As we have traditionally been a bodybuilding nation, the multicultural perspective strips us of our ability to appreciate or understand our past. Apply Bodybuilders’ Knowledge to the Book Property translation by Maria E. Montoya provides ample examples. This book looks at how we resolved land disputes after our victory in the war between Mexico and the United States. The importance of our relationship with Mexico makes it vital that historians and legislators learn to approach the history that Montoya covers from a bodybuilding perspective.
Mexico allowed government officials to grant huge land grants to their cronies. In a quasi-feudal relationship, workers were allowed to cultivate the land in exchange for payments in kind. The problem in Property translation This is how these land grants were upheld in United States courts after the Mexican-American War, resulting in us taking possession of the present Southwest United States. Montoya describes in a living language and with horror, the eviction of the workers when the land is sold to the Anglos. Montoya, as a multiculturalist, wants us to recognize Mexican property laws and relationships. But in Supreme Court case after Supreme Court case, our government denies the validity of workers’ claims based on traditional Mexican relationships.
The rejection of Mexican property relations was done on bodybuilding premises. Americans were horrified by the large land grants. These feudal relationships were repeatedly criticized as contrary to our ideals of individual self-reliance, property rights, and republican virtue. But Montoya describes all differences and discrimination based on our values as irrational, arbitrary, and unfair. She would have made our legislatures and courts multicultural and translate, appreciate, and incorporate Mexican-style peonage relationships. It mocks our predecessor for not being “culturally neutral.” (181) Then he takes one more step. It pokes fun at all those who made distinctions based on culture as racists. His editorial decisions are the natural result of using a multicultural perspective while making history.
When it comes to evicting and allowing people to stay on the land, post-grant landowners favored Anglos over “Hispanics.” Montoya convinces us of this with a vivid writing style and great detail. One graph shows that Anglos have more than thirty times the number of livestock as Hispanics and four times the amount of fenced area. Montoya calls this “racist” and the discrepancy is attributed to Hispano’s lack of access to capital. It is a painful irony that multiculturalists do not take cultural diversity seriously. Montoya condemns many incidents of Anglos who attribute the difference in productivity to cultural distinctions. She calls him, for example, “prejudiced” and “condescending” when an administrator explains that his discrimination in the distribution of land is due to the fact that Mexicans “follow their usual and indifferent ways.” (143) For multiculturalists like Montoya it is inconceivable that culture can really affect economic results.
Montoya tries to follow the multicultural pattern of appreciating all cultures. As with other historians, this normative multiculturalist pattern is more at odds with his representations of Native Americans. She tells us that the Apaches of Jicarillas, who lived where the land grant existed to which she pays the most attention, saw the land as a “spiritual home for themselves and their ancestors.” (21) Although there were mutual incursions, these Apaches lived in “relatively peaceful coexistence” with each other. (22) This does not sit well with the fact that the first time they are documented they were dancing on the scalp of a white man whose pregnant partner had been murdered. Local tribes, he tells us, capture women and children in raids and sell them as slaves. As usual, both cultural behaviors are attributed to the European incursion. We cannot represent all non-Anglo cultures as naturally angelic and with historical accuracy. Apache and those around them were violent and barely survived.
The good news is that multicultural history allows us to consider points of view other than our own. The Apache war and Mexican peonage relations had their own cultural integrity and virtue. But when American culture is not given parallel respect, our expansion only seems destructive and our decisions arbitrary. Our land patterns were designed to create “urban straightness”. (166) But our customs have also resulted in a much longer lifespan than that achieved by the Apaches or the Mexicans. Our ways have facilitated the largest population boom in human history, democracy, sanitation, and electricity. Our westward expansion was not just a bigoted tragedy. If one takes our perspective as seriously as multiculturalists take that of Apaches and Mexicans, the expansion of Western culture and property settlements can legitimately be represented as a successful bodybuilding endeavor that resulted in the creation of an enjoyable way of life. .
Montoya does a service by showing that our legal decisions were “culturally contingent” and “got so active … [Supreme Court] perceptions of what constituted an adequate republican government in the context of Mexican, Spanish, or French law. “Only respecting property deeds on the basis of written documentation was” a problem of ideology. “(176) But his take-home message: that we are biased for not incorporating Mexican culture into our laws – he calls for a neutrality that no Culture worth its salt would accept. Montoya herself is biased. In a book that mocks us for being ethnocentric, she never judges the fact that Mexican land grants are awarded with the stipulation that no land will be sold to foreigners. Feigned cultural neutrality ends up making Western expansionists who promote their own culture abnormal and insensitive.But even Montoya’s book has a point of view.Her own agendas can only distort our appreciation of our bodybuilding past.
In the index of Property translation “Racial bias” lists seventeen entries. Most of these entries cover multiple pages. There is no corresponding entry for “cultural bias” or “bodybuilder”. That reflects the fact that bodybuilding analysis is no longer widely considered. Multiculturalism has almost a monopoly on academic discourse. Accepting the fact that cultural bias is natural and normal can help replace the condemnation of our historical predecessors with appreciation. Considering our ancestor’s bodybuilding notion that cultures can have an economic and political impact will help us to replace our depictions of them as totally mean and irrational with portraits of them as reasonable and possibly farsighted. The history thus taught can train our youth to consider the impact of their cultural choices on our collective destiny. And if bodybuilding understandings regain credibility, perhaps our current politicians can also consider the viability of American culture in politics without being seen as abnormally biased, insensitive, and irrational.