Because I know you ain't gonna hit the link and try to be less ignint:
What is a "blood quantum," and why do American Indians argue about it so much?
Well, the way the government defines whether someone is a "real" Indian or not is they measure their blood. They have some arcane way of doing this by dividing the number of generations since all your ancestors were pure-blood by the number of marriages with people who aren't pure-blood. By their counting, I think I'm 7/8 Indian. Some of it is Muskogee, but they don't care about that. They're just trying to see how close we are or are not to white. We argue about this so much because nobody likes it. It's a really bad way to define somebody's culture and almost everyone agrees on that, but everyone can't agree on a better way, so there's a lot of complaining and it doesn't change.
Basically, there are four problems with this.
- One, it puts pressure on Indians not to marry white people or their children will lose their heritage, and that bothers a lot of people.
- Two, it means that if some of your ancestors aren't in the records, you can be denied being an Indian.
- Three, it's wrong for outsiders to tell you if you can or can't belong to an ethnic group. Nobody makes African-Americans prove their entire family line before they can get a scholarship from the NAACP or can put "Black-owned" on their business if they want to.
- And four, most disturbingly: it guarantees the extinction of the American Indian. By this standard, white is the default, and everyone is approaching whiteness. Someone who is 1/8 Indian is considered white, and that is the end of their Indianness-- they are white and their children will be white, forever. On the other hand, I am 1/8 white, but that doesn't mean that's the end of whiteness in my line. It keeps sitting there, just as it has since the 19th century when my white ancestors entered my family. Eventually one of my descendants will marry a white person again and hah! We will be 1/4 white. A person can get more white, but not more Indian.
Do you see what I mean? Every generation, there are fewer people this system thinks are full-bloods, and all the blood quantums get smaller.
Want to know more, without being made to feel guilty? Not that that's what I'm trying to do. Much. Unless I think your ignint cracka ass deserves it. Try Poetry from Indigenous People In Response to the Dominant Culture. Site favorites Sherman Alexie and Joy Harjo are among those listed.
. . . your ignint ass ain't gonna hit that link either, are you?
Well, I tried. It's like Nubian Goddess Dorothy Parker said. "You can lead a horticulture, but you cannot make her think."