Just some thoughts. Not criticisms.
Arguments that center on "group consensus" and "contemorary political opinions" as expressed in your comment are not "historical accuracy" which is what I was attempting to discuss. There is a fundamental difference. The first two reflect what is circulating around today as "theories" and that have yet to stand the test of time. Historical accuracy on the other hand-is factual.
Cultural markers (terms used in cultural anthro and socio) are used to identify and attempt to prove a point of view. There are, however, stronger arguments we can make to prove a point beyond a reasonable doubt.
If we carry the arguments you articulated to their logical conclusion that would mean that the New Mexican gringos who practice Catholicism; hang a rosary on their rear-view mirror; have Virgin de Guadalupe tattoos; eat chalupas-chile-and menudo; speak Mexican Spanish; love to dance to Banda music; and, prefer to hang around the Mexicanos--are by consensus, Mexicans.I do know some!
The above are certainly cultural markers that gel together to form a group consensus. Or, maybe that's not where you were going with your comments. Think about it.
Let's keep it simple. That way we don't have to get bogged down on intellectual "bla bla bla" jargon to "esplain" (accent intended).
We might just consider doing our genealogy. That would trump markers and consensus.
FYI: I believe that the responses to the "cuckoo tree POV" made by the director of the NHCC was about "ancestry." The comments were not to assert a claim of being Spanish.
Some articles require a response because they are so blatently political. It is too bad that the Alibi reporter didn't pick-up on this; but, guess he is probably young and impressionable. The reporter responded to the readers' comments by stating that the NHCC director has years of research under his belt and that he was once the State Historian. All this to give credibility to the director's POV(point of view). That is all that it is.
While it may be true that the director has logged in many hours of research(we don't get a Ph.d for nothing)it is evident by the director's contentions that his knowledge of New Mexico is skewed by his obvious politicized attitude towards its social history.
His political argument is the very same bent being circulated today by some of us who have have been through ethnic studies classes. I too learned the same idealogy in all my ethnic studies classes. At some point I got to questioning what I was being taught. I can attribute that to the "critical thinking" classes that other professors drummed into my head. Looking back now it was one of the most useful and important class I took during all those years in academia. This training is the one edge given a researcher. I guess it does not apply in all schools of thought.
It may be true that doctorates types cannot be told what to think; but by the same token, it is fundamentally "unethical" for them to tell gullible students and citizens what to think and believe based on their political bent. Why? Because the sad truth is that generally people do believe academic types without question. This is where I departed company with Raza studies and their political bent.
One example that comes to mind is the notion of AZTLAN. It does not exist...it is a fiction...a made up story that is being promoted as truth. In spite of this there are those across the country and in Albuquerque, unfortuntely, very well educated academics and politicians, who act upon this nonsense. I guess it is used as a mantra or vision upon which to focus. Or, perhaps it is a political drumbeat of sorts.
The other truth is that behind all these political jabs lie deep seated resentment. It's about a century and a half worth of resentment. Furthermore there's alot to be said about biting the hand that feeds you, if you get my drift.
Since we are discussing the history of New Mexico the following are "historical accurate" facts that explain, are not politicized notions and cannot be disputed.
1.. Mexico, as a political entity did not exist before 1821. The fact that the Spanish named our piece of dirt Nuevo Mejico does not mean it has been Mexican turf for 400 years. To indicate otherwise is misleading and a fabrication.
2. We may argue that some New Mexicans are direct descendants of Spanish/indigeneous ancestry. We may not argue that it was "Spanish/indegeneous/Mexican ancestry before 1821 simply because Mexico did not exist as a political entity.
3. The fact that the descendants of Spanish/Indian colonists acquiesced to Mexican citizenship does not also mean that New Mexicans are,thereby, Mexican descendants in perpetuity. That was eight generations ago. In fact there is no substantial evidence, save for a few New Mexicans, who even participated or cared about the Mexican War. They were to busy trying to survive.
4. Recall that Mexico owned the entire SouthWest for 27 years. Only 27 years! That's one generation! Therefore, how can we argue that we have been a mix of Mexican for 400 years? That's quite a stretch even for a weak argument. So, it follows that before 1821 there were no Mexican citizens, nada, zilch,zippo.
5. After the Mexican War the US occupation gave rise to what we call nowdays, "those with an Mexican immigrant history." Today much of the population of southern New Mexico do indeed have a "recent immigrant history." It is being promoted as "A Border Consciousness." One gains this type consciousness by taking Border Studies classes usually taught through ethnic studies departments. That began after the Pancho Villa era about three-four generations ago and on to the present. However true that might be for some it does not make all Nuevo Mexicanos Mexican descendants. That is the history of that particular population.
I think it would be a good idea for us to research our own family genealogy. In that way we will not be swayed by the notions of others who speak for us and tell us who we are.
If some of us have a Mexican immigrant history, that's fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having this history. But,if we don't, please refrain from attempting to shove itdown our throats to suit your political bent. Hope that's clear. Thank you!
6. The one thing I can say for certain is that resentments run deep. Here we are a century and a half later still fighting over who we are. While it is true that we have alot to be resentful about, it is very underhanded for some to attempt to influence and sway the Nuevo Mexico community to gain momentum for their political bent simply because they know that most people tend to believe without question.
Let's get out there and conduct our own research. Who are you? Only you can decide.