You are not Mexican, Irish, or Italian, you are an American

Discussion in 'Salser@s Anonymous' started by Marcos, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Ya know what they say about education. it's like charity , it starts at home..( or should ) .
  2. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    I believe that happens a lot to Canadians of non-European decent because people outside of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver have no idea how diverse Canada is.
    Btw, Vienna is like that too. Very diverse. Strange fact: the Cuban dance scene in Vienna is almost entirely Austrian and neighboring countries, there are virtually no Africans, Asians or Middle Easterners, strange.
    Marcos and timberamayor like this.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    I don't think that's so strange. In Japan where I live it's almost all Japanese, and in the city where I live in a lot of them have some connection to the medical fields. I have gone dancing while traveling to Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore and most folks were local.

    No, there's no such thing as Puertorican-American because all Puertoricans have been US citizens for the last 100 years so there's no need to hyphenate to include something that's already imbedded, in the same way a person who's parents moved from Texas to Chicago wouldn't call themselves a Texan-American.

    BTW, these Americans' pride in their heritage seems too superficial to me. I remember a particularly egregious case of rudeness where the girl even claimed that Spanish people were not white after I had explained that's where most of my ancestry is from, while she claimed great pride in her Scandinavian heritage. I was left very unimpressed when the proud Scandinavian couldn't tell me a thing about Scandinavian history, had never been there, nor could she speak in the Scandinavian language of her ancestors...

    I can at least respect your friend's claim based on his actions.
    Smejmoon likes this.
  4. manzanadulce

    manzanadulce Sonero

    Yes and as @timberamayor knows as well as I do, I’m sure, most Americans are immigrants (from the 1500’s on) from England, Ireland, Scotland, and later, Germany, and Italy. Of course there are also many people of African descent who have been in America for centuries. The first “Americans” were “waste people” from England that were criminals or owed debts to the crown that they couldn’t pay. They were sent to the New World as indentured servants to work and settle the land for the economic benefit of England and it took centuries for them to turn America from the largely unsettled swamp land it was to something resembling the nation we have today. Most suffered horribly and died during the process.

    This is why most Americans in the US today have roots in those cultures/ethnicities, or even a mix of them. This is true for me and almost all Americans. My mother was brought to this country as a child from Germany and she considers herself an American and speaks English with no discernible German accent, yet many of her thoughts, ideas and tendencies are rooted in the German culture of her parents who spent their whole lives up until mid adulthood in Germany. She is not alone in this, it is an experience many Americans have, especially those who have emigrated to this country recently, as opposed to those who have family history in America tracing back centuries.
  5. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    The links is to census data from 2010, which shows historical data all the way back from 1850. Slide 3 shows a very interesting trend, from 1910 to 1970 the percentage of foreign born dropped from 14.7 to 4.7. The trend reversed and it was almost back to 1910 numbers in 2010 at 12.9.

    Please note that my OP is not that people that have roots elsewhere shouldn't or can't embrace them. But rather that stating those roots as their nationality is confusing and dumbing to a group of people who in all honesty are already too confused about race, nationality, and ethnicity. To say, "I'm Spanish" doesn't denote that my greatgrandfather came from Spain, it denotes I did and therefore I would never say it.

    The Latino situation is exacerbated because we don't have the same hard racial identities traditionally expressed in USA and we have the highest rates of interracial dating in the world, whether living in or out of Latinamerica. So our nationalities are expressed as our races or our racial identity is expressed as a pan-Latinamerican race. Which causes another layer of ignorance on top of that created by declaring ancestry as nationality that leads many Americans, including those of Latinamerican ancestry, to believe that there is a brown skinned pan-Latinamerican race. Many Americans of Latinamerican ancestry are as perplexed as white Americans when the blonde and redhead members of my family declare ourselves Puertorican because they have ingrained that brown skin is part of Latinamerican identity; while the Latinamerica born less likely to be surprised, and the Latinamerica born and raised rarely ever are. This is a very common narrative in the media where they often incorrectly declare that we are a brown people, rather than the reality. We are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic people, and that's just in my family.
    Smejmoon likes this.
  6. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Identity is not simple. There is ethnic identity, cultural identity, language identity, religious identity and geographical identity. It is said more wars have been fought based on language than any other (I guess religion being a close second). There is no one way to express an identity. E.g. there is an European identity and there is more specific German or Dutch or Polish. And no it wasn't creation of EU. Identity arises out of shared values. A lot of these identities overlap across geographies. However within that overlap, you can still identify significant groupings that can be recognized by their shared values. Whether those shared values result from common language, religion, culture, etc is not as relevant, as to which values get expressed most in the grouping or its subgrouping. Humans in every corner of the world have had always need to be a part of group or sub-group and sub-sub-group until you come down to clan and family units. Hence we know when someone gets identified as European (and Italian), or Christian ( and Catholic), or Latin (and Spanish speaking) or Arabic (and Muslim). Then you also have Latin and Portuguese, or Arab and Christain, European and Argentenian.

    America is a fairly young country compared to others. On top of it, the majority of its population immigrated within last few generations. There is no dominant native population. America is a geography. Unlike say Europe or Africa or East Asia, there is no deep rooted shared values that defines something called "American". There is no such thing called "American" culture (Hollywood, Coke and Mcdonald doesn't count:)) that can be compared (or easily understood) with say Europian culture or Arabic culture or Indian culture or Latin culture. America is more diverse and bigger than any other country or geography, and it lacks comparable shared cultural and other values (homogeneity) as a nation. Its largest groupings at the top level can be probably be identified as Eurpoean (defined by ancestery and geographical origin), Latin (defined by language and culture), Christain (defined by religion) and Africans (defined by ancestry and geographical origin). Those who don't belong to these then are hyphenated. But those who do belong are also hyphenated to distinguish themselves (except for African Americans who usually aren't further subgroups).group

    If we say America is a new world and the rest is old world, then in the old world, the highest level subgrouping very easily (most of the times) and very nearly fall into either language or religion. Further in most cases the language closely maps to specific geography. In the new world almost everyone speaks English and Christainity is the most dominant religion. Constant movement of people mean there isn't very strong sub-regional identity say Californian or Texan (may be after a century but not today), compared to say Wales or Scottish in UK. Then when you factor in the diversity, there is no easy way for Americans to sub-group themselves other than hyphenated identities. Identity after all tells certain story about a person. "American" doesn't tell the same story as say "Russian" or "Japanese" or "Chinese".

    I am not touching upon racial identity since that is such a complex and controversial topic (as your post illustrated).
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  7. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    Well put. :)
  8. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    Your description of Latin culture as being a culture that is more calcified with identifiable characteristics than American culture is precisely the sort of facade that I'm arguing against. My points are:

    1. USA is the first and oldest of the modern post colonial countries in the Americas. The second oldest is Haiti, which declared independence 28 years later.
    2. Until the 21st century, many Latinamerican countries had more diverse populations than USA (it might still be the case today, but I don't have the data to back it up). For example, Latinamerica has the largest population of people of ancestry that originates in the Middle East and Japan, with large numbers from many other places, notably Italy and Germany.
    3. Black Latinos generally have a better knowledge of their African heritage and many identify themselves to specific African ethnicities such as Congo, Yoruba, or Carabali, as well as in keeping more aspects of their African cuisine, religion, and language. The point here is that they're more diverse culturally than African Americans.
    4. Latinamerica is a grouping of many countries with different systems of government, located in different geographies, of which when added together have a larger and more diverse terrain and latitude than that of the United States.
    5. Just go ahead and call a Puertorican Mexican, call a Dominican Haitian, or a Colombian Venezuelan. Go ahead, see how much we agree with you that we're all the same and that it's not blatant ignorance to confuse us in that way.
  9. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    Where is this point coming from? I don't see where this is referred to. ???
    Offbeat likes this.
  10. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

  11. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    So you argue that USA is a fairly young country, I counter argue with the fact that it's older than any Latinamerican country and apparently that's a strawman?
    You argue there's no dominant culture in USA, I counter argue that Latinamerica is more diverse and that's also a strawman?
    I elaborate on my explanation for how Latinamerica is more diverse with the comparison between African Americans and Afro Latinos, and that's a strawman too?

    These are facts I'm using to counter your thesis, whereas you use opinions. Everyone has opinions like they have belly buttons, but not facts. You know, like the fact that the consensus include Latinamerica as a part of the new world, unlike your opinion that only USA is.

    Read the post I quoted from Offbeat. He consistenly puts Latin culture as a culture with distinguishable characteristics and group that's contrasted with the American group that has no shared values and distinguishable characteristics. I'm arguing the diversity of Latinamerica as a whole is much greater than that of USA, and that such grouping is inconsistent with his thesis.
    Smejmoon likes this.
  12. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    Marcos likes this.
  13. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    Agreed. This is not even close. I cannot speak to what else has been stated in this thread as I am too lazy to sift through it.
    I believe just Colombia alone has more native tribes than all of the US. I doubt if anyone even knows for sure how many tribes exist in Brazil. And thats just one aspect of diversity.

    By contrast, Native Americans in the US and Canada underwent forced assimilation and had to rediscover their culture and language after the fact.
    Marcos likes this.
  14. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    The disclaimer in the linked study states that they are using only language and religion not ethnicity as a measure of diversity. Obviously those are appropriated features of culture, just like dancing on1 or on2 :p:D
    Marcos likes this.
  15. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    I 100% agree, but Offbeat didn't argue Mexico VS USA, Chile VS USA, and Argentina VS USA; he argued Latinamerica VS USA, and I therefore countered Latinamerica VS USA. Interestingly according to the study that you cite a number of much smaller countries in Latinamerica are more diverse than USA, including Mexico, which should give everyone pause in how they think of Mexicans.

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