The future of Hispanic identity

May 6, 2013

In an interview with ABC News this past weekend, Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico and a veteran of the Clinton White House, shared his thoughts on Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas who has been gaining prominence as a staunch, and sometimes strident, conservative voice. Though Richardson acknowledged that Cruz is “articulate,” he accused the Texas senator of having introduced “a measure of incivility in the political process.” When asked if Cruz “represents most Hispanics with his politics,” Richardson replied that because Cruz is anti-immigration, “I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic.”

Regardless of Richardson’s true meaning, he hit a nerve. Bill Richardson and Ted Cruz are both entitled to define themselves as Hispanics, as both have roots in Spanish-speaking countries. Yet both men, like a large and growing number of Hispanics, are of mixed parentage. Richardson is the son of a father who was half-Anglo-American and half-Mexican and a Mexican mother. Ted Cruz is the son of an Irish-American mother and a Cuban immigrant father. And so the Richardson-Cruz kerfuffle gives us an opportunity to think about the future of Hispanic identity.

As of the 2010 Census, Hispanics represented 16.3 percent of the total U.S. population. And in the decades to come, the Census Bureau projects that the Hispanic share of the U.S. population will increase dramatically, from just under one American in six to just under one in three.

But there is a small complication with these numbers. The Census Bureau relies on individuals to self-identify with a given ethnic category. We now know, however, that many individuals who could identify as Hispanic, by virtue of a parent or grandparent born in a Spanish-speaking country, choose not to do so. In recent years, Brian Duncan, an economist at the University of Colorado Denver, and Stephen Trejo, an economist at the University of Texas at Austin, have been studying this “ethnic attrition rate” among U.S. immigrants and their descendants. And their findings suggest that while a given generation of Americans might identify as Hispanic, there is a decent chance that their children will not.

To understand Duncan and Trejo’s findings, it helps to first understand that assimilation is a multi-generational process. The first immigrant generation, which consists of foreign-born individuals, is almost by definition less assimilated than those that follow. Members of the second, which consists of native-born individuals with at least one foreign-born parent, tend to have higher levels of English language proficiency and educational attainment than members of the first, and more friendships and relationships outside of their parents’ ethnic community. The third generation, which consists of native-born individuals with two native-born parents and at least one foreign-born grandparent, is commonly expected to be more assimilated still. Duncan and Trejo draw on data from the Current Population Survey, gathered between 1994 and 2000, to explore how Americans across immigrant generations describe their ethnic identity.

For example, while virtually all third-generation Mexican-Americans with three or four Mexican-born grandparents identify as being of Mexican descent, Duncan and Trejo observe that only 79 percent of those with two Mexican-born grandparents do the same. For those with only one Mexican-born grandparent, the share falls to 58 percent.

Only 17 percent of third-generation Mexican-Americans have three or four Mexican-born grandparents, so the ethnic attrition rate is quite high: 30 percent of Americans with at least one Mexican-born grandparent do not identify as being of Mexican descent. It appears, according to Duncan and Trejo, that the educational attainment of Mexican-Americans who don’t identify as Mexican is higher than for those who do.

This suggests that when we measure life outcomes for third-generation Mexican-Americans, we might be biasing the results by relying on self-identification and thus failing to include large numbers of individuals with at least one Mexican-born grandparent.

Duncan and Trejo have studied a number of other ethnic groups as well, and they find that intermarriage has an enormous impact on ethnic identification for the descendants of all immigrants, not just those of Mexican origin. Among second-generation Indian-Americans, 63 percent have two Indian-born parents. Within this subgroup, 86 percent identify as Asian.

But within the subgroup of second-generation Indian-Americans with only one Indian-born parent, only 26 percent identify as Asian. Salvadoran-Americans have a much higher intermarriage rate, and so only 13 percent of second-generation Salvadoran-Americans have two Salvadoran-born parents and 76 percent of these Salvadoran-Americans identify as Hispanic. But Hispanic identification among second-generation Salvadoran-Americans with only one Salvadoran-born parent is a mere 14 percent.

And by the time we reach the third generation, ethnic attrition appears to skyrocket. Almost 80 percent of third-generation Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans have no more than two grandparents born in Mexico or Puerto Rico respectively. The same is true of 90 percent of third-generation Americans of Cuban, Dominican, Chinese, and Filipino ancestry. Given that ethnic attrition tends to rise as the number of grandparents born in the relevant source country falls, these numbers don’t bode well for Hispanic or Asian self-identification.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the children of second-generation Americans like Bill Richardson and Ted Cruz won’t define themselves as Hispanic. Ethnic attrition rates could fall over time. Hispanic identity is already gaining in prominence and prestige, and there is good reason to believe that this trend will continue. It is also possible, however, that Hispanic identity will lose its salience as the children and grandchildren of Richardson and Ted Cruz, the products of generations of intermarriage, grow culturally indistinguishable from Americans who embrace Anglo identity. Pretty soon we might find the idea of Bill Richardson suggesting that Ted Cruz isn’t Hispanic enough faintly ridiculous. Indeed, that day may have already come.

PHOTO: Children of immigrants look on as families, workers and supporters rally in front of the Federal building downtown to protest the United States Department of Homeland Security I-9 audits of their employment eligibility in San Diego, April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake


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Let’s see … “the future of Hispanic identity” in the US. That’s a real no-brainer.

Just take a look at Mexico!

Mexico is extremely “peaceful” (aside from uncontrollable drug gangs), “prosperous” (if you think a third world country is prosperous), deeply religious (some would say, perhaps a bit too much religious fanaticism, which means our religious freedoms won’t last long), family-oriented (if you think of “family” as being an innumerable number of children (all of whom need extensive social services far beyond anything ever conceived of in this country before), an “extended family” all jammed together because that is the way they prefer to live (sharing the burden, so to speak), total conversion from English-speaking to Hispanic-speaking “culture”, a total dumbing down of the present US educational system which is already nearing third world status, preference for Hispanics in ALL jobs (to make up for what we did to Mexico during the Spanish American War and afterwards — for example, Remember the Alamo will acquire a whole new meaning, if you get what I mean), Christmas will remain, but not the European version we know and love now (more like “Felice Navidad”), and the celebration of our freedom from England will become May 5th (i.e. Cinco de Maio), since we will no longer be any form of recognizable English speaking nation, and finally Canada will begin building a massive fence along the “longest undefended border in the world” in an effort to keep the “Steenking Gringos” out — but they had better be prepared to shot them as flee the drug-cartel run US in desperation, because because it is hard to stop refugees from fleeing Armageddon.

I’m sure I forgot something, but there is only a limited amount of time and space to tell about the “future of Hispanic identity” in the US.

A much easier question would have been, “the future of English identity”, since it could have been answered with one single word: NADA!

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

“Hispanic” is an invented term that describes a cultural bias in the US than an actual heritage, genetic race, family group, or subculture.
In reality, Mexico, Central and South America have distinct cultures, physical features, races, accents, cultures that are as varied or even more so than the ones in the Asian continent. But they,in the majority, share Latin languages (Spanish, Portuguese)-which helps in trade, communication and marriage. I dare say it is a true melting pot.
The true travesty is the loss of the Native identity-culture, language, self-identification- that the European invasion brought about to the American continents.

Posted by ReaderAtSunrise | Report as abusive

The problems you described are found in every continent, including Europe.
Also, your anger is actually just culture shock due to American isolationism. The American colonists didn’t intermarry or even accept the Native Americans, unlike in South America, which in turn has caused your culture shock at seeing people different from you.
The present day problems in the Americas in some extent were caused by the European invasions and pillaging, but leaving no substantial order. The US didn’t suffer that because the US killed all the Natives or drove them off, and then, unlike other European countries, kept building up the infrastructure in the country.
The waves of immigration shouldn’t be surprising. With the advent of mass transport and communication, people are going to move faster than ever before. Our ancestors have been doing this for millenia anyways.

Posted by ReaderAtSunrise | Report as abusive

@Reader Allow me to interject. As evidenced by the photo used at the start of this article, there is a significant difference between Americans of Latin descent, and the illegal immigrants demanding “rights” which are historically reserved for American citizens.

Besides, the word “Hispanic” is a creation of government having a need to categorize in order to distribute taxes back to the states and cities.

The current wave of immigration is a result of a lack of enforcement–the only nation in this hemisphere that does not enforce its immigration laws. It has everything to do with economics–the failure of the native government to provide opportunity and the willingness of the U.S. government to import cheap labor and provide publicly funded benefits.

If you take away the economic benefits, you will see illegal immigration approach zero.

Posted by COindependent | Report as abusive

@ ReaderAtSunrise —

You know what? I am well aware “The problems you described are found in every continent, including Europe”.

You know what else? I really don’t give a “flying ****” about immigration problems elsewhere, but only the “ILLEGAL ALIEN” problems we have here.

In either case the underlying issue is that of wealthy greed, globalism and free trade, which must be stopped before it creates even more “collateral damage”.

Unfortunately, it won’t be until the whole world collapses, at which point nationalism will return and the present flow of immigration will reverse in one hell of a hurry.

Actually, my “anger” is caused by “illegal aliens” invading my country by every means possible, all with the urging and approval of the government (when this country is suffering one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression), and it is our own pathetic wealthy class that has sold its own people down the drain for ever more profits.

In case you don’t realize or understand what is going on, this is NOT some great “Kumbaya” event of cultures coming together in peace and understanding.

I don’t particularly care that these people are Mexicans. They could be ANY race, religion, color you care to name.

What I REALLY HATE is pathetic morons like you who stupid beyond belief, and who are behind this betrayal of this nation for the sake of “multiculturalism” bullshit.

Your answer is smug and self-satisfied, but let me inform you that there is NO nation on earth that has EVER prospered under the concept of multiculturalism.

Apparently, your delusions lead you to believe that we somehow deserve to be overrun by immigrants.

What we NEED is a good dose of “American Isolationism” to force all the Pseudo-Americans out of our country. The same prescription would work for all other nations so afflicted.

The problem, as I said, is globalism. And when that collapses, as it will quite soon, your reply to my comment is likely to be quite a bit less smug.

If, indeed, there is any means of communication left beyond smoke signals.

It is people like YOU who are the problem, with your screwed up liberal ideas of human society being just one happy little family.

Reality check!

It isn’t and we aren’t.

Since you think you know history, maybe you should have picked up that lesson as well, instead of trying to preach your melting pot multiculturalism bullshit to me. Go find another sucker. There are plenty of them out there, for the moment at least …

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

@PseudoTurtle, COindependent…

Well said, and at least this issue is one on which we three agree. As I hope each of you can see, even on those issues we emphatically disagree it is important to do so with logic and civility. An emotional basis is always less strong than a logical one.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

@ OOTS —

you fail to notice that I first tried with a logical one through what I thought was appropriate sarcasm at the total bullshit of this article, whose sole purpose is to undermine our culture.

For reasons that should be obvious, I tended to take exception to that line of crap from anyone, no matter who it is.

Then our smug, smart-ass little friend just had to stick his two cents in and attack me personally.

He got what he was asking for.

I suggest you mind your own business as to how I deal with detractors. You should know by now that I do not take kindly to cheap shots.

By the way, you are dead wrong that “An emotional basis is always less strong than a logical one”, since most people do not respond to logic, only emotion.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive


My compliment was for your original post here, and the button “hit” before I could read the second one. But I stand by my “logic versus emotion” advice.

No one gives a fig what you “feel”. You have to approach a subject in such a way that an undecided reader can see “what’s in it for them” (or not in it) and consider what you say without bias. To advocate effectively you must choose ONE goal. Is it to be “letting off steam” or gaining allies?

Have you considered that when people “respond to emotion” it is almost always an adverse response”? Emotion convinces NO ONE that is genuinely undecided, and THESE are the “target” of honest debate and the art of persuasion.

Obviously you are free to speak as you wish, but you have (more than once) publicly voiced your frustration that much of what you say is ignored or dismissed. I share with you what I see, as an observer who WISHES you to improve the effectiveness of your arguments, whether I agree or disagree. That is MY “ultimate” measure of respect.

I shall also respect your wish that I “mind my own business” except as I point out fallacy in future debate.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

Maybe someone as totally biased as the author should consider revealing that bias right up front so you can judge just how trustworthy his “opinion” really is. In his case, you can judge for yourself he has an agenda that may not be good for this country that goes far beyond this article. Aside from Hispanics, I doubt most main-stream Americans would necessarily want to live as he proposes we should in the future.


Political views and style

Salam is a conservative.

He has written that he intends to “pump ideas into the bloodstream of American conservatism.”

I write in the hope and expectation that people read people with whom they disagree to challenge their settled views. Suffice it to say, this isn’t generally the case, but I’m happy to continue behaving as though it is, as it is true of enough people to justify the effort.[8]

He strongly supported the Iraq war but has since called it a disaster of “world-historical proportions.”

He advocates policies that strengthen traditional family structure and has supported gay marriage for years.

He has described as “brilliant” such figures as Canadian Marxist philosopher Gerald Cohen and Reagan adviser and neoclassical economist Martin Feldstein.[8]

Among other things,

— Salam has taken a strong interest in congestion pricing and

— the encouragement of denser living arrangements,

— the promotion of natural gas and nuclear power,

— reform of the U.S. tax code, and

— the fostering of a more competitive and diverse marketplace of educational providers.[9]



Talk about a mish-mash of contrasting beliefs!

— He is supposedly a “conservative”, but sounds and acts like your typical hard-core liberal.

— I don’t think I need to add anything at all to this: “He strongly supported the Iraq war but has since called it a disaster of “world-historical proportions”.”

— I don’t know about you, but the fact “He advocates policies that strengthen traditional family structure and has supported gay marriage for years” is a bit hard for me to understand. For most people, they would seem to be polar opposites.

— Now, being a bit of an economist myself (see my comments as to what I believe in), this is one I can really get my hooks into:

“He has described as “brilliant” such figures as Canadian Marxist philosopher Gerald Cohen and Reagan adviser and neoclassical economist Martin Feldstein.[8]”



And he is offering us solutions?

“Neoconservatism is also described as a faction of American conservatism that includes endorsement of political individualism, is critical of the so-called welfare state, applauds free markets and advocates “assertive” promotion of democracy, and American national interest in international affairs including by military means.[3][4]

Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush had neoconservative advisors regarding military and foreign policies.

During the George W. Bush administration, neoconservative officials of the Departments of Defense and State helped to plan and promote the Iraq War.[5]”

(2) Not only is he a neocon, BUT A MARXIST, as well!!!!


It’s a wonder he doesn’t explode or something. How can ANYONE BELIEVE IN ALL THAT BULLSHIT AT THE SAME TIME!!????

— Not surprisingly at this point, he also believes in BOTH “congestion pricing” and the encouragement of denser living arrangements.

This actually makes sense, but only if you own real estate property in a large city and are intent on driving up the rents for everyone else!

Hey, that’s the best idea I have heard yet for justification of “congestion pricing”, which of course hits the poor the hardest by forcing up their cost of living. WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

— Here’s an “oldie but goodie” designed to satisfy all you environmentalists out there “the promotion of natural gas and nuclear power”.

Need I add to that one, just in case anyone is stupid enough not to see the absolute dichotomy here between the “green movement” for “renewable energy” and this crap?

Probably not. I think it speaks for itself.

— Last, but certainly not least, we have:

(1) reform of the U.S. tax code, and

(2) the fostering of a more competitive and diverse marketplace of educational providers.[9]

Now, while to the more economically challenged among you out there, that may sound like something reasonable (at last), but in truth:

(1) is simply neocon double-speak for reducing taxes on the wealthy class, and maximizing taxes on everyone else (including a national VAT, which I KNOW you will absolutely love), while

(2) the fostering of a more competitive and diverse marketplace of educational providers, CANNOT POSSIBLY HAPPEN IF (1) OCCURS BECAUSE THERE WILL BE NO ECONOMY LEFT TO BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE.

If you are paying attention, notice the bit about the marketplace being one that is “diverse … of educational providers”.

No folks, I am not making this up.

I haven’t a clue as to what he is saying in reference to diversity of educational providers — but, hey, I don’t think Mr. Salam has a clue either, about anything.


Congrats Reuters!

You have helped to propagandize us dumb Americans with some real wieners — sorry, winners — before, but you continue to amaze me by lowering your standards ever lower in an effort to reach the very bottom of total bullshit.

Way to go!

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

@ OOTS —


My compliment was for your original post here, and the button “hit” before I could read the second one. But I stand by my “logic versus emotion” advice.

No one gives a fig what you “feel”. You have to approach a subject in such a way that an undecided reader can see “what’s in it for them” (or not in it) and consider what you say without bias. To advocate effectively you must choose ONE goal. Is it to be “letting off steam” or gaining allies?

Have you considered that when people “respond to emotion” it is almost always an adverse response”? Emotion convinces NO ONE that is genuinely undecided, and THESE are the “target” of honest debate and the art of persuasion.

Obviously you are free to speak as you wish, but you have (more than once) publicly voiced your frustration that much of what you say is ignored or dismissed. I share with you what I see, as an observer who WISHES you to improve the effectiveness of your arguments, whether I agree or disagree. That is MY “ultimate” measure of respect.

I shall also respect your wish that I “mind my own business” except as I point out fallacy in future debate.
Posted by OneOfTheSheep


OOTS, be VERY CAREFUL where you tread!




Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

OneOfTheSheep —

I don’t write comments to simply let off steam or gain allies. What the hell would I waste my time doing that for?

I write, based on my knowledge and experience what, in my estimation, people need to know.

And I have my own reasons for doing so.








Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive


What is truly obscene is that you make no bones of your fundamental contempt for any and all YOU deem “less educated” than you. Frankly, it’s rather humorous to watch you wear yourself out swinging blindly at anything and everything as a party with a piñata.

“We, the people” understand more than you think, One thing particularly clear is that those like you would be infinitely worse “masters” than those we already have. Have nice day!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

When I said “melting pot” I said it to refer to the fact that ideas flow more easily in South America due to the shared language, despite cultural differences that would have hindered it otherwise.
I wasn’t making a statement about immigration POLICY. I was trying to state that throughout history, everyone’s ancestors have immigrated, thus mass movements( good or bad, efficient or inefficient) will always happen.

Posted by ReaderAtSunrise | Report as abusive

@ ReaderAtSunrise —

That is a far cry from you first arrogant misstatement of reality and history.

HOWEVER, the article concerns the effects of immigration POLICY, and your comments are still out of context from that perspective.

(I am still PseudoTurtle, but on this PC I must use EconCassandra because Reuters has arbitrarily and illegally attempted to take away my right of free speech for reasons they will not explain to me.)

Posted by EconCassandra | Report as abusive

@ ReaderAtSunrise —

That is a far cry from your original comment, which was arrogant, self-righteous and historically incorrect.

In any case, since our ancestors ALL originally emigrated from Africa, it is a truism that has no meaning in this context.

We are discussing the impact of immigration POLICY, for good or bad, on THIS country.

if you weren’t “making a statement about immigration POLICY”, then what was the purpose of your comment, other than to offend me because you apparently didn’t like my sarcastic remark.

Do you have a relevant opinion or not?

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

@ OneOfTheSheep —

You state, “What is truly obscene is that you make no bones of your fundamental contempt for any and all YOU deem “less educated” than you. Frankly, it’s rather humorous to watch you wear yourself out swinging blindly at anything and everything as a party with a piñata.

“We, the people” understand more than you think, One thing particularly clear is that those like you would be infinitely worse “masters” than those we already have. Have nice day!


I have a “fundamental contempt” of “entrenched stupidity”, which seems to be your problem.

I do NOT have contempt for those with less education, if they at least try to understand what is happening to this nation.

“Education” for me is relative to the person writing articles or comments, which means I have a “fundamental contempt” for most of the authors presented on Reuters, many of whom have advanced degrees from prestegious schools.

Their utterances are like Pavlov’s dogs, who salivate on command on their masters slightest whim.

Their generally inane utterances boggle my mind at their ingrained stupidity, as I have demonstrated in my comments. This person being yet another prime example of what we can expect in terms of credible commentary.

Education, or the lack thereof, does NOT mean anything to me, per se. What is important is a receptiveness to alternative hypotheses. Or, at least, a rational rebuttal for a response.

However, what I usually encounter in both articles and comments is a combination of “vegepap”, outright wealthy propaganda repeated like a parrot without understanding what they are saying, and “canned” responses from people who NEVER question ANYTHING the government or wealthy class says or does.

Therefore, I have NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT FOR ANY OF THESE PEOPLE, who are nothing more than shills for the wealthy establishment.

You comments in the past and present indicate to me that no matter how much I attempt to explain the “alternate reality” that really exists in this country, you remain an obdurate “lick-spittle” for the wealthy class.

Yet, you doggedly persist in the grossly mistaken belief that you alone have a (self-appointed) “special right” to pontificate sanctimoniously over my perceived erroroneous statements — from your incredibly myopic viewpoint — which are designed SOLELY to protect the “reputation” of the wealthy class that you obviously adore, for reasons you cannot articulate that make any sense whatsoever.

Your “opinions” do not consitute facts.

I despise your unquestioning “lick-spittle” attitutude, but more than that I despise anyone who consistently refuses to face the reality of what the wealthy class is obviously doing to this nation.

Yet you persist in attacking me personally for exercising my Constitional rights of free speech, clearly acting on the behalf of your “masters” who are fully capable of defending themselves, if they so chose.

Your fawning attitude towards and protection of the wealthy class is obscene — like a mongrel that has been beaten repeatedly by his masters, yet still begs for more.

In spite of this, you still attack me for “intruding” on their property, which is everything that exists in this world, if the truth be known.

What you fail to undersand is that they hold you in as much contempt as any other non-wealthy elite.

THAT is why I find your groundless personal attacks on me reprehensible — a Pavlovian display of a faithful servant of those who despise him — even more so than any others, because of your insane pesistence in defending that which is truly indefensible.

Take my advice, lick-spittle, and mind your own business and take your meaningless “yapping” elsewhere.

I have told you on several occassions in the past that your personal attacks on me are beneath my dignity to respond to, mainly because you don’t have a clue as what I am trying to say, but because I am attacking the wealthy class, you become agitated and believe you must defend your masters.

It is an absolutely pointless waste of my time to attempt to reason with you — which I have deliberately made an excruciating attempt to do recently — because you cannot accept even the slightest hint of attack on the wealthy class (for reasons that are beyond my understanding) who, according to you, are totally blameless and innocent victims of all this. And unbelievably, even more at risk of losing their wealthy than the general population (who are fast approaching a third world country).

Your “peasant” attitudes are straight out of the Middle Ages when the wealthy elite thought of themselves as direct descendants from God, whose earthly “work” was blessed by his Divine gift of wealth over others.

That Protestant Work Ethic is alive and well in this nation, and is what lies beneath what is destroying this country. They want a return to their magnificence once again, after being denied it for decades during and after the Great Depression they themselves caused by their own greedy excesses.

The wealthy class is nothing less than a cancer that is eating away the body of our society. Like any cancer, they need to be removed, or we they will kill us.

THAT is what you want to protect — and for a class you don’t belong to, nor ever will because you are not of the Manor Born — which disgusts me beyond belief.



Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

I had no intention in offending you. Instead I was responding to the very strong negative sentiment in your statement.Basically what I’m saying in broad general terms is this: Europeans came to the two continents, subjugated, pillaged and dominated two continents full of people forcefully. Nowadays we’re seeing the repercussions of those actions which includes third-world poverty, the waves of immigration and the issues you mentioned before.This statement of mine is to show that, even though you have valid concerns, the atrocities committed by our ancestors to the Natives were worse.
The United States has the right to impose whatever immigration policy it wants, and is US government is designed so citizens have a voice to change the system. Yes, everyone should enter the country legally for everyone’s safety.Yes, there are serious issues in those countries, which I assumed is obvious to everyone, so I decided to point out interesting characteristics of those regions that are often overlooked that affects the hispanic identity.
Genetic analyzes has shown that our ancestors continually immigrated, at least some did anyways.
As for any historical inaccuracies, please tell me where I erred,so I can learn. That’s the point of talking to one another right? =)

Posted by ReaderAtSunrise | Report as abusive

@ ReaderAtSunrise —

There are many stories about the interaction between the “Native American” population and the expansion of the US, most of which have no more substantiation in history than “urban legends” do in present-day culture, much like the “cowboy” movies that present a picture of this nation that never was. Hollywood like to sell entertainment, not documentaries. I think too often people tend to forget what they are seeing is fiction, not reality.

Granted there were many unbelievble atrocities committed, but underlying facts are not what you portray, which are simplistic and biased at best.

To take the single solid example you give that “The American colonists didn’t intermarry or even accept the Native Americans” is a gross distortion of the facts.

(1) Since you are not specific, I assume that you mean from “first contact” with the natives, which would have been by — in most peoples minds today — the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony.

First of all, you CANNOT interpret the mores of people who lived nearly 400 years ago in terms of modern day mores, which is what you are doing.

To state that a small group of openly religious fanatics, which is what the Pilgrim Fathers really were, didn’t “intermarry” with the natives is ludicrous beyond belief. For example, we are currently struggling with the concept of “gay marriage” in this society. Who knows how our descendants 400 years from now will view our society? My guess would be that we are a warlike, barbaric and cruel people who think nothing of genocide as a means to an end. That is, of course, assuming we last another 400 years.

In any case, it was NOT the Pilgrims who first succeeded in establishing a colony, but the Colony of Virginia in 1607.

Here, for the sake of simplicity is an except from Wikipedia dealing with that colony.


“Jamestown[1] was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Established by the Virginia Company of London as “James Fort” on May 14, 1607 (O.S., May 24, 1607 N.S.),[2] it followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown served as the capital of the colony for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.

The settlement was located within the territory of a political entity known as Tsenacommacah, the state of the Powhatan Confederacy, with around 14,000 native inhabitants, and specifically was in part of the subdivision known as the Paspahegh tribe.

The natives initially welcomed the colonists with dancing, feasting and tobacco ceremonies,[3] and they provided crucial provisions and support for the survival of the colonists, who were not agriculturally inclined, although relations with the newcomers also soured fairly early on, leading to the total annihilation of the Paspahegh in warfare within 3 years.

Arrival and early years (1607-1610)

Late in 1606, English entrepreneurs set sail with a charter from the Virginia Company of London to establish a colony in the New World.

On May 14, 1607, Captain Edward Maria Wingfield, elected president of the governing council on April 25, selected a piece of land on a large peninsula, some 40 miles (64 km) inland from the Atlantic Ocean, as a prime location for a fortified settlement. The Peninsula was surrounded by the York river in the north, the James river in the south and the Chesapeake bay in the east of the peninsula. The piece of land had deep water, making it a navigable and defensible strategic point.

Perhaps the best thing about it, from an English point of view, was that it was not inhabited by nearby Virginia Indian[9] tribes, who regarded the site as too poor and remote for agriculture.[10]

The island was swampy, isolated, offered limited space and was plagued by mosquitoes and brackish tidal river water unsuitable for drinking.
Marshes on Jamestown Island

In addition to the malarial swamp the settlers arrived too late in the year to get crops planted.[11]

Many in the group were gentlemen unused to work, or their manservants, equally unaccustomed to the hard labor demanded by the harsh task of carving out a viable colony.[11]

In a few months, fifty-one of the party were dead; some of the survivors were deserting to the Indians whose land they had colonized.[11]

In the “starving time” of 1609–1610, the Jamestown settlers were in even worse straits.

Only 61 of the 500 colonists survived the period.[11]

There is scientific evidence that the settlers at Jamestown had turned to cannibalism during the starving time.[13][14]

Virginia Indians had already established settlements long before the English settlers arrived, and there were an estimated 14,000 natives in the region, politically known as Tsenacommacah, who spoke an Algonquian language.

They were the Powhatan Confederacy, ruled by their paramount chief known as Wahunsenacawh, or “Chief Powhatan”.

Wahunsenacawh initially sought to resettle the English colonists from Jamestown, considered part of Paspahegh territory, to another location known as Capahosick, where they would make metal tools for him as members of his Confederacy, but this never transpired.

The first explorers had been greeted by the natives with lavish feasts and supplies of maize, but as the English, lacking the inclination to grow their own food, became hungry and began to strong-arm more and more supplies from nearby villages, relations quickly deteriorated and eventually led to conflict.

The resulting Anglo-Powhatan War lasted until Samuel Argall captured Wahunsenacawh’s daughter Matoaka, better known by her nickname Pocahontas, after which the chief accepted a treaty of peace.

Despite the early leadership of explorer Captain John Smith, most of the colonists and their replacements died within the first five years.

Two-thirds of the settlers died before arriving ships brought supplies and experts from Poland and Germany in the next year, 1608,[15] who would help to establish the first manufactories in the colony.

As a result, glassware became the “first” of these American products to be exported to Europe. Clapboard had already been sent back to England beginning with the first returning ship.

Despite the delivery of supplies in 1608 on the First and Second Supply missions of Captain Christopher Newport, which had also added to the number of hungry settlers, it seemed certain at that time that without a major relief effort, the colony at Jamestown would meet the same fate as two earlier failed English attempts to settle in North America, the Roanoke Colony and the Popham Colony.


The investors of the Virginia Company of London expected to reap rewards from their speculative investments.

With the Second Supply, they expressed their frustrations and made demands upon the leaders of Jamestown in written form.

They specifically demanded that the colonists send commodities sufficient to pay the cost of the voyage, a lump of gold, assurance that they had found the South Sea, and one member of the lost Roanoke Colony.”



The London Company (also called the Charter of the Virginia Company of London) was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by King James I with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.[1]

Wealthy merchants, eager to find investment opportunities, established a number of companies set up to trade in various parts of the world. Each company, made up of individuals who purchased shares of company stock, was given by the Crown a monopoly to explore, trade or settle a particular region of the world. Profits were shared among the investors according to the amount of stock they owned. Between 1585 and 1630, more than 6,300 Englishmen and women invested in joint stock companies trading with Russia, Turkey, Africa, the East Indies, the Mediterranean and America.

Investors in the Virginia Company hoped to profit from the wealth of the New World. In 1606 King James I granted the Company organizers exclusive rights to settle in Virginia. A charter granted land to two branches of the Company—the London branch was to settle a colony near the Chesapeake Bay, while the Plymouth branch was granted land in the New England area.

The Company paid all the costs of establishing each colony, and in return controlled all land and resources there and required everyone to work for the Company.

The first leader of the Virginia Company in England was its treasurer, Sir Thomas Smythe.

Investors, called “adventurers,” purchased shares of stock to help finance the costs of establishing overseas settlements. Money from the sale of stock was used to pay for ships and supplies and to recruit and outfit laborers.

A single share of stock in the Virginia Company costed 12 pounds 10 shillings, the equivalent of over six month’s wages for an ordinary working man.

In an extensive publicity campaign, the Company founders among whom were Edward Maria Wingfield, Bartholomew Gosnold and few others circulated pamphlets, plays, sermons and broadsides throughout England to raise interest in New World investments.

Shareholders could buy stock individually or in groups. Almost 1700 people purchased shares, including men of different occupations and classes, wealthy women, and representatives of institutions such as trade guilds, towns and cities.

The largest single investor was Thomas West, Lord de la Warre, who served as the first governor of Virginia between 1610 and 1618.

The business of the company was the settlement of the Virginia colony using, as the labor force, voluntary transportees under the customary indenture system whereby in exchange for seven years of labor for the company, the company provided passage, food, protection and land ownership.

In addition to survival, the early colonists had another pressing mission: to make a profit for the owners of the Virginia Company.

Although the settlers were disappointed that gold did not wash up on the beach and gems did not grow in the trees, they realized there was great potential for wealth of other kinds in their new home.

Early industries, such as glass manufacture, pitch and tar production and beer and wine making took advantage of natural resources and the land’s fertility.

From the outset it was thought that the abundance of timber would be the primary leg of the economy, as Britain’s forests had long been felled.

The seemingly inexhaustible supply of cheap American timber was to be the primary enabler of England’s (and then Britain’s) rise to maritime (merchant and naval) supremacy.

However, the settlers could not devote as much time as the Virginia Company would have liked to their financial responsibilities. They were too busy trying to survive.


So, the underlying theme — then and now — is one of wealthy investors determined to wring a profit out of their new possessions, regardless of the difficulties involved or “collateral damage”.

This country was NOT founded by people seeking to find a new home and freedom from oppression.

As I said above, you need to understand that in ALL the problems with the Native Americans, the singlemost important thread is wealthy greed.

The British Empire was undoubtedly the worst sourge of greed this world has ever seen.

It has committed atrocities around the world, wherever there was English presence and profits to be made.

Especially egregious were the English Empire activities in China — see the “Opium Wars” — which caused the total collapse of the Chinese government that had stood for thousands of years before their arrival.

THAT is the main reason that China is now a “Communist Country”.

The answer to your “Americas” issue is equally complex, but the primary reason is the native peoples were treated with much more respect — relatively speaking — than the North American natives were, who were subjected to the English “colonists” initially and then, adding insult to injury, the our very own brand of English greed in this country, which is known by “Manifest Destiny”, a quasi-religious concept that is now endangering the entire world.

To understand US relations with the Native Americans, you need to understand “Manifest Destiny”. stiny

In truth, we are the same quasi-religious, greedy and perverted people who began settling this continent more than 400 years ago.

During that time we have perfected our genocidal technigues, learned from our English Masters, and have truly supplanted the English Empire as a “clear and present danger” to the survival of our species.

You need to understand a whole lot more about history before making rash comments that are nothing more than “urban legend”.

Frankly, I grow weary at having to explain even the simplest concepts of how this world came to be in its present circumstances to people who don’t bother to think for themselves.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

@ ReaderAtSunrise —

Since I took the time, as you requested, to defend my statement that your comment is historically incorrect — mainly because it is simplistic and not representative of the whole truth — I would appreciate a reply from you as to what you think.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

@PseudoTrutle, you sound like an angry white man that is about to lose his shirt. This country really belongs to the Native Americans, remember. But someone with such a limited way of thinking like yourself, racist and self-righteous, thinks this country belongs to the white man. Well, if the hispanics take over, maybe its Gods way of saying “what goes around, comes around”

Its called Karma, look it up!

Posted by KyleDexter | Report as abusive

@ KyleDexter —

Apparently, you object to something I have said, but also seem unable to form even so much as a coherent reponse beyond calling me a “racist and self-righteous”.

My race is none of your business, nor do I particularly care what yours is, although I would assume you are white yourself from your name. I may be mistaken, but I really don’t care since it doesn’t matter to me anyhow.

The reason I don’t care is that BIGOTS (look it up) are not the exclusively white, but come in a variety of races, creeds and colors.

You bigots are all alike. If you don’t like what someone says, then they MUST be narrow minded, racist and self-righteous.

Therefore, attacking my character — mainly because you lack the ability to understand what I am saying, but feel it is somehow deeply offensive — is an appropriate response. Right? Wrong!

Yours is the gut-level reaction of an ill-educated buffoon (fool, to save you looking it up, since I doubt if you could understand an English dicitonary, much less anything greater in scope).

Clearly, if you had any degree of education you could think up better insults than the tired old hakneyed (look it up yourself) equivalent of “up yours”.

As I clearly pointed out above NO ONE is native to this continent. That is a proven scientific fact. The American Indians arrived here across a land bridge from Siberia during the last ice age.

So, to make it abuntantly clear, hopefully to even someone as dense as you are, but somehow I doubt it — THERE ARE NO NATIVE AMERICANS.

Since there are no Native Americans, claims based on that staus are false and easily disproved. Look it up, yourself. I don’t intend to give you the education you obviously slept through. No doubt you are a product of the “finest educational system in the world”, if you want to believe the wealthy class. “Ownership” of this land is not a matter of who got here first, but who has managed to retain possession. Clearly, as I said if you bothered to read what I said above, that would be the English, beginning around the early 1600s.

NOTHING I have said in my comments could be construed as racist, unless of course you choose to take them that way. That is your problem, not mine.

There is also a question as to the existence of “God” or “Karma” for philosphical reasons I cannot possibly explain to someone as ignorant as you. Clearly, by using them in this context you understand nothing of what either of them might mean.

Thanks for responding to my comment!

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

@ KyleDexter —

Hey, Kyle, don’t look now but someone is using your login to make sense. You may be deeply offended by your alter ego, who is making you sound like you have some intelligence. Doesn’t that just make your guts churn with anger? Go get ’em, tiger!


Another elitist article by John Lloyd. What about America’s problems?? What about our ballonning deficits and national debt? What about our permanently unemployed?

But the nerve that Mr. Lloyd has about mentioning Syria!!! We, the USA, are the worlds biggest state sponser of terrorism. We are supporting terrorists in Syria, even as some in the UN are finding out that our beloved ‘rebels’ used sarin gas. And we support Isreal in every single Palestinian child killed there.

So Mr. Lloyd, if you want to see who is in trouble, look straight outside the window of your Ivory Tower.
Posted by KyleDexter

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive

I was not referring to the Pilgrims.
I meant the entire immigration from Europe lead by the English in the north, and the Spanish conquistadors in the south. We can both agree that the relations between the colonists and their descendants with the Natives in North America did not, in general terms, not go well. As you mention there were atrocities that modern law today would not permit. Indeed, you said that the British Empire caused alot of problems that we are seeing now. All I was saying was that colonists for whatever reason messed with the lives of the Natives who settled in the Americas millenia before the Europeans.Thank you very much for your time and response.

Posted by ReaderAtSunrise | Report as abusive

“It appears, according to Duncan and Trejo, that the educational attainment of Mexican-Americans who don’t identify as Mexican is higher than for those who do.”

So the losers id as mexican to get affirmative action, but the winners id as white to prove they’re not losers.

Posted by THEAKINET | Report as abusive


Dear Sir,

I’ve been reading your comments for quite some while now and was hoping to interact.

You seem to percieve that you have an absolute monopoly on the one true opinion, and that everyone who disagrees with you is an enemy with the intent on destroying the way of life you’ve grown common with. I find this not only slightly disturbing, but also somewhat offensive. But please, that is my personal opinion.

You have claimed that you are an educated individual with economical experience. Somewhere along those lines you must have missed out the effect of a nuanced opinion. You claim to know things better than others, and if they question you, you feel as if they must be truely insane. How this was ever effective in an economic, managerial or any leading function baffles me. Please, try reading others opinions emphatically and remain civilized, that is the only thing I ask of you.

As for your anti-internationalism, I too find that the ‘disappearance’of borders throughout the world is troublesome. The worlds conflict revolve around this for a large share and I see no decreasing trend.
However, what would the solution be? We cannot and should not reverse our development. Development in the technological sense, makes our world smaller. Development in the social and cultural sense creates the global challenge of co-existance.
I percieve that if we reinstate a strong sense of nationalism, and isolation of ethnical proportions would be required. How do you think that process will come to effect? I do not feel a modern-era exodus would benefit mankind.

Furthermore, I feel like some of your arguments are flawed. Sometime they are stained by the unusual agression in your way of writing, sometimes I feel there is a limited argumentation.

“The reason I don’t care is that BIGOTS (look it up) are not the exclusively white, but come in a variety of races, creeds and colors.

You bigots are all alike. If you don’t like what someone says, then they MUST be narrow minded, racist and self-righteous.

Therefore, attacking my character — mainly because you lack the ability to understand what I am saying, but feel it is somehow deeply offensive — is an appropriate response. Right? Wrong!”

This comment in particular I find a certain pot, kettle situation. You claim that the article above is liberal propaganda especially targeted on bringing your (not my, I’m no US citizen!) nation to the ground and further promoting higher profits for large companies.
When others try to argue against you you automatically feel “you lack the ability to understand what I am saying”. This in my sense is the arguementation of a bigot.

What I am trying to say sir, for the benefit for the discussion, please reflect on your method of thinking and open your mind to debate, instead of simply ranting.

P.S. English is not my native languange, please excuse any flaws in my writing and grammar.

Posted by theAntagonist | Report as abusive

In order to get our government to give in to their “demands”, they WILL identify themselves as hispanics!

Posted by AZreb | Report as abusive


You’re doing just fine in English. Well said!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

@TheAntagonist, very well said! Spot on!

@PseudoTurtle, I did actually post that about John Lloyds article. What I find offensive about your original comments are that Mexico is a third world country. Actually it is a developing country, and has been doing quite well. As for the violence, why look at the drug cartel. Look at our gun violence here. We have more children dying here from gun violence than many parts of the world! And as for being religious, this part really makes me laugh. You must be so delusional to think that we are not a religious country ourselves. Look at most Republican voters. Most think Obama is the Anti-Christ!!

So just as I told John Lloyd, get off your ivory tower of American ‘exceptionalism’, and realize that there is nothing exceptional about us. Nobody is exceptional. We are county with alot of problems but with the rule of law, some really good technology and a few good people.

And remember, there is good and bad in every country of the world….

Posted by KyleDexter | Report as abusive

voy aprender Ingles…..

Posted by rikfre | Report as abusive

When Hispanics and their allies want to “prove” they are not a “race.” they point out that Hispanics come in “all colors” and phenotypes. American “blacks” claim that THEY come in “all colors” and are a “race.” It’s politically incorrect to point out that both can’t be right.

Posted by mischling2nd | Report as abusive