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Ok, I'll hop on this Elizabeth Warren/Native American testing bandwagon (gently and non-politically).

I've been a @23andMe customer for a while, and have followed their ancestry updates closely.

All is more or less as expected....except for this bit about Native American.

The family is almost completely composed of Spanish peasants (from various regions) who emigrated, along with a massive wave in the late 19th-cent./early 20th-cent., to Cuba back when it was a booming economy (richer than Spain's) and worth emigrating to (Communism killed that).
Also, the native population of Cuba was annihilated early on---was the first place the Spanish colonized after all. Having a native background in Cuba would be like having the same in, say, Massachusetts, particularly if you're (say) mostly Irish. Just really, really unlikely.
(Note: the North African/Arab background is less mysterious. The Iberian peninsula was part of the Muslim world for centuries. It would be odd *not* to have some Arab/Middle Eastern background coming from Spain. Given the family is mostly from Northern Spain, it's small though.)
I have a Spanish passport, have been back to the ancestral villages in Spain, seen the church where my grandmother was baptized, my grandfather told me stories about growing up as the child of Spanish colonists in rural Cuba. The native bit just clashes with all the family lore.
But as self-appointed family genealogist, I noticed one loose end: my paternal great-great-grandmother, unlike everyone else in that level in the tree, was Cuban-born, something I only discovered recently thanks to a transcribed marriage doc that was smuggled out of Cuba in 1963.
Per the document (dated 1908), Mariana Josefa Felina Romeu Yañez (my great-grandmother, who I have vague memories of) was a daughter of a Spaniard, and Juana Yañez y Sotolongo....of Trinidad, Cuba. This is a smoking gun, genealogically.
Trinidad, which is now a UNESCO Heritage Site and popular with tourists, is one of the few parts of Cuba with extant Taíno natives. The documentary trail goes cold further back than Juana, but now the 23andme results are less mysterious.

https://t.co/lTNeT7IsQg
So there's 1/16th that isn't necessarily pure European, though what's behind that is unknown. Given general Latin American obsession with 'pureza de sangre' ('purity of blood'), plus the brutal history of early Spanish colonization, it's likely not much. But it's non-zero.
Net: I'm at least as native as Warren apparently is. Which also highlights how absurd this searching for roots in the single-digit percentiles is a bit silly. But humans will cling to anything that answers the perennial riddle of, who am I?

More from Antonio García Martínez

This essay about the stripping of our once-broad civic identities down to purely political ones engaged in existential combat...is getting shredded because readers can only perceive it as a political statement from the tribe they're in existential combat with.


This isn't a novel idea, and in fact more than one commenter has made some version of this point recently, without (apparently) this level of scorn.

This is a reaction to the author's politics, which ironically lends credence to the original argument.

Another negative reaction is: You're a senator. Do something!

And another point of the essay is that we can't rely on a political system to forge our communities or sense of belonging for us. That can only come from an engaged citizenry.

Thus, another very ironic reaction.

This critique is more self-aware. It's also a trendy post-modern deconstruction of the argument: everything is power relations, 'all politics is identity politics', etc.


In brief: Apolitical identity is impossible, and we're cursed to debate the meaning of small-town football games...forever.

Not the same ironic backhanded endorsement of the argument, but what a future that implies.

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