Turns out the “master race” isn’t quite what some hate mongers thought it would be.
Recently, a white supremacist discovered on television that 14% of his DNA came from Sub-Saharan Africa and he wasn’t too happy about it:
“Wait a minute, wait a minute, hold on, just wait a minute,” he said, “This is called statistical noise.” He was probably wrong, but that didn’t stop him from trying to take more tests from different companies to try to disprove the initial one.
Now that genetic ancestry tests are widely available, white supremacists are taking them to “prove” their racial purity, but thing aren’t working out for them. Two sociologists at UCLA published a paper cataloging white supremacists’ reaction to their DNA tests on the neo-Nazi website Stormfront.
One “impure” racist attacked the tests:
“See, THIS is why I don’t recommend these tests to people. Did they bother to tell you that there were Whites in what is now Senegal all that time ago? No? So they led you to believe that you’re mixed even though in all probability, you are simply related to some White fool who left some of his DNA with the locals in what is now Senegal.”
Another expressed concern about someone he was dating:
“I’ve started dating a woman who’s really smart, pretty, funny, and cool . . . except that she mentioned that some great-great relative . . . was Native American. . . . It is bugging me . . . that there is that Native American DNA stuck in her gene pool now and that it may re-emerge from time to time. Am I being overly critical?”
Yes, her Native American DNA is just lying in wait to pop out and ambush you. He probably came to the wrong place for advice, because the Stormfront nazis don’t seem that supportive.
After one commenter said they were “61 percent European,” another person replied: “I’ve prepared you a drink. It’s 61 percent pure water. The rest is potassium cyanide… Cyanide isn’t water, and YOU are not White.”
Others used pseudoscience to construct elaborate (and incorrect) theories about race:
“non-European ancestry in one’s autosomal DNA isn’t good, but that non-White autosomal DNA can be cut in half every generation. . . . I am more strict with Y and mtDNA haplogroups because these haplogroups are passed from father to son, mother to daughter, and remain virtually unchanged indefinitely. . . . The biracial female with a White Mother or the biracial male with a White father are the lesser of two evils when it comes to potential assimilation.”
I’ve gotta say, this really makes no sense. Your mitochondrial DNA is DNA confined to the mitochondria (which all remember from our high school bio classes is the powerhouse of the cell) and doesn’t really affect any non-metabolic processes. The Y chromosome has some important stuff on it, but it also represents a relatively small portion of your genetic make-up compared to the rest of your DNA.
This is also, well, stupid. “Race” is a social construct, not a biological one, so there’s no such thing as being biologically “pure” race. Additionally, there’s more genetic variation within “races” than between them, making it a somewhat silly concept to talk about.
And yet, this idea persists. The United States is on its way to becoming a majority minority country, meaning that rather than making up a majority of people in the U.S., whites will soon be a minority. If your idea of what makes the United States great is the race of the people who live there, you may find that startling (you would also be a racist).
This feeling that something is slipping away from white people is probably what’s causing the recent surge in white supremacy in the United States. In fact, a study just came out that indicates Trump voters were driven, not by economic anxiety, but by the feeling they were losing their status.