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04-11-2017

Who are you?

Genetic testing has become extremely popular, with adverts appearing on TV. Who is having these tests? I don’t know, but I would be delighted to have it confirmed that I am a long-lost member of a European royal family. Seriously though, what happens if you are a white supremacist and learn that you are not as ‘pure’ as you thought you were? What if you have been brought up somewhere in deepest America believing that you are pure, one-hundred-per-cent Irish and discover that you are twenty-five West Indian. Such things are happening.

Recently, a genetics company tested 120 people living in a village in the Cotswolds, England. The results surprised them all, and revealed that they were collectively less than 50 per cent British, despite most of them believing that they had no foreign blood. Many learned that they had DNA from different countries, such as Asia, India and Scandinavia, while others were delighted to learn that they were related. The experience was an altogether positive one.

However, if you are a white supremacist, your raison d’être for believing that you are better than the rest of humanity relies on your ‘purity’ and ‘whiteness’. Since that chances are that you are a big mixture of multicoloured DNA, like everyone else, if you get tested, you are likely going to have to deal with the fact that the world is just a big melting pot.

In the United States, white supremacist, gun-toting Craig Cobb was given the results of his DNA test on a daytime TV programme, and had to face a studio audience whooping with delight when he learned that he was 86 per cent European and 14 per cent Sub-Saharan African. Predictably, rather than taking the information and using it to rethink his hateful ideology, Cobb took to a white supremacist website where other users helped him to play down, discredit and dismiss the results.

The site, called stormfront, contains numerous posts from users, devastated to discover that they are 21 per cent Jewish, 0.02 per cent African or 0.73 per cent Asian, asking themselves the ridiculous question, “Am I ‘white’ now?

The fact is that people never stop moving and reproducing and the result is diversity.

I think it would be great fun to have one of these tests, and would fully expect to find that my ancestors were from the Middle East, from Eastern Europe and from Britain on my father’s side. But who knows? What I do know is that I am not, and would not want to be pure anything!



Juliet Anne Allaway

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