If Mexico gets its territory back, then the Salinan Tribe gets our territory back.

by w3woody

Filed under “bat-shit crazy”.

Will Mexico Get Half of Its Territory Back?

Here, let me answer that question for you: No.


The world is full of shifting borders and countries that coalesced at the expense of other countries or of the native peoples living there, which saw its borders collapse as other, later countries coalesced and formed. Prior to World War II, borders were not even close to fixed; borders shifted as countries rose and fell. Only after World War II did fixed national borders become an international norm–though the shifting borders in places like the former Yugoslavia or in many Eastern-block countries reveal the lie of this international norm.

And to be blunt, national borders are only as fixed as military troops make them.

In light of this, there are some who want to roll back the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which roughly fixed the border between the United States and Mexico. (The Gadsden Purchase moved the border slightly to the south to make it possible for a U.S. cross-country train route to be built through what is now southern Arizona.)

The territories that the New York Times notes represents “half of Mexico” is the half of the continent which is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

And let’s be blunt. Mexico only acquired that part of its territory about 50 years prior. From people like my tribe: the Salinan Tribe, whose traditional territories extend from roughly Salinas, California in the north, down to roughly half ways between Morro Bay and Arroyo Grande in the south, and inland to Paso Robles. The traditional territories encompass what is now the Hunter Liggett military reservation. The village where my grandfather was born is now at the bottom of Lake Nacimiento; my grandfather was run off his village as a child by Federal Marshalls who sept through their village on horse back and guns, threatening to murder anyone who didn’t comply immediately.

If perennial moron Señior Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas wants to roll back the clock, he needs to be reminded that his own people swept through my ancestor’s lands much in the same way the Federal Marshals did. Though much of the abuses that took place towards my tribal ancestors were not in the name of an admittedly badly needed source of fresh water, but in the name of God. This was the era of the California Missions, whose abuses of the local natives were legendary–and not well taught.


I’m not, by the way, a believer that historic victimization deserves to be redressed. After all, it was my grandfather whose life was threatened by the Federal Marshals as they forced the evacuation of his village. It was my great- and great-great- grandparents who suffered at the hands of their abusers. It was my uncles who were murdered by a local law enforcement official for the crime of being Indian. It was my ancestors whose bodies were dumped into a mass grave at the San Antonio de Padua mission, some for the crime of not kneeling fast enough in the name of God.

None of this happened to me.

And the truth of History is simple: wind the clock back far enough, and you find your own ancestors suffered greatly at the hands of someone else.

History is full of cruelty.

But the cruelty of my own ancestors under American or Mexican rule was not visited on me. I’ve had a fairly good life so far: stable household, plenty to eat, good education which encouraged my love of learning, a degree from Caltech, where I studied mathematics, computer science and computer graphics. My wife and I now own a large home on the outskirts of Raleigh (moving here for the hiking, the trees and the slower pace of life), and we plan to travel more: so far we’ve visited Germany, Italy, Spain and England, and soon I’d like to visit Morocco, though circumstances postponed that trip.


This is why I get really cross-eyed at liberals seeking redress for historic victimization–and the overturning of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is just the crowning achievement in the annals of liberal stupidity.

It’s stupid because in this dimension, by all measures, I deserve far more redress for victimization, and my Tribe deserves far more, than the people who are the ones quickest to level the charges. And unlike many who make claims that they should somehow share in the suffering because they are 1/32nd blood to some theorized Indian Princess they once heard about from their grandparents, I am actually a card-carrying member of the Salinan Tribe, a tribe now in the process of getting tribal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

I have far more blood than Elizabeth Warren.


I get cross-eyed because frankly, what matters is not what happened to your parents or your grandparents. What matters is what happened to you.

Now if you suffered at the hands of an uncaring Federal Government who, thanks to a welfare system whose implicit marginal tax rates are in excess of 100% and thus are unable to work (because you’d loose more than you’d earn) and are called lazy–well, yes, you are a victim and deserve to complain.

If you were the target of excessive policing in places like Ferguson, yes, you are a victim and deserve to complain.

Because there are things that really fucking need to change.

Notice, however, the people who are at the front lines of the victimization industry: mostly white children of upper-class families, or professional protesters who are called in to try to influence policy. The person who is at the forefront of trying to roll back the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is an elder statesman of Mexico, a connected politician who was once a Mexican Senator, the head of the Government of Mexico City, the supposed “moral leader” of the PRD party, and a man who undoubtedly lives in the lap of luxury in a country of great potential, but whose people live in terrible poverty (as compared to its northern neighbor) due to a lack of economic trust and governmental stability.

And of course folks like Elizabeth Warren and those who claim to be 6 generations removed from some Indian Princess.


The real question is this: will we continue being stuck in history? Or will we learn from it?

Will we take the racism and sexism and xenophobia of our grandparents and make them our own? Or will we decide to do something else?

The real problem I see with those in the victimization industry is that it simply continues the cycle pf cruelty. It places on the son the sins of the father. It attempts to turn things around by extracting a pound of flesh, rather than learning the lessons that history has to teach. It seeks to change who is holding the barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat, rather than putting the bat down and having us come together to shake hands.

It persists on continuing the ancient battle lines.

Yet in continuing the ancient battle lines, those who seek to come out on top of the victimization game forget their own history. They forget who they were cruel to. They conveniently see only the parts of history which benefit themselves.


So, Señior Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, if you want to roll back to the former world order, how prepared are you to roll things back? Are you prepared to cede control of the territories Mexico stole back to the native peoples who held those lands? Are you prepared to cede control of the territories now under Mexican control back to the tribes who had some degree of autonomy prior to the rise of the Mexica people who, under Spanish rule, swept up the southern part of North America?

Or does the chain of victimization end with your own pocketbook?

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