasons. They gave stats on how many people today can be traced back to that orginal tribe here in FL. It struck me, because about a year ago I was thinking how the numbers of Jews in the world have finally gotten back up to the number we were at the time right before the holocaust. It takes so long to recoup numbers when you are a small amount of numbers to begin with. And, of course the numbers don’t bring back the people who lost their life or who were never born.

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Guess's avatar

You are just wrong. Mexicans are Indigenous.
Mexico Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325 making it a precolumbian nation.
Mexicans are Native Americans.
America just has an agenda to remove them from their history so they use the term “Aztec”, which was never used, they just said Mexica. And call modern ones “latino”, even though they are not. Italians and Spanish are Latino. Just because you were forced to speak a language doesn’t make you that. It’s as stupid as calling African Americans Brittanias for speaking English.
Wake up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Who is just wrong? I am the OP, and I know that the original inhabitants of Mexico, before the Spaniards, were indigenous and descended from the same small group of people that the native Americans north of the border are descended from. I agree that many of them didn’t get co-mingled with the Spanish DNA either by design or by geographic accident and not all of them speak Spanish. I agree that the original race is Native American.

The original inhabitants began settling there over 13,000 years ago, long before 1325 A.D.

Just curious as to who you are talking to @Guess.

Aster's avatar

This is so tame in comparison to my beloved ex MIL from west Texas who referred to blacks as “Nigras.” And I also recall about ten or so years ago a black woman who tried to get people to stop calling her “black.” She was offended by the term but never offered a substitute. Some blacks refer to themselves as “people of color.” Never caught on.
I’m Welsh and German by the way.

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