Saturday, June 6, 2009

identity acceptance and perception

Interesting, though I disagree.
I have always wondered what difference it makes if the proverbial Cherokee grandmother exists? In what sense is somebody Indian who has to hire a genealogist to find an ancestor? I’m not saying that an adult onset Indian cannot belatedly form tribal ties, but connection to a tribe for such people is the exception rather than the rule.

My own position is that Indian identity is not about what you claim, but rather about who claims you. This is diametrically opposed to Churchill’s idea that self-identification is what counts...
How many of us have come across someone claiming that what they're saying isn't antisemitic since they're "of Jewish descent." Funny, that phrase. I've come across people claiming to be Jewish in a more straightforward way while spouting blatant antisemitism, but plenty of people are quite inconsistent in claiming to be Jewish. They qualify it by saying only that their ancestors are Jewish. For them, it becomes a matter of convenience.

Consider transgendered people struggling for recognition among other queers. Or ask, are Jews people of color if other people of color claim Jews run the world? I think the problems of demanding acceptance over identification can become apparent. But such an identification can be interrogated. What is identification without connection?

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