I speak Spanish, but I am NOT Hispanic, nor am I Latino. Indigenous

Ricardo Ignacio Author

To say that all people born in Mexico and/or speak Spanish are Spaniards is to say that all African Americans who speak English are Englishmen. A story about Indigenous identity.

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I am Ricardo Ignacio, a published author. I was born in Mexico, and yes I speak Spanish, but I am NOT Hispanic, nor am I Latino, and neither the language that I speak nor the country on which I was born can define who I am nor identify the people I descend from.

I once took a DNA test, and the results came out looking like this:
82% Native American, 11% West African, 3% Asian (Mongolian), and 4% Greek. Nowhere in those results did I see Spanish, Latino nor Hispanic, and it has puzzled people to no end to see that I am born in Mexico, speak Spanish fluently but yet not a drop of Spanish blood in me.

“How could this be possible?” People ponder.

Well, the puzzle is simple actually, see:
People have this misconception that all Spanish speakers who are born in Mexico, Central & South America are Latinos/Hispanics/Spanish people, but that’s false, it’s disrespectful, misleading, and it contributes to the ongoing misplacement and ethnic cleansing that indigenous people of the Americas have dealt with for several centuries now since Europeans’ arrival, occupation of land, colonialism, and the forced assimilation of Native Americans.

To say that all people born in Mexico and/or speak Spanish are Spaniards is to say that all African Americans who speak English are Englishmen. How and why do African Americans speak English instead of an African tongue?
It’s simple: Europeans robbed Africans for their language, culture, and identity, and then Africans were forced to adopt their conquerors’ language, culture and identity.

Now you have African descendants in the Americas who were brought during slavery in United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, and so on and so forth, and none of these African Americans speak African languages, but only European dialects, such as Portuguese, French, English, and Spanish depending on where the Africans were taken during slavery days. The majority of African Americans have typical European names, meaning that they identify as European. Why? Simply because that’s all they’re left with!

How can a people who have been robbed for everything and then forced to adopt the identities, languages, religions, and cultures claim anything other than what they’re left with? It’s called ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and it was intentional to ruin a people and leave them confused because a tree without its root is a dead tree.
Africans were intentionally meant to be left confused, lost and ruined. It is the only way to control a people; to be left with nothing in order to have no choice but to wait for what their conqueror gives them, as far as identity, culture, religion, law, and education goes…CONTINUE READING

African Americans don’t educate themselves. How could they, they don’t have the scholastic power to do so, but even if they did, the books they’d educate themselves out of are written by Europeans.
Europeans have destroyed so much education, so much information, out of fear that we African and Native American people would discover who we are, and what we are capable of!

What are we capable of?
According to Europeans’ education we Africans and Native Americans were savages hanging from trees when Europeans arrived to our land, found us, and then taught us to be civilized.

What happens when we believe this lie?
We become thankful of Europeans, we pardon their genocidal attempts, slavery, colonialism, and systemic oppression.
But what happens when we know the truth? What truth? Africans and Native Americans werenít hanging from trees, but on the contrary, it was Africans who found Europeans living in caves, afraid to come out, cavemen who hadn’t yet discovered fire, art, culture, architecture, science, and math.

It was Africans who taught the paled man that it was okay to come out of the cave, that it was okay to bathe in water, and to no longer live as cannibals. That’s the hidden truth, but that’s precisely why it is very important for Europeans to be in charge of Education, so that they can tell us who we are, what we’re capable of, and how far we can go in society. How far can we go according to Europeans? Anywhere, and as far as we’d like, as long as it isn’t further or higher than them. As long as what we are and what we build doesn’t give us independence; the ability to no longer need Europeans to control us systemically, scholastically, and economically.

How can I be Native American but yet be born in Mexico? Well in order to get the right answers we have to ask the correct questions, for example: “What is Mexico?”

It is not a race, not a culture, not an ethnicity, and not a language. It is nothing more than a country. What is a country? Another word for it is colony, and in this case, European colony, specifically Spanish people. Hernando Cortes along with his fleet were the 1st Europeans that arrived to Mexico City in the early 1500s, before it was known as Mexico, before a border was built around it, when it was simply known as Tenochtitlan.

Spanish people colonized Mexico, meaning that they slaughtered millions of Native Americans of what today is known as Mexico, and then left just enough so that they weren’t able to fight back, and have no choice but to become the slaves of Spanish people.

During the slavery of Native Americans, similar tactics were used against Natives as were used on Africans; detach them from their original language, culture, and identity, and then leave them with no choice but to either adopt their conquerers’ religions, languages, identities, or have nothing. Today is evident that most of us have had no choice but to adopt the religions, identities, and languages of the European people who robbed us for ours.

Mexico, a country/colony created by European-built borders, claiming the land as theirs, just as every other country/colony they’ve built on this continent. A fence/border was built around me by a people who hate me, so why would I identify myself after the colony on which I was born, if the colony wasn’t created by Native Americans but by Europeans who stole the land of Native Americans? Why should I wave the Mexico flag, a flag that doesnít represent the original Native people of Mexico, but rather the Spanish people who invaded and today occupy it?

Why should I proudly claim to be Mexican if Mexico is just a European-built colony? No, I refuse, out of respect for my ancestors! They wouldn’t want me to forget their identity and then turn around to claim the identity of the people who have attempted to destroy mine.

Today you see people in Mexico, Central and South America with their conquerersí names, such as Maria, Carlos, Luis, Jose, etc., and most of them practice their conquerers’ religions, such as Christianity and/or Catholicism, and most identify as Europeans, such as Latinos/Hispanics.

African Americans and Native people of the Americas are in the same exact condition of being lost, lacking a sense of identity, suffering from ethnic cleansing and colonialism at the hands of Europeans and/or European Americans.

One quick glance at me and you can see what I am, it is very evident that through my veins pumps the blood of the original people of the Americas, before it was falsely known as America.
I have African blood in me, and I love it, I proudly embrace and claim it, but I am not black and I do not claim to be black.

I don’t pass as black, and I’m not accepted as black by blacks, and I respect it because I didn’t grow up living the black struggle. I have no clue what it is to be black, to be looked upon as black by this system, and by this society.
Out of respect for black people I do not claim to be black. Their struggle is deep, it is scary to be black, more so in these times where black is the target for racist police.

I can’t claim to be Asian for simply having 3%, and I can’t claim to be Greek for simply having 4% of their blood. It’s not enough, I haven’t struggled and/or lived as an Asian, and as a Greek. I don’t know what it’s like to be them, to live like them, or to view the world as they do.

I have lived and struggled as a Mexican. A struggle that is a very heavy in times where although I am Native American, I am treated, looked upon, and called an immigrant by the actual immigrants descendants of Europe.

My name is Ricardo Ignacio, an indigenous American with a European name, and I speak both Spanish and English, but I am not English nor Spanish, I just happen to speak the languages of the people who colonized me. Just because a people colonize you it doesn’t make you them, it just means that they robbed you for everything you originally were, and then they forced you to adopt their identity.

I am a product of colonialism. A condition that is very difficult to detach from, more so when the ongoing colonization hasnít yet stopped, but I am very proud because at least I am aware of things that I wasnít meant to be.
I was never meant to know that I am Native American. Ha! Based on the fact that I was born in Mexico and my 1st language was Spanish I was meant to think that I am Hispanic, but that’s more reason why I am proud because they couldnít hoodwink me!

I am indigenous American and very proud!

Ricardo Ignacio, author of “A Life Of Sin“, Book I. Available on Amazon.com

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 Are you of African and Indigenous descent? Want to be part of our documentary film Afro Native Narratives? We value your voice and would love to include you in our documentary film. Fill out the form

I Love Ancestry is a global issue advocacy campaign that explores identity, diversity, heritage and culture, highlighting the experiences of marginalized people and Indigenous communities around the world.

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