Ignorance of race isn't racism.
Persistent ignorance on the other hand is laziness.
Too lazy not to seem racist?
More common than you would think.
Spanish Colonists were politically encouraged to interbred with native South American Indians for hundreds of years, until we have today' moderns Mexicans who uniformly, with some rare exceptions, have (at least) a dual ancestry of Spain and Native America to their credit commonly referred to as IndioMexican... Which is how Rob Beltran identifies himself, and has suggested unofficially that that's the same bloodlines which Lieutenant Commander Chakotay possesses.
"The Rubber Tree People"
Rubber Trees and Rubber plants are different. (Some dumb bastard tried to school me on Rubber Trees by talking about Rubber Plants last time this came up.). They are not the same. DIFFERENT!
Rubber Trees were singularly restricted to the Amazon Rain Forest until 1839.
So although Rob says that Chakotay is IndioMexican like he is, the Amazon Rain forest, where the Rubber Tree People used to hang (if they were real.), does not include Mexico in it's territories, which as you are probably aware are Brazil
, and French Guiana
, so either the opinionated actor is "wrong" (not that there's anything wrong with that.) or there's more information to this story we do not have.
The history of Chakotay's distant relations should have more in common with the Aztecs, Mayans, or the Toltecs than anything we've seen in a John Wayne movie.