Watch south park new episode, in there you will see the both extremes I dislike (the ones that makes history their own, the ones they alienate them self of history).
Originally Posted by Bacon_Barbarian
Fifty Fifty Member
Man, I don't like South Park, it's too crude ... Can't you explain it.
Originally Posted by ClockHand
@ cCock's argument, I'm too slow and other posts already put in *sigh*
But that is still a part of you, and on some level genetically its a part of you. You may not be that culture now, but it had a impact on who you are and how you got to where you are. Yes, it is part of your history; not just their history. With your reasoning, I should say "Although I'm a citizen of the US, the Civil War is not part of my history, because I didn't live it. It had no effect on me, because I didn't personally experience it." And yet, here we are in the modern day, still living with the repercussions of Reconstruction and later the Jim Crow laws. Obviously, this history doesn't go back as far as some people can trace their lineage, but to say that's not part of your history is wrong, because you are a product of your ancestor's history to some degree. Had they not come here long ago, then you as an individual would not be here.
And although I do agree with your statement "immigrants were, native become," it doesn't mean their background has no effect on their descendants. My Grandmother's children are all US citizens, and so are their children, but they still enjoy a lot of the ethnic foods Grandma cooks, and they still take an interest in what life was like for her in the Philippines. They may not do bamboo dance, but they have an appreciation for where their mother comes from. And her history is directly intertwined with their history.
Bottom line is, people are far to interested in minding everyone else's business. If someone wants to say what their lineage is and try to form some connection with their ancestry, then who is someone else to tell them they're an idiot? This is counter productive in teaching acceptance and diversity. Sometimes, it's that belief in connection which pushes someone to learn about another culture. If we only have an interest in our current culture, then we won't care about how we affect another, which is the problem with the US right now: "Because it's not our culture, it's okay to disrespect others." And just because someone says what their ethnic history is, doesn't mean they're saying automatically "I'm a part of that culture." To assume so, would be a wrong assumption. Most people know they're not part of said culture, just because they're of their ethnicity. But they still have a right to share an interest in the culture, and claim the ethnicity.
Last edit: Bacon has a point about where you draw the line. And Clock has a point about extremes. But extreme cases are just that: extreme. And extremes can always be annoying, because there is such thing as "too much of a good thing." You can't base a whole concept on just the extremists.
I have to get ready for work, so if I don't respond, I'm not admitting defeat!!!! But I know how fast subjects change in these threads, so this will probably be the last word I get on it, unless things move slow (which doesn't look like they are.)
Last edited by Blue_Dragon; 11-10-2011 at 05:16 PM.
You can't alienate yourself of history, but neither do it for yourself. When you say "I'm half irish" or "I'm 1/4 indigenous" you are appropriating yourself of history because you are using it to identify you (and is not the whole history, you are using the things you want). But when you say "I'm from USA", its mean, you are not picking just what you want from history, that you are part of the good, the bad, what you want and what you don't want. And also saying "I have Irish heritage" is not enough, because history is more complex than that, your culture is more complex than that, and if people in USA have problems to identify their own culture, then that its their culture, not the "I have Irish ancestors", that is not, because you are a new generation, you deal new problems and your reality is new.
Italians have a strong heritage which is obviously looked through food, but your reality as Italian descendant is way different than a Italian who lives there. You are not Italian, not because you didn't born there, its because you don't live their reality, their social and political problems, their ethic, and even their food (and man they love their food), and if you travel now to Italy you will see that is a different world that what you live, and even if your parents and grandparents do they will see its different as it use to be. It's in the moment of the departure that you start to introduce yourself in a new culture.
And this is the big deal of the first immigrants, they don't have history for them self. They are starting a new history and soon they will just become another generic white guy.
Also, the civil war is a great example of this, for Bacon's dad this doesn't mean anything, for someone who have lived longer in USA it does make noise to his ears. And maybe for Bacon doesn't mean anything either, but then we all get ate by the context we lived, and so we become another generic white kid.
And to stand my first point of this discussion, I hate people who use Ethnic background as some kind of race or genetic background.
Last edited by ClockHand; 11-10-2011 at 05:54 PM.
Fifty Fifty Member
Wait, wait, wait. I think I see where you're going with this, and I'll admit, it's not necessarily a step in the wrong directions, but two things.
Originally Posted by ClockHand
1): I never actually said I'm Italian. I said I'm Italian-American. Which is different. The whole "Hyphenated American" thing is actually very interesting. I know some people don't take it all that seriously, but I do think that Italian-Americans definitely place more of an emphasis on lineage and heritage then others groups might.
2): Are you saying that my grandparents aren't Italian because Italy has changed since they left? I don't think you are, but I'm confused by the way you worded yourself. But if you are ... wut.
Last edited by Bacon_Barbarian; 11-10-2011 at 06:19 PM.
Reason: Formatting issue; Hedging
Ying Yang Member
Sort of getting this post back onto the original topic, CypressDahlia what differences exactly did you have in mind, that people should be more understanding of?
Correction: Clock is right, it's USA, not American. Sorry 'bout that.
I think the problem si the asker thinking one thing and the responder thinking another. Clock, let's say we just met and you ask me, "Where are you from?" This can mean multiple things:
- Where is your country of origin?
- Where is your family from?
- Where did you just come here from?
If you ask me, "What is your ethnicity?" that also means different things to different people, whether you agree with their meaning or not:
- What culture are you a part of?
- What country do you trace your anscestry to?
Most USA citizens consider interpret the latter response to the second question out of habit. It's really a problem of interpretation and communication error. It pisses you off that Americans interpret it differently, but is this really worth it? Do you seriously hate these people for it? I prefer to save my hate for actions that deserve it.
ONCE AGAIN, IT COMES DOWN TO SEMANTICS. I FREAKING HATE SEMANTICS!
(not anyone in particular, just semantics itself)
1) Ok, mister italian-american (Italian-USA person). Yeah I think that would be more accurate, specially because, as I said, your reality is different from someone who live in Italy.
2) No, they are. But most probably Italy wouldn't look like it use to be anymore.
Fenn, if you ask me "Where are you from" I look to the context first. If I'm a foreigner I will tell you my nationality, but if not, I will tell you where I live. I don't see how that question is related to "Where your family come from?", I really don't.
And if people ask about the ethnicity, in my case I would say "Quiltro" (or Kiltro), which answer as the both questions you are making (ancestors and culture). The deal is that most Chileans relate them selfs as Quiltros, which is a concept created by the big ethnic mixture our ancestors lived.
Quiltro is a dirty (commonly ill) street dog that is a mix of many races, a Mongrel.
Probably part of my "hate" to this people is because I don't see the heritage as something separated that my common culture. I see myself as a Quiltro, and I see any other Chilean as a Quiltro to, for us our culture is already stained by our ancestors in the mean of how do we feel, so we don't have the need to relate ourself in stuffs like irish, german, indigenous, and so on. We already accept that we are a mix of things and that is our culture (what makes most Chileans equals).
We feel that related to that, that some people have done this:
A Quiltro and a Dove.
We're not using our ancestry to separate ourselves, we're using it to connect. When we have ethnic festivals, International festivals, and other events where all the tents are side by side. The same stage where polka dancers perform is the same as where the bag pipers, the reggae groups, and the Indian (East Indian) dancers perform. By embracing our different backgrounds, we connect because we acknowledge that although we have multiple differences, we also share a common struggle in our beginning here in the states. Some of us had our ancestors come here in the 1500s, others came last year. But by celebrating this heritage, we draw a line to one another and say "hey, we're different, but we share similarities." In addition, we use these events to learn more about each other, and about other cultures around the world.
We don't have a single word for "US Citizen" besides "American" (which I know is wrong.) Maybe you're right, we should, but we don't. It doesn't mean we can't relate to one another just because we don't have a separate word to call all US citizens (we need to find one, though, cause I'm getting sick of typing that damn phrase out.)
And like Fen says, even if you don't draw a correlation between the different meanings of the question, most people I know would think the same thing, and (as you were saying) answer according to context. Believe it or not, I've had people as me where am I from in context to my ethnic background.
Fifty Fifty Member
Alright, we cool then.
Originally Posted by ClockHand
@Blue Dragon: Even if using American as the word for USA is wrong as far as nationality goes (which it is), it's still technically correct. :?