Monday, June 04, 2012

Michelle Rodriguez's Family Were Inbreeders


I have never seen the show Finding Your Roots but I guess I should if they are going to come up with gems like this. Michelle Rodriguez was on the show and the big thing that was discovered that I guess no one talks about much in her family is that several of the relatives on her father's side practiced inbreeding. They did it on purpose to keep their skin light because in Puerto Rico at the time it was considered better to have lighter skin. Three of Michelle's great grandfathers were brothers. There were also a lot of first cousins that married. Michelle also thought it was pretty awful that she is 72 percent European. She said she wanted to be native American, but is only 6% Native American.

71 comments:

Angelina said...

Yah, Europeans. Those bastards.

Treesap-Covered Lady, the Humanist said...

Where the hell did she think that light skin came from, other than the inbreeding, of course.

BronxStateOfMind said...

At the time? It still is, although people aren't as vocal about it now, those stereotypes are floating around pretty well. I would be considered under the 'light skin, good hair' type of Puerto Rican and to some it makes a difference as to how you will be accepted in society and make good looking kids with an easier life.

If you take a trip out the PR and see how each group lives you would see the ones that have it worse are the one's with mainly African backgrounds which is extremely sad.

Tempestuous Grape said...

It's a fantastic show actually. I recently watched the Wanda Sykes and Jon Legend episode and I was on the floor bawling my eyes out. Slavery talk breaks my soul. It's so hard to watch but I'm glad I did.

BronxStateOfMind said...

By group i mean the various skin tones of my people since there is a range, lol. But it makes them all the more beautiful.

Agent**It said...

.. "only 6% Native American"..
at least it's better than being 0% cherokee..

Vikingwench said...

It's on PBS. I ditched cable so I watch stuff like this all the time. You'd be AMAZED at some of the stuff they have on PBS- we have 4 PBS HD channels here, and I get all the arts, crafts, cooking and documentaries I can handle. Sometimes I miss my 24/7 NCIS and Criminal Minds, but then I see a documentary about the Medal of Honor or twin-spirited Native Americans and I realize I've gained so much more than I've lost with cable.

Vikingwench said...

*two-spirited, not twin spirited*

Patty said...

@Agent - my thought exactly.

Sg72 said...

I'm missing something here. 3 great-grandfathers were brothers? I don't understand.

Cassiopeia said...

Sg72... me either, but if the three married women they weren't related to then there was no inbreeding. unless the brothers' children married eachother, which would make her grandparents first cousins.

Sg72 said...

Wait, so brother#1 had a daughter, who brother#2 married, and the daughter they had married brother#3?!? Sick!

ablake said...

Maybe it's too early (and not enough coffee) but um...how do you have 3 great grandfathers?

auntliddy said...

Incant believe anyone gives a crap what percentage of anything they are. And i also cant fathom breeding to keep skin light. Who has time for that? Get a hobby! Lol

ablake said...

To clarify, everyone has one mother and one father. Then you have a grandmother/grandfather on one side, grandmother/grandfather on the other (2 grandparents for each parent)
Then you have great grandparents (2 for each grandparent)
How are 3 of those (because my math says 2 male, 2 female) brothers?

Amber said...

She should be less worried about only being 6% NA, and more thankful that she was able to learn to tie her own shoes.

Amber said...

auntliddy - % Native American is a big deal, because there are minimum requirements to be enrolled in a tribe and recognized by the gov't. I'm 25%, so should I have kids with my white boyfriend they will only be 1/8. My grandkids would be 1/16 should my kids have babies with white people and I think 1/16 may be the cut-off for my tribe.

jbdean_79 said...

Ablake, you got it but stopped one step short. Each person has two parents, four grandparents, and Eight great grandparents. Presumably the ggp would have four of each sex. Each generation grows exponentially... So, her grand parents fathers could be 3/4 related.

ablake said...

Gotcha jbdean, thank you for the explanation :)
Amber I'm 25% Indian as well (Cherokee represent!) Never joined a tribe, though I've lived in plenty of states that have offered. I just always figured they just wanted my money. *shrug*

surfer said...

I wondered the same thing, ABlake.

matt_b said...

Aww Michelle honey, you wanted to be Native American? Yeah, I wanted to be a Martian, but that didn't work out for me either.

Seriously, do people really do this, deciding that they want to be some race or other, and then getting annoyed when they find those gosh-darn Europeans have been splashing around in their gene pool?

Paisley said...

The very same episode also included another guest with cousins marrying cousins for generations. It's not that uncommon. And if you watch any of the Finding Your Roots episodes that feature African Americans, almost all of them believe they are part Native American, very few of them are, and they are usually disappointed. Again, not that uncommon. Not sure why Michelle is being picked on.

Nellie said...

@ vikingwench - you can watch those shows on CBS.com for free!

RenoBlondee said...

She's always grated my nerves for some reason.

ablake said...

Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one surfer <3

Paisley it's probably because she made a really weird comment at Cannes (kind of surprised Ent left it out) about how Nicole Kidman won't get an Oscar for peeing on Zac Efron in her latest movie. (He was bitten by a starfish or something) Since she's "not black and not being trashy"
Here's the cnn article about it
http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/01/michelle-rodriguez-on-why-nicole-kidman-wont-win-an-oscar

All I will say about that is if peeing in a movie gets you an Oscar, SOMEBODY was robbed in Red Dawn.

ablake said...

jellyfish. I meant jellyfish.
Apparently the only starfish that bite have taken up their residence in a remote village in India.

AND THEY EAT THE CRUST FROM YOUR EYES WHILE YOU SLEEP

(still cannot believe that...AHHHH)

Amber said...

ABlake - I'm Ojibwe :) And, at least with us no one takes your money. It's not a CoS deal LOL. We're all actually DUE money from the US Gov't.

Snapdragon said...

vikingwench, I'm with you.

I saw the episode in question and I didn't think Michelle's reaction to the European heritage was 'thinking it was pretty awful'. I think she was just surprised by the results of the DNA testing.

Henriette said...

Being Native American is a BIG deal in the United States. Whatever you do, don't put it on the Census forms!

My maternal-great great grandmother is Native American (Modoc), which was originally a California tribe pushed into Oklahoma.

By the Way, all the Modocs now are mixed with just dabs of Modoc. The Modoc tribe was pretty much extinguished when they were forced into Oklahoma with their natural enemies the Klamath tribe.

Anywho,I always put down "other" on my ethnic group forms because I have a Portuguese grandmother (Portuguese sometimes falls under Latino) and the Modoc connection. Well I did this in the 1990 census and boy was that a mess! Basically the government said, "you're white and don't EVER mention any Native American blood again." What zi gathered from my experience is being Native American in the U.S. is a BIG deal.

Agent**It said...

it is...... a very big deal ........
0% Cherokee has powerful meaning

beguessin said...

Rdj was on a previous episode and seriously disappointed that he was 100% white. If 3 of michelle's ggps were brothers then that means 3 of her 4 grandparents were cousins

Amber said...

I swear every white celeb claims they're Cherokee. They should have a Maury special of this show where they all get DNA-tested and Maury dramatically reads "...and the DNA test says...YOU'RE WHITE" every time, and then they storm off the stage crying and hitting the walls in the back hall.

Agent**It said...

~~celeb only? ~~

Bubbles said...

I don't think she had a problem with being of European ancestry but Peurto Ricans call themselves Boricuas as in the Boricua Tribe, so she might have been disappointed to discover what made her PR, being a boricua, wasn't that much a part of her DNA.

Henriette said...

Nobody wants to be white. It's like being Wonder Bread, BORING! Everyone wants something "exotic."

Sherman Alexi said no white person really wants to be Native American only put it on their DNA résumé.

crila16 said...

I'm more native american than Michelle Rodriguez. I'm glad she wanted to be more of a percentage and is proud of it. I know I am.

sifichick said...

Unfortunately in PR the color of your skin is a very big deal. Even today. I'm considered at a higher status than even my parents because my skin is very light compared to theirs.

Also it's VERY common for cousins to marry. To them it's really no big deal. I think it's kind of icky. Then again I wasn't raised in PR.

crila16 said...

@Henriette...that's your personal opinion. Some people want to be white and wonder bread looking as you so call it. Not everyone wants to be exotic looking. Just ask snow white with her milky white skin. Guaranteed she'd beg to differ with you.

Cake said...

Bubbles- you make a good point. Most of us are told to a degree about our ancestors and if science disputes that, that could be a shock to how you view yourself and your identity.

We are all pretty much mutts and we are who we are.

Anonymous said...

she's still hot

Maja With a J said...

@ Amber - *LOL* I might watch that show! You're white! Sorry!

I haven't watched this show but I really do enjoy "Who Do You Think You Are?". Although I oftern wonder what would happen if they didn't find anything interesting in the research. "Your great great grandparents got married, worked, had kids, who grew up and worked, and got married to other people, and had kids, who grew up, and worked, and they were all white and nobody spoke any other languages or even freed a slave. Nope. Nothing interesting in your family tree at all."

Frufra said...

I'm 100% boring white person (English, Scotch-Irish, and German) and I live in Oklahoma. It KILLS me that I don't have any Native American blood. I don't know why, it just seems so cool! Checking "white" on all the forms in my life just bums me out! I would so cry on Maury.

Momster said...

I live in OK, too! :)

My father's grandmother claimed that we had Creek Indian in our lineage. That it just wasn't on "paper" anywhere. He had also been told our ancestors were from Wales.
A couple of years ago he had his saliva analyzed by one of those DNA labs, and it turns out we're of Nordic heritage, with just a bit of Wales, and no Indian, lol. It was really interesting stuff.

Momster said...

Oh, and my father claims we still have Creek in us. Just won't let it go! DNA be damned!

Henriette said...

@crila16 said...
@Henriette...that's your personal opinion. Some people want to be white and wonder bread looking as you so call it. Not everyone wants to be exotic looking. Just ask snow white with her milky white skin. Guaranteed she'd beg to differ with you.
_____________________________________
Just "my" opinion? Have you been reading some of the previous posts? Why do you think so many people want to be Native American and LIE constantly about it? These are sparkly white people who want to lay claim to be something other than "white."

I think Sherman Alexi has a very valid point.

Agent**It said...

@Henriette,
"Sherman Alexi said no white person really wants to be Native American only put it on their DNA résumé."

Not true, my financial adviser at BU advised me that I had a shot of additional financial aid if I could claim heritage to 'Pecksuot'.

Henriette said...

@crila16
Funny you should mention Snow White. I've had many people call me that due to my white on white skin, dark hair, and blue eyes. I was raised in a very "exotic" looking family and my mother was asked if I was adopted on a daily basis. Being different is hard no matter what color your skin is.

Henriette said...

@Agent**It
You proved my point perfectly;)

Agent**It said...

Thank you:)

Agent**It said...

..and there were no DNA tests at that time so I could have faked it with false dox but I did not..

figgy said...

Okay, I SOOOO want to do this now!

There's sadly no question with my fish belly pale skin and blue eyes that I'm all white, but I have dreams of being part Jewish. My grandmother's family in Denmark were unusually dark with curly hair and semitic-looking noses.

Tru Leigh said...

I hate to burst your bubble, but this happened all the time everywhere throughout history.

Treesap-Covered Lady, the Humanist said...

I have the whole 'escaped slave to Canada,' mythology on my mother's side, but I don't think anyone believes it.

K said...

Figgy, do the DNA/gene test. You may be surprised. Whether pleasantly or not, you may st8ll be very surprised. It amazes how many people are not aware of what 'could' have happened way back when, and how very possible it is to 'come back' generations later! Ignorance is a dangerous thing. You want to know? Find out!

Henriette said...

I want to do the DNA tests too, but damn they are expensive! Besides, geneticists do not put a lot of stock in them. There are just way too many variables to look at.

My half-sister (same father, different mothers) did a DNA kit on us and it came back inconclusive! We know we are sisters because my DNA test with our father came back stating that I was his. This led her to do her DNA test with our father, which came back she was his too. eg we are half-sisters. The sibling test was a huge waste of money for her. We also found out that our father's "son" is actually not his. Her mother had some 'splaining to do!

People seriously should be left with their fantasies.

Henriette said...

I found it interesting that Louise Erdrich, a Native American/Ojibwa writer, would not take the DNA test. Since adoption is quite common in many Native American tribes, I could see why she declined the test. Here is a link I found quite informative:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/genetic-crossroads/201003/dna-ancestry-testing-tv

auntliddy said...

Valid points, u have taught me something, but I highly doubt those are her concerns.

auntliddy said...

Lololololololol

auntliddy said...

I hope u get EVERY penny.

auntliddy said...

I read those shows dont get aired. Has to hv dramatic edge.

auntliddy said...

I subscribe to the Popeye philosophy: I am what I am. Lol

Bangagong said...

I've watched several of Professor Gates' genetic series on PBS. As far as the DNA is concerned, Native American=Hispanic=Asian. Apparently the origins of these 3 groups is the same. That's more why Michelle was bummed because she's Puerto Rican and Dominican and according to the DNA, she's not as Latina as she thought. She was cool with her black percentage though. Plus she said her father's Puerto Rican side would continually diss her mother's Dominican side of the family because they were a lot darker.

On last year's series, Yo Yo Ma and Eva Longoria were found to have an ancestor in common because of the Asian=Native American=Hispanic thing. Eva's reaction was to joke," What?! Yo Yo Ma's Mexican?!" Hilarious.

Kinsey Holley said...

My paternal grandmother always said that my grandfather's grandmother (i.e., my gg grandmother) was Comanche. When they first got married, they lived with my grandfather's parents and his g-mother on the ranch where my grandfather was raised. (Unfortunately, they didn't live on the ranch. My great grandfather was a foreman.) According to my grandmother, my great great grandmother - her name was Alice - was a mean, mean old lady. She made my grandmother work her ass off around the house while Alice rocked on the porch, chewing tobacco and spitting it into the front yard. My dad said she talked about it all his life. Don't recall my grandfather himself talking about it, but he was very dark skinned.

So this past year, my 4th grade daughter had to pick a Native American tribe to do a report on and I said hey, let's do Commanche and I'll do the Ancestry.com family tree I've always said I'd do. So I got signed up on Ancestry.com and went to town.

And I traced my mom's dad's family all the way back to Tennessee in the 1700s but I got stuck on my paternal great grandmother. Can't find much about her other than her name, DOB, born in Tennessee, and the date of her marriage. The one census form I found lists her as white.

My aunt, now in her 80s but the family historian, says that's no surprise because back then, being Indian was not the least bit cool.

Also my aunt says "Hm. I always heard she was Choctaw."

That's when I said okay, this might be just be a family legend. Who knows - my grandmother, though she cooked like God, was as racist as you'd expect a dirt farmer's daughter born in 1907 to be. Maybe she said his grandmother was Indian out of spite.

I do know that the ranch my dad was born on - the one his grandfather was a foreman on -- was in that part of Texas once known as Comancheria, and my grandfather told the story of once hiding in a creek on the ranch when a party of Indians rode by.

I wish I could nail down Alice's info, not because I need to have Native American blood, but because until I do, I can't extend the tree any further and now I'm kind of hooked.

I'm pretty certain that on my dad's side, at least, I'm not going to be running into kings or land barons or anyone spectacular. Poor farmers back for generations, I suspect.

I'm more proud of my mom's dad's line, as one of my direct ancestors fought in the Texas revolution and was a legislator in both pre- and post-revolution Texas. It's kind of dumb to take pride in an accident of birth but there you go.

csproat said...

My best friend is adopted..He got a DNA test at 23andme and found out that he was part Basque......which is EXACTLY what he looks like.!

Out of the blue one day my mother (who knows her complete family history back to the1600s) said we had Native American ancestors......

.....I laughed my ass off

Kinsey Holley said...

Basques are pretty fascinating. Their language isn't related to any other, and I think geneticists find their origins a mystery as well. A relatively small group seemingly unconnected to any other.

Poisonfawn said...

i like michelle rodriguez i met and hung out with her a few times shes cool i would like to get a hold of her somehow? im half native american, cree and algonquin. im not attracted to native americans tho so its kind of sad i wont honor the native american blood. i want to watch this show somehow but i dont get this channel?

Agent**It said...

if we all took DNA tests, hehehe....

Poppymann said...

Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Professor and black intellectual took the DNA test. It turned out he was part Ashekenazi Jew. He told a funny story abot how black people including Oprah like to claim they are Zulu, when in fact the Zulu's descendants were small in number. When he told Oprah the results of her test showed Bantu, she was pissed. So it's not just white people with romantic tendencies.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I would love to do one of those DNA tests, but they are really expensive. I saw it once on Groupon really cheap but it sold out really quickly. I wondered how accurate it was?

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I saw the episode w/RDJ & Maggie Gyllenhaal, and he wasn't disappointed, just surprised that he was 100% European; apparently he assumed there was something else in his background.

There's been a longstanding story in my mother's family that we have Native ancestry dating back to the 17th century (Wampanoag, FWIW); supposedly there were wampum beads and other artifacts in the family until some time in the 19th century, when one of the aunts sold them to a museum (it not being cool to be anything but lily-white at that point). We've also found out that there was a great-great etc. grandmother (not sure how many greats off the top of my head) who was definitely Native (I don't remember which tribe, but she was from Maine); we don't even know what her name was, because she's listed as "Indian" in the documents, which is rather sad--I'm sure she had a name, and presumably great-grandpa used it, but the authorities never bothered to write it down. I'd definitely be interested in doing a DNA test just to see what comes up; I just wish there was a cheaper way to do it. Too bad I can't track down Skip Gates in Cambridge & see if he can get me a discount, eh? ;-)

Oh, and we discovered a lot of other interesting stuff, including the fact that we're descended from William the Conqueror* in 2 different ways (through his bastard grandson Robert of Gloucester, who would have made an excellent king, and through Edward III's granddaughter Anne Plantagenet). You know you're a hardcore medieval history buff when the first thought that crosses your mind when you learned about the latter is "You mean we're descended from Eleanor of Aquitaine? COOL!!!" It was a big joke in college that my medieval studies advisor was half in love w/Eleanor; we were never sure if it was Eleanor the historical personage, or Katherine Hepburn's portrayal of her in The Lion in Winter!

*OK, OK, so is a good percentage of anyone w/English ancestry, esp. since his son Henry I had 15-25 bastards, but I still get a big kick out of it...

0_0 said...

A Puerto Rican coworker told me status in PR was more tied to how fine and straight one's hair was (coarse and kinky were lower) but he may have been trying to yank my chain (my 3rd gen Welsh-American hair is thick, coarse and wavy; he like to tell me I'd be lower class and he would be paid more there).

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