Q#2 for Daisy: Are Mexicans Native?

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Here is Daisy's response to a second e-mail, also regarding the How To Solve Illegal Immigration video:

I just saw your video on illegal immigration and I found it very informative, interesting, and insightful. I just have a comment on something on it.
In it, you make a distinction between "Native Americans" and Mexicans. I don't know if you know enough of our history (Mexicans) but Mexicans for the most part ARE native peoples. About 30% of Mexicans in Mexico are pure indigenous and another 68% are mainly "mestizo" mostly Native-Mexican and Spaniard as compared to 1% of all "Americans" being pure (government recognized) indigenous. In Guatemala, native peoples are about 45% of the people. You can see these demographics in Wiki or the CIA factbook, among other places.
The brown race (not "red", known as "Native Americans") does not magically begin and end at the US/Mexico border. [...] When any discussion or reference is ever made of "Native Americans", it almost always refers to indigenous peoples of the U.S. or even Canada, but never Mexico. I am Chicano from East LA. My family has been in L.A. since 1920 on my mother’s side, and on my fathers just as long, but coming from Arizona. My family was Purepecha from Jalisco but you won't recognize that as well as Choctaw, Apache, Ute, etc. since again, the fallacy that Native peoples are solely from the U.S.
Many of the poorest of the poor from Mexico and Central America coming here are indigenous. They come from places like Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Chiapas, etc. and many speak mainly nahuatl and k'iche'. This big part of our history and identity not told or understood perpetuates the wrong belief that we are simply "aliens" as much as anyone else from anywhere in the world.
Thank you,
Randy

And here is Daisy's response:

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Randy, Your letter helps point out a problem in the video - thank you. I'd like to comment on this.

As an example, there is a part in the video during which I say:

"In the first group of course there are those people who are currently being labeled illegal immigrants. Most of them are recent immigrants, most notably from Mexico.
The second group are also immigrants, but they are immigrants who have been here longer, maybe a hundred years or maybe even going all the way back to the Mayflower or something like that.
And actually there's actually a third group, a forgotten group that's been made practically invisible over the past two hundred or so years, and that's the original Native inhabitants of these lands."

This way of explaining is confusing because I am simultaneously using two different categorical systems: the so-called "legal resident vs. illegal immigrant" argument, and also the "native vs. settler" model. I chose to explain the situation in this way in an attempt to draw attention to the continued (imposed) invisibility of native people living within the territorial boundaries of the U.S., even as U.S. politicians and media commentators ask the question, "Who has a right to be here?" This can be confusing because the "legal resident vs. illegal immigrant" model is itself a settler construct, and, as you point out, does not take into consideration whether those 'immigrants' are native or not. In fact, we could say that the "legal resident vs. illegal immigrant" model is a favored way to frame the so-called 'immigration crisis' precisely because it conveniently leaves native people out of the equation. With native people out of the way, ruling class settlers are able to position themselves as legitimate owners and masters of this land; public outcries over how subsequent waves of 'illegals' are sullying their turf is to be expected.

I decided to use the term 'illegal immigrants' in the video because this is a widely used term at the moment. But in an attempt to keep things simple, the term itself manages to drag many other assumptions and problems into the discussion along with it. In hindsight, I probably should have, at the very least, noted that many of the so-called illegal immigrants from Mexico or elsewhere are also indigenous to their respective regions. This definitely complicates matters to a certain extent, but my failure to mention this created a lost opportunity - for example, an opportunity to raise many (generally) unconsidered implications regarding indigenous peoples' rights vis-à-vis certain settler constructs (in this case, 'national borders', citizenship, etc.).

It's my opinion that if enough people begin to challenge the legitimacy of oppressive settler constructs (for example, settler states [The United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, etc.], settler concepts [illegal immigration, the justice system, the Constitution, blood quantum, etc.], and so on), the conceptual and political terrain can be transformed and we will all be better positioned to turn our attention to righting the historical wrongs which we are now living and perpetuating. This is, as I understand it, one of the long-term objectives of The Pinky Show project.

- Daisy

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Thank you Daisy for replying to Randy. And yes, this is one of our long-term objectives. Looooooong term! I doubt I'll live long enough to see it realized, but I know that all play and no work guarantees that absolutely nothing happens.

By the way, we have not forgotten about the episodes about colonialism, settler colonialism, nation states, and all that other stuff. I know it's been a long time since I mentioned that we are working on them but alas, we're still working on them. Some subjects are just more challenging to research and write clearly about (to me, anyway)! So although Bunny and I are constantly working and re-working these scripts we're not going to release them until we're as happy as we can be with them, even if we know that 5 minutes after we publish them to the internet we'll be unhappy with them and want to change them some more! We are being extra careful with these episodes because we think that they really do have the power to help radically transform the way people think about history and society. Once the perspective moves, everything looks different.

But at any rate please stay tuned. We've been doing a lot of research/writing the past few months, but in August-October we'll be right back in the production phase of things, so we'll have more episodes rolling out as we finish them off. Please take care.

~ pinky

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[ Note from Bunny: This Q & A highlights something we're always struggling with here at The Pinky Show. In an attempt to make things as simple and widely accessible as possible, we often find ourselves leaving out huge amounts of extremely important information, ideas, and perspectives. Personally I see this as a form of intellectual violence. The only way we can justify it (barely) is to say that our mini-presentations are meant to instigate more curiosity, questioning, and dialogue. Anyone who thinks The Pinky Show is a good one-stop source for any final word on complex issues is not going to end up very smart. When more people become comfortable with the idea that anyone can do research - research of ALL kinds, not just book research - into complicated matters, then hopefully The Pinky Show will become obsolete. ]

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[ Note from pinky: Thanks for saying that Bunny. You could say the same thing about schools. ]

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[ Bunny: Yup. ]