Re "In the beginning," Opinion, Oct. 21
Gregory Rodriguez was right on in addressing confusion in racial identity and self-racism toward one's own Indian ancestry among many people of Mexican origin. The vast majority of members of Indian reservations in the United States are not full-blooded Indian. They have varying degrees of European ancestry, have European names and can't speak their tribe's indigenous language. They nevertheless proudly identify themselves racially as "American Indian" or "Native American" instead of "mestizo" or some pan-ethnic generic label such as "Hispanic" or "Latino."
I am the product of a mostly Mexican Indian father and a European American mother, but I identify myself as indigenous American as opposed to just the ethnic identities. About 90% of people of Latin American origin are genetically bi- or tri-racial, and have the right to choose whatever racial identity they please. However, after more than 500 years of that Spanish colonial shock wave that rings of "Indians and dark skin are inferior," it's time for the young generation of "Latindios" especially to identify with their indigenous Americana roots with pride.
As one of the hybridized offspring in Mexico, I would like to encourage you to go for a more complete and elegant list of adjectives for people from Mexico for your book. Why did you not list princes, poets, strategists and scholars? I invite you to explore the true meaning of "Malinche." It is not a title of Marina alone. It is a title, even now, in the Conchero Danza (descendant ceremonial dances) and is given to the senior protective matriarch who is held as an equal to the elder chieftains if she is a widow. Malinchismo is one way to use the word.
San Miguel de Allende