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Monday, June 25, 2012

"I'm a mutt"- yeah, I find that offensive

Have you heard this before?  People are discussing where their ancestors came from, "oh, I'm Irish", "oh, my mom's from Korea", and then someone says "I'm a mutt."  Meaning they're a white American whose ancestors came from probably a lot of places in Europe and we don't really entirely know where.

And, as a white American whose ancestors came from who-knows-where in Europe, I don't like this.

Wait, let's pause for a second so I can show you a picture of the dog I had when I was little.  His name's Zeke and he's a mutt- part German shepherd, part Labrador retriever, uhh and probably some small-breed dog because he didn't grow up to be as big as a lab or shepherd.  How do we know?  Wild guessing.  My parents got him at the pound, or whatever the correct term is for that place where the reject dogs go.

Zeke

Isn't he adorable?  He was such a nice dog.  <3

So anyway.  When people declare themselves to be "a mutt", it sounds like they're proud to not know their family history.  Because it's a joke, haha normally "mutt" would be an insult, but haha.  Why would you be proud about that- to be an ignorant American who doesn't care about the rest of the world?  (Am I reading too much into this?)

I heard that my ancestors came from Germany and England.  I have no hard evidence though, unless you count the German-English dictionary at my grandparents' house.  I want to know who they were and why they came to the US.  Why would you get on a boat and travel for several months, to a place you've never seen before, knowing that you'll probably never ever be able to come back?

I was afraid I was weird for wanting to go to China.  You know, on a plane.  It takes 13 hours to get there.  And I'll come back to the US every few months.

Why did they come from Europe?  We learned about this in history in high school, but it's more than that- it's completely real and it's the reason I'm here and I'm an American.

So yeah.  You'll never hear me say I'm a mutt.  Instead, I'm going to question why people live where they live, where languages came from, why different cultures are different, etc.

To my readers: If you have a fun fact about where your ancestors are from, I would totally love to hear it.  ^_^  Leave it in the comments!

6 comments:

  1. In my family we don't call ourselves mutts- we call ourselves Heinz 57 (Although there may be slightly less than 57 ethnicities in our background. So far I think I've only traced 8)

    Fun heritage facts? We may still own land in Scotland (but 200+ years of back taxes makes us leery of claiming it). And one of our ancestors signed a treaty here in Canada and had a lake named after him.

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  2. I'm mixed race, so if I say I'm a mutt, I mean I'm NOT just a hodgepodge of European cultures. But mutt isn't usually the word I use. On official documents and such, I always just say that my race/ethnicity is "other" because it is! :D

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  3. My family got kicked out of England for stealing sheep. No lies. So I am Canadian. :-)

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  4. I was looking for ways of living as a mutt. I'm not the mutt you have described. I know that my mother is African American but it's hard to trace those roots and my father is Palestinian. They moved to America after being refuges in Lebanon. My mother's mother says we have Native American in our blood and I don't think the term mutt is offensive or degrading. I'm proud to be a mutt but it makes me all MUTTled up. It;s hard for me to explain my identity because I am all of my experiences. Some days I don't care for identifiers but other days it's hard for me to explain my feelings of things without explaining how those feelings have come about because I'm seen as not living up to what ever race I'm defending or offending. I want to take the DNA Genealogy thing to see where my family has traveled.

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