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« Living architecture: the root bridges of India and Japan | Main | Jiggling the earth »

April 28, 2010


Extremely funny, Norman. Most cogent, both of you. Worthy responses to Ruchira's challenge!

"To the extent that Americans recognize this at all, they tend to remember the displacement as targeting Native Americans, in contrast with 'Hispanics'. But what this distinction misses is that the population of Mexico is somewhere between 60 and 80% Mestizo"

what's that supposed mean? one drop of colored blood makes you of-one? i'm not too interested in contemporary politics, but the history of the southwest was characterized by a lot of brutality on the part of mexicans, creole, mestizo, and indigenous, against the native peoples (google "pueblo revolt"). they're not all the same, nor did they have common interests. clear from the history of the apaches. if a conservative lumped in all the native populations of the new world into one category i'm sure that would elicit a wave of 'quotes' and 'contextualization' that it's eurocentric to view them as an undifferentiated mass without diversity. but if it's in the interests of the your politics, i guess that's fine, hey?

also, on the last US census 50% of the members of la raza put their race down as "white." fwiw.

Another response to the Hawking story.

I'm afraid nobody--conservative, liberal, or correct--would tolerate anybody else bearing even one drop of Martian blood. One drop, there goes the neighborhood. And as for Columbus, it is worth taking account of the full story.

In Hispanic America a Mexican (mejicano/mejicana) is a person who is a citizen of Mexico. If by creole one intends criollo, a variety of meanings may be inferred: a person with a white ancestor; native to America (whatever that means); 'de origen espanol' (excuse the typography); and slyly, criolla could mean coward. Mestizo, similarly, is one of mixed white and original native ancestry - drops of blood be damned. Pre-Columbian people of the Americas are indigenas. (To Hispanics the man was Cristobal Colon, so I should think pre-Colonic would have been more appropriate, or better still, BC, now that that term has been relegated to the PC dustbin).

The 'one drop' rule does not work the same in Latino & Luso America as it does in Norte America; if at all, it works the other way around. In Brasil at least, branco can be practically anyone with some white blood and mostly has to do with ones looks, and indigena and indio mean BC people.

Talking of 'indigenous' brutalizing 'native peoples' makes little sense syntactically either in English (where they mean the same thing) or in Spanish (where native=>natural=>natal has to do with where one was born). Further, there was no such entity as Mexico, hence no Mexicans, at the time of the Pueblo Revolt. Of course by that time the armies of New Spain must have included many of mixed race, but can you imagine such a foot soldier declining to brutalize a puebla, saying perhaps, "No thanks, we're mestizo!".

The Wiki article doesn't mention creole or mestizo, and I am not inclined to scour the Internet for credible evidence of their brutality as I firmly believe that the wearing of googles can be blinkering.

narayan, out of curiosity, what was the point of your comment? i think mine was clear. some mexican american nationalists portray a model whereby the border moved, and we took their land. groups like the zuni or apache might wonder at this framing. the details you point to are generally correct, but they're not relevant. i could do the same thing to the block quoted above, but that would be besides the point (that is, semantic problematizing). lol. nice with the quotations, that's what i mean!

Razib : I sensed more outrage than point in your original. Forgive me if I was toying with you. At least it provoked you into making a clearer statement of what you had in mind. A simple 'huh?' wouldn't have served. Your original required too much interpolation and head scratching for my addled brain - I invoke the excuse of dying grey cells. From this and other blogs, including your own, I know that you have a lot of good ideas and information to convey and I would like to benefit from them. As a writer you surely understand that clarity is in the eye of the beholder, not that you're anywhere near Homi K. Bhabha.

And I thought it was only about the law and not ethnicity.

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