But it's naïve to think European conquerors in Mexico and Latin America are without bloodied hands. We know or should know how most of us mistreated the American Indian. How the cinematic John Wayne believed he'd kill a loved one who took on the Comanche ways. The way Spaniards and mestizos (Spanish-Indians) worked indios as slaves and then, even when full-blooded Indian Benito Juarez (a Zapotec) became president, non-indigenous Mexico continued to look upon indios as inferior.
But, my, how things change.
Now Mexico elects American Indians and mestizos as presidents and packs its legislatures and congreso with American Indians. Latin America recognizes American Indians' land rights and traditions. It lifts the natives unto power.
And today, ask the average U.S. resident, black or white, his or her lineage and that person will, with pride, announce "probably" Cherokee, Crow, Choctaw, etc. So many U.S. residents with American Indian blood! (The American Indian, it seems, was too busy procreating with whites to hold on to their land and ways of life.)
When I mention American Indians in Mexico and Latin America, don't be confused. Indian bloodlines do not stop at the present-day U.S.-Mexico border. Genetically and by looks, there is little difference between a Navajo or Aztec, or Mayan and Opòn of Venezuela, or Inka and Cherokee. Or between them and the average Mexican or Guatemalan or Chilean.
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