March 07, 2007

Cherokees 'r' us

Who is a Cherokee?  Many Americans have Indians in the family tree[M]any Americans have Cherokee or other Native American DNA within their genetic makeup.

Some families are aware this, some people have heard rumors or stories from family members about Indian background and some are totally unaware of it. Did great, great, great grandma really have a Cherokee parent?

There may be more Americans with Cherokee DNA in them than of other tribes. This is because Cherokees began intermixing with Scottish and other explorers, hunters and trappers at a much earlier phase in American history--much of it in the mid-1700s.
The author also addresses the issue of racial memories:The idea that deep and ancient memories of our ancestors lie within our own bodies, within our DNA, seems far-fetched. Yet, in the field of genetics research, there seems to be so much that is not known, that for an open-minded person, these kinds of theories about deep DNA memories cannot be ruled-out.

Maybe it is time to consider the depth of our family trees and all of their complex branches and roots throughout time and the development of the human race. Whether Cherokee or other interesting ethnic backgrounds are deep within us, this certainly seems worth exploring.

In this sense, the official and legal definitions of who is Cherokee or part of some other Native American tribe, and who is not, become less relevant.
Comment:  Talking about hidden racial memories is really no different than talking about blood quantum. Someone with a 1/64th blood quantum presumably has 1/64th of his ancestors' racial memories. By either standard, he's just as much an Indian.

At least, this presumption is as good as any other. If memories are DNA-based, they should be proportional to any biological characteristic such as "blood." Since no one can measure racial memories, no one can prove otherwise.


Rob said...

Repeat: Whether you can articulate it or not, you have a dividing line in mind. So what is it? How much intermarrying do Indians have to do to eliminate their "racial memories"?

In other words, who qualifies as an Indian in your mind? Wilma Mankiller? Robbie Robertson? Ben Nighthorse Campbell? Arigon Starr? Burt Reynolds? Tiger Woods? Cher? Who?

Rob said...

I'm glad I failed, since I'm not Native and never claimed to be. At least your "analysis" can distinguish between me and you.

Too bad you're unwilling or unable to tell us whether it distinguishes you from Wilma Mankiller, Robbie Robertson, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Arigon Starr, Burt Reynolds, Tiger Woods, or Cher. Your failure to answer is noted.

Another amusing aspect of this debate is your claim that you'll give us the answers only if we pay to read your stories. I don't know about anyone else, but the more you obfuscate the truth with your verbiage, the less I'm likely to want to read more.

Incidentally, I've read a couple of your stories. They were fine, but they didn't "shine with a light I never have encountered before." If no one else has reacted this way, you can mark me down as the first.

Rob said...

Another non-responsive answer, but at least it isn't a non sequitur this time. You're making progress!

Too bad you didn't spell "qualitative" in this thread as well as I spelled "obfuscation." Oops.

Why is it lucky that nobody's paying you for your obfuscation? If you were being paid by the word for your verbiage here, you'd be rich by now.

I'm not worried about your writing either. I'm just informing you that not everyone thinks you're as wonderful as you think you are. Use the information as you see fit.

If you're trying to impress me with your writing credentials, don't bother. My publications include one book, two comic books, and 400+ articles. Quite possibly I've published more words in my career than you have.

You "know" that I don't know who John W. Campbell is? Thanks for revealing how limited your knowledge is. I guess that explains why you don't know much about the Maya, the Ancestral Puebloans (aka "Anasazi"), the history of tribal sovereignty, or the federal recognition process.

No doubt I read several Campbell stories when I began reading SF 40+ years ago. I'm familiar with his career from several histories of SF, including The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1977) on my shelf. Really, you should stop talking about things you're ignorant of before you embarrass yourself even further.