Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lesson Learned

I learned a lesson about Tumblr when you post a statement stating the term "Native American" only applies to American Indians since they were the first humans in North America about 12,000 years and were here before Europeans by all but the last 500-plus years of their time here.

I stated that people of European ancestry are not native in the sense of the ancestry, and that draws the conservatives on Tumblr out of the Internet to post comments. I posted it because I get tired of white people who claim their native not just by birth but by ancestry assuming the arrival of the Pilgrims were the first "real" people in North America.

I won't argue people can call themselves native by their birth, but they can't by the ancestry, but the truth is we're all immigrants from somewhere else, it's just depends on how far back you go in time and place.

Even Europeans are a hodgepodge of ancestries but many lived in relative isolation for many generations before integration by other people. American Indians crossed on the land bridge between Alaska and Russia between the ice ages.

From there they migrated down into Central America and Mexico by about 12,000 years BP. It's understood that native South Americans migrated from the South Pacific and then up to Central America  from their arrival in the southern areas of South America.

Europeans didn't arrive until the late 15th century but really a century or two later with the conquests in South America and the settlements in North America. That doesn't make them native in the same sense as the American Indians who were already here.

And that was my point, being native is relative to time and place.

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