The Hill recently published an article entitled “DNA undermines David Duke’s brand of separatism” written by Sandra McCollum and Harold Doley. In it, these writers push a deeply confused and ill-informed viewpoint on the genetics of race and the role race played in American history. This article will serve as a correction to some, though by no means all, of their mistakes. With that said, let’s jump right in:
“According to recent reports, an estimated 12 percent of European Americans in Louisiana have at least 1 percent African ancestry in their DNA. In the Southern States of this country, by most standards, this makes them African American. Viewed from another perspective, 328,186 people in Louisiana, who self-identified as white on the last census, are actually black.”
People who have genomes that are 1% descended from Africa are not Black. The authors make no defense of this insane and completely unheard of criterion for race other than to vaguely claim that it is consistent with “most standards”. It’s not. I’ve never heard of a standard like this other than in ghost stories people tell themselves about what the mean old racists used to think.
Moreover, these people are also obviously more than 1% White. If they are more than 1% White, and more than 1% Black, then why are they Black rather than White? There is no reason. This criterion is not even coherent yet alone accurate.
People whose genomes almost entirely descend from Europe are White. This is obvious to every sane person and this is the criteria scientists use in studies which show that you can predict someone’s self-identified race with near perfect accuracy by looking at their genome.
After failing to understand what race, genetically speaking, is, the Hill writers also try to draw some political implications from this DNA research:
“This makes it almost impossible for David Duke and other separatists to accurately assess eligibility of their desired membership.”
First of all, I don’t know what David Duke’s “membership” is and these journalists probably don’t either. I also don’t know that David Duke wants to pass around DNA tests to determine who is and is not White and, once again, these journalists probably don’t either. But let’s put that aside and say that Duke wants to form some club or city or whatever based on race as determined by DNA tests. How is this data a problem? All he would have to do is pick some proportion of a person’s genome which would need to come from Europe and then use that standard to determine who can and cannot join.
Following this proclamation of an unexplained problem, the Hill gives us this gem:
Modern social scientists conclude that race is merely a sociopolitical construct.
Of course, they have no source for this nor do they define what it means for a concept to be a “sociopolitical construct”.
Here are some facts that do have sources: about 1 in three western physical anthropologists believe that human races are real, most physical anthropologists outside of the west believe in race, biologists are more likely than anthropologists to believe in race, and most peer-reviewed genetics journals publish papers that group people by race.
All three charts come from here
This does not tell us whether or not scientists think that race is a “sociopolitical construct” but it does show many scientists feel that race is a valid scientific category which is useful in their research.
By the way, didn’t these two writers, just moments ago, define “black” as anyone with a genome comprised of 1%+ DNA from Africa? Is this a”sociopolitical” definition of race? Or do these people believe two contradictory but equally false claims?
“If we examine race scientifically, all humans are from Africa. In other words, if you are human, the source of your humanness is African. Mitochondrial Eve, the mother of all humans, lived in Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.”
Yep. A bunch of humans lived together in Africa and then some of those humans traveled to a different environment which in turn altered the selective pressures that acted upon them and introduced barriers to gene flow between them and those humans who remained in Africa. That is how evolution works and tells us nothing more about the importance or validity of the human races than the fact that we also used to be chimp-like apes tells us about the importance and validity of having different categories for Chimps and humans.
The article also claims that various famous Europeans, such as Beethoven, were part Black and links to sources which do not demonstrate that these people were, in fact, part Black, not that it would really matter even if they were.
After telling us about their religious views concerning genetics and race, the Hill journalists go on to talk about their other religion:
“most of us who consider ourselves Christian find it laughable Duke refers to his doctrine of hate and separatism as Christian family values. A basic tenet of Christianity is to love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Duke is obviously right in saying that racial politics is consistent with Christianity. After all, the big bad racists of the past that we hear about in school were basically all Christians. Slavery, colonialism, etc., were done largely by Christians who knew what “Christian doctrine” is (or, at least, was).
The authors finish with this:
As the browning of America escalates, we who are the real Americans who built this country and love freedom and democracy advocate. This is our country
If by “this country” they mean the United States of the last 300 years, it is not, and can never be, theirs. In the 18th century, the people who built this country passed a law stopping non-White immigrants from becoming citizens. In the 19th century, they banned Chinese people from immigrating here at all. In the 20th century, they banned the wrong kind of White people from coming here in too great of numbers. These policies, and the north-western European identity that went with them, were an essential part of what America was until the 1960’s.
People like the writers at the Hill hate traditional America. They like some of its benefits, high social capital, economic growth, political freedom, etc., but they utterly fail to see the connection between these products of traditional America and the people who made them.
They are less likely to support freedom of speech:
More likely to support big government:
And, of course, they are far more likely to vote democrat:
In other words, they are totally opposed to traditional America.
I’m not here to sing the praises of David Duke, but if you are going to attack him take the time to know what the hell you are talking about first. More importantly, don’t pretend that you are fighting for what America historically was. You are that countries enemy and your aim is to destroy it. If you are going to work against a people, you should at least have the courage to admit it.