We’re not different races-we’re different species

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I enjoy Fourdinners postings. He writes what he wants, says what he wants and doesn’t really care what others think. Most of all I empathize with his frustration with foreigners coming over and expecting him to change. More and more of them, speaking their own languages and living their own cultures-and they expect him to adapt to them. Unless I miss my guess, if there weren’t so many of them and if they were willing to fit in with the locals rather than expect the locals to change for them fourdinners would be absolutely OK with the whole deal. This is not a subtle jibe at a good guy, I’m deadass serious here.

It seems to be a basic human trait, in my estimation-to identify with ones own tribe or linguistic group or nation. And under positive circumstances to interact with other tribes or linguistic groups or nations, and to possibly absorb some or many of the other;yet always wishing your own to remain distinctive or possibly dominant.

If one regards all people as having the same basic human rights as ones own people, and if one recognizes certain human characteristics in other people that are shared by ones own people, it would follow that one would recognize other people who do you no harm would have the right to exist and raise their families and live their lives in their homeland, undisturbed by what might be a dominant group.

Meaning, you would acknowledge that people who have always lived in a particular area, even if weaker than you, if they do you no harm they have a fundamental right to exist.

Bear with me cause I’m taking a lotta words to get to my point. I read a comment earlier by an immigrant here separating those like himself from those who in his estimation are here illegally. It brought to mind a couple of coworkers, German and English immigrants, who feel the same way about their own status as opposed to the status of the people whom they are convinced are here illegally.

When I read the comment or when I’ve listened to my coworkers I’d always thought them to be bigots. They all say they came here the right way, they all claim they have no problem with Mexicans being here as long as they also come here the right way-which in my view is by being Caucasian, in their view it has something to do with quotas.

There are all kinds of pros and cons involving immigration, it’s not the point of what I’m writing here. The point is that Indians have been here for tens of thousands of years. As time unfolded we slowly spread across two continents until all the Americas were ours. I’m not gonna bring up any conquest stuff, it’s demeaning and painful. But it’s obvious we are here. We lost but we’re here.

I would think it obvious that people have a right to be in their homeland and move about as they please. Like fourdinners feels about his people, which I understand-I would expect our right to be in our own land to be understood. whether we move north or south or east or west, we’re in our land. The Lakota aren’t illegal aliens. Nor are the Chickahominy. Nor are the Zapotec or the Seri. Should a Nahua or a Cochimi move to the north to find productive work it is his or her right as a human being.

Like I said, to me it was obvious. Maybe it’s something in the racial memory, an innate belief that we have the right to BE. But to know foreigners, from other continents, to know they come over here and they consider indigenous people – but not themselves-indigenous people to be illegal aliens-it astounds me. Yet it is a widespread belief, that Mexicans are somehow here illegally. And it’s not bigots saying they’re bad people, I mean yeah there’s hella bigots but most people aren’t prejudiced or racist-they merely view themselves as having become the people of this portion of the Americas and the indigenous as no longer belonging.

Yet most non-Indians are pretty nice people. They’re as kind as most everybody else is. They love their kids like we do. Yet their thought process is different from ours, their view of the environment and other people is different. Not wrong, just different. Different Species. Like certain members of the insect or animal world may look alike but are descended from different ancestors, so it is with us.

Different species.

About Post Author

Carol Bell

Carol is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Her passion is journalism and it shows. Carol is our unpaid, but very efficient, administrative secretary.
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12 years ago

If we want the immigrants to “assimilate” to adopt our ways, to become less “foreign”, less like the “other” then we are going about it wrong.

Most anti-immigration laws force them- illegal and legal both- into insular societies (ghettos?) where they can continue to not learn English, where they cling to the only familiar thing they have- their old culture.

Welcome them with open arms. Help them love America, not just for the opportunity to make a comparative fortune here to ship home, but love it because the people are good and worth loving.

If they want to be here because of what America stands for, for making a better life, for educating their kids and contributing to society, then what is wrong with that? Isn’t that what everyone who ever came here wanted as well?

Great post, Oso!

Reply to  Mother Hen
12 years ago

Exactly, Mother Hen-exactly! You made that point very well-they just want to be good Americans, and they’re anxious to do so. I have a friend who just got his green card and he would probably tape it on his head if he could, he’s so proud.

12 years ago

I’m poor, black, I might even be ugly, but dear God, I’m here. I’m here. – Celie, The Color Purple. We’re all here, like it or not, and the sooner a lot of folks get used to that fact, the better off we’ll all be. Countries find out the hard way that borders are arbitrary lines on a map…no wall in the world can keep people out who are desperate enough, or just want badly enough, to make the attempt. China learned that with their Great Wall, Berlin learned it, I guess America still has some learning to do.

I honestly feel proud to live in a country where people risk getting caught by the law, and even death (try crossing that desert down south a ways…people die out there all the time just trying to get across it) to get here, I think “this country can’t be all that bad, if people are still willing to die getting here.”

The only immigration reform we need is to to make it easier for people to get citizenship here. I had a co-worker once say “I just wish they would learn to speak and read english.” I let her have it, and asked her “when the hell are they supposed to, when most work 16 hour days 6-7 days a week, and why should they, when half those born and bred here are functionally illiterate in the english language?” That’s just how I see it – a bit of understanding could go a long way.

Oso: powerful post, and I’m glad you wrote it. And I’m sorry it took me so long to read it.

12 years ago

Oso, you remind me of the Rainbow Tribes … a multicultural organization anchored in our society by Black Elk. He began with a description of those who gather together as individuals from all different Tribes (nations and cultures), remaining unique yet standing together side by side in a circle. Selna Fox of Circle Sanctuary has further embraced and expanded these Rainbow Warriors (as they are called) … an anthropomorhphic group extending into nearly every country on the planet. I’ve been a member for nearly 30 years. There are many small communities extend globally of Rainbow Warriors. College days, you know? There are so many sub-cultures in our society (which is now academically considered a globally inclusive one) that it is astounding! Consider the American / West European subcultural Gothic community? Just food for thought there… there are too many to list.
The big Circle… that’s the real story… the big Circle.

12 years ago

Oso, I read this on Fri­day at lunch and thought, THIS is a post that requires some seri­ous thought. Excellent!!

First I was reminded of a inci­dent that a friend of mine told me about when she was at a party. (And if I get this wrong, please for­give me B.K.) They live in Austin and were attend­ing a party and she had struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with young Mex­i­can while get­ting refreshments.

She asked about his fam­ily and what they did and he said that they were a “Proud Mex­i­can Ranch­ers”. She asked…“So they live in Mexico?”…and he said ‘No, they live right here in Austin.” She asked “So they are immigrants?”

She told me that he looked her right in the eye and said “Their ranch had been in his fam­ily for 8 Gen­er­a­tions and was started by his Great Great Great Grand­fa­ther in the 1820’s. So you tell me who the immi­grant is?”

I have always thought that anx­i­ety about immi­gra­tion, exclud­ing any eco­nomic rea­sons, is always anx­i­ety about change in cul­ture. They just “won’t be behave like Amer­i­cans” or what­ever the coun­try is of complaint.

But one thing to con­sider, cul­ture is like a big paint­ing that never ends. It will never remain sta­tic. Con­stantly chang­ing and evolv­ing, the cul­ture that the com­plain­ing per­son is talk­ing about and longing to keep, came from exactly the same process.

Reply to  Krell
12 years ago


” I have always thought that anx­i­ety about immi­gra­tion, exclud­ing any eco­nomic rea­sons, is always anx­i­ety about change in cul­ture”.

I think you hit it exactly there man, fear of the other. And some will magnify that fear, others learn from it and tolerate it. And maybe like your analogy of culture as a painting, they will gradually incorporate into the swirl. No matter what ClusterFox news wants ! Thanks for the comment and for reading.

12 years ago

Oso, Both the mainstream and alternative media has managed to keep me, of all people, unaware of what you say here, and I am a voracious reader.

Can you or someone else point me the way to one or several good articles that Mexicans feel that the Southwest USA or the US is their country too? I’d like to get a sense of whether this belief is 1) widespread among Mexicans who come to American, and 2)widespread among Mexicans who don’t, and 3) if Native Canadians feel the same way.

There is one thing that bothers about this this post. It is this: One’s ancestors belonged to group or tribe who lived on a continent.

Within that continent, they lived in a specific area of it.

Time marches on, wars are fought, won, or lost, and political boundaries between countries are established.

The Irish and Scottish may sound a lot alike, but whichever side their ancestors were on determined their citizenship.

I would think this applies to Native Americans in the US, compared to their kin called Mexicans or Canadian Aborigines. Wherever side their folks lived on, that was their citizenship, not the entire continent.

I mean, who of any race or nationality can just pack up and move to anywhere on any continent because their ancestors came from a specific place (now a country) within it?

This is a pragmatic question. I know the ideal answer – a world without borders – but we don’t live in that world. If we did, I’d be thinking harder about packing up for Canada because the Far Racist Right has made it batshit crazy for everyone else and themselves in the US.

12 years ago

Thanks very much to all of you guys for reading, and for understanding this wasn’t a “one side good, other side bad” thing but rather just to show the point of view some people have and maybe trigger off a little debate or further thought.

SJ makes a really good point. I might also point out there are a lot of 1st and 2nd generation Mexicans as opposed to immigration from Mexico as the Minutemen are. We’re pretty complicated creatures huh?

Reply to  osori
12 years ago

-My brother, WTF right? It’s crazy.
a while back I wrote about this phenomenon on Random Thoughts,
Looks like I’ll be writing about it again soon after what’s happened in Arizona and what I heard on the subway ride coming home today.
An East Indian man, clearly American born and who should know better, was complaining about “…Muslims crowding the technical schools in Queens.”
Unbelievable Nonsense.

Reply to  SJ
12 years ago

I hope you write it here my friend. We miss you.

Reply to  Michael John Scott
12 years ago

I’m wading back in slowly. Were it not for the quality of writing on here, I’d have less to read and respond to.
Hopefully next week I’ll be posting on here regularly again.
I just posted a long winded piece at Random thoughts… a good trial run to get the juices flowing again.

12 years ago

The Governor is signing the bill as I write this…now she is speaking…she says she prays for something…hope the guy she is praying to doesn’t read minds…I think he may find something ugly in there…

12 years ago

were that we were different species, -it would explain a lot. But we’re not. I have to disagree.
How people behave has a lot to do with what they believe, what they claim to believe and how much they think they can get away with.
That means everybody.
I’ve heard Cuban-Americans in Florida, and Dominicans in New York complain as loudly about the influx of “Mexicans” as anybody -without a hint of irony or self-awarness. We’re just that kind of country.
In the writings of Professor Sepulveda about the “new” world, -like most people of the time, he knew that enslavement of Africans and the masacring of the Native Americans was dead wrong according to his religion, and against the ten commandments -his solution?
“They’re not human.”
This despite the Monk Las Casas shooting holes in his ridculous rationalization for what would eventually be five centuries of bloodshed in the name of “free trade.”
Just think if every time we wanted to use the word “foreigners” or “immigrants” we substituted the word “neighbors.”

It would make it hard to do and say a lot of the things we do and say to others.

12 years ago

Spot on old bean! Absolutely spot on!

I actually enjoy the company of ‘foreigners’ in many ways.

I once spent an evening at The Mahmoods (a nice muslim family two doors down) and I found their tongue so soothing (I have no idea what language it was) I actually nodded off to the background sound it on the sofa.

‘Outside’ they speak English. As Mrs Mahmood once told me, ‘It is firstly out of respect for the country that has offered us a better life and, secondly, it is far easier to order a pizza’

I have no problem at all with foreigners wanting to live in England. Indeed, I’m flattered that so many want to live here.

I just get a bit miffed when the minority (which is increasing in size) behave as though it is now their country – as opposed to ‘ours’ – and everything must now change to suit them.

Considering they have left ‘their’ country as ours must be better for them, it bewilders me that they then want to change ‘our’ into ‘theirs’ – as in the muslim demand for Sharia law to be introduced in certain parts of Britain.

The Mahmoods, incidentally, are extremely embarrassed by this weird and, frankly, bizarre behaviour by supposed Islamists.

Living in peace with all is the desirable nirvana but it can only be achieved if all sides really want it.

I move to Saudi Arabia I avoid getting pissed in public or shagging on the beach.

They move here they avoid intrusively marching up the high street in a full face bhurka and demanding Sharia Law. (All they need is half a dozen camels and they might as well have stayed where they were)

Bloody odd creatures are humanity. Bloody odd.

Reply to  fourdinners
12 years ago

Thanks for understanding,4D. You are a man in the best traditions of Sir David Niven.

12 years ago

Wow, this is a lot to try and get my mind around. In one post, you have just taken my terrible mood down a notch, to think of something else, other than the nasty that is politics and I thank you from the bottom of my dark soul for that.

=^..^= =^..^=

12 years ago

Pretty much every single person that will ever read and/or comment on this blog descended from an invader who rounded up, shuffled off, or butchered whomever was living there at the time. Humans were fucked up tribalists, are fucked up tribalists and will always be fucked up tribalists. Which is why I’m proud to be from another planet.

12 years ago

“I look back to my Fathers’, Fathers’, Fathers’ before me… there in the red rush of the river of life within me pouring out onto the grass before me, it mingles there with the same river rushing from my enemy.”

–So observed Finn McCual as he expired … flush with the vision of those giants from Scotland who would invade his People, despite his glory in victorious death.

We can’t go back. Yet; as a Celt, listening to my Mothers’ Mothers’ who tell me to remember, as the bards told us, and not to be condemned to reliving it.
Thank you Oso.

I find it prophetic that you display the Star Trek iconography that serves your message so well…. will it only be when our planet, our world is invaded that we will reach out and say to one another, Here sister…here brother… lets us band together loyal and defend ourselves! And then start the whole fucking notion up again… the word, the idea of ALIEN should be banned.
I look around and see and understand through ancient Traditions and evolving science that I survey ALL MY RELATIONS. I am connected to All That Is.
It is our doom that we forget. Eh? Yeah, I’m another dreamer.

12 years ago

I am the daughter of immigrants who came here the “right” way which is openly and legally. The plus for them was that they could then live openly and without fear.
The wholesale destruction of the indigenous American people was disgraceful and wrong on so many levels but is now completely outside our ability to fully rectify. That there are still those living in squalor on reservations made up of useless land is STILL our shame but it has been many years since anyone has made an issue of it. I had high hopes for AIM but that organization seems to be mired in enough problems to be pretty ineffective.
As for those who want to build this stupid wall to our South? Gee, think Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall – that’s what you want? Really?
But then there are those coming in without our government’s knowledge – as you point out, mostly Mexicans. They create their own insular society and cling to their own language and traditions. Why? Fear of INS and protection against the prejudice and hate they encounter from Americans.
My only concern about people living under the radar is the ease in which they can be exploited and used and from a health standpoint since many are coming over with untreated illnesses such as TB and little or no innoculations.
Our efforts and money would be better spent working with Mexico to clean up their corruption, clean out their violent drug cartels and find ways to improve living standards there while improving our own here. If successful the border could operate much like it does between here and Canada where people are checked out in order to catch undesirables like potential terrorists while allowing others to visit both ways.
A thought provoking post, Oso. One that begs for introspection and self examination.

12 years ago

I could write 10,000 words in response to your fine post, but I won’t. Mexicans are considered illegal because they have crossed lines drawn by the relatively new owners of North American continent. It’s really nothing new in an historical sense, Greeks, Romans and Persian armies crossed imagined border millennia ago. Their empires all fell. The white Barbarian tribes of Europe took advantage of the fall of the Roman Empire and claimed new lands including England. The moaning and wailing in England right now hasn’t been heard since Norman invasion of 1066, which led to signing of one the most important documents of all time, The Magna Carta. Then in the Colonial era, the British, Spanish, Dutch, French and Portugeuse started doing to the so called New World lands, what the Romans had done to them. I’m simplifying quite a bit to keep it short, but there is nothing new under the sun. Empires rise and Empires set.

12 years ago

Pretty profound there, Mr. Oso. I don’t know what’s behind the thinking of any immigrants anywhere that their adopted country should adopt their ways. It would be easy to say that they “choose” to live in a country other than the one they were born into, but that’s not always the case – many are refugees who are forced to flee if they want to live at all.

Maybe it’s the pecking order of things. They want to find someone else on a lower rung so they feel a little “higher?”
If not refugees, maybe they miss their homeland more than they want to admit. Assimilation is hard no doubt, but when in Rome . . .

I remember my first trip to Mexico and having all these people stare at me in restaurants and stores and walking down the streets. It suddenly hit me that this is how they must feel when in my country. It sure as hell wasn’t because of my stunning looks.

12 years ago

Brilliant piece. Absolutely brilliant.

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