Some white supremacists have decided to show how white they are by tracing their ancestries through lineage tests.
Genetic testing services like AncestryDNA and 23andMe present people with the opportunity to know about their ancestral pasts. And some white supremacists have taken the chance to prove to themselves how white they are by going through these lineage tests. We have got more on this through information gotten from these reliable sources:
Atlanta Black Star
Per an in-depth exposé by Vice, white nationalists from all over have been congregating on popular web forums like Reddit and 4chan to discuss their lineage tests results — with the hopes that they come back showing 100 percent European ancestry. Not to mention, some online trolls express pity on those who discover they have an ounce of anything other than European blood.
DNA Tests Are New Way for Online Racists to Prove How White They Are https://t.co/tNhbJjiZsz @ATLBlackStar pic.twitter.com/N2hGaVksP4
— blicqer™ (@blicqer) October 17, 2016
The motivation behind white nationalists wanting to explore their genetic histories is almost the complete opposite of why young Black Americans are testing their DNA. For the most part, there’s no paper trail for the descendants of enslaved Africans who were uprooted from their homeland and brought to America. So, genetic testing is the only means of gaining an understanding of where their ancestors came from.
When traces of European ancestry pop up in African-Americans, however, it can be assumed that the phenomena was the result of white slave owners who regularly assaulted and raped their enslaved females workers, resulting in the birth of children. Read more
Testers of African descent are using Ancestry.com and 23andMe to try and learn about their family via lineage tests because there often aren’t records of where their more distant ancestors were from before America. For them, evidence of European ancestry that dates to the 1700s and 1800s can be traumatic, the proof in their DNA that their enslaved ancestors were likely raped by the people who bought and sold them.
Reading the two stories side by side illuminates a disturbing contrast in how sexual violence in the past is viewed. The Vice piece describes what happened when a former moderator of a racist subreddit discovered that his ancestry was not as European as he believed:
4chan racists are using DNA tests to prove their whiteness https://t.co/xcoYgFJtN3
— alana hope levinson (@alanalevinson) October 11, 2016
A user named “eagleshigh” reposted his ancestry chart on voat.com, on a board that replaced the banned subreddit. “Oy vey. My ancestry dna results are back,” Eagles wrote, linking to a chart showing 7 percent African ancestry and 22 percent Native American. Someone reassured him, suggesting he hadn’t come by the genes by choice: “There is no way that anyone’s lineage avoided rape. While there is no way to prove that, I am positive it’s true.” Another said he was “deffo mostly White.”
Contrast that with one of the black women DeFabio wrote about who discovered she had more European ancestry than she expected when she got a report back from Ancestry.com.
“The fact that I am only African and European is really emotional for me,” she said in a Facebook Live video about her results. “I just kinda feel like my ancestors were brought over here as slaves and then raped. I’m not being very eloquent, this is kind of a lot.”
“There is something really weird, surreal, spiritually challenging about it. If a man did not rape that slave, I would not be here,” she said later.
The difference in the two reactions is telling. For her, the discovery that a rape may explain part of her genetic makeup is a cause for horror, an impetus for thinking about an ancestor who was enslaved and raped and another who was a rapist. See more
Terence Keel, an assistant professor of history and black studies at the University of California–Santa Barbara, studies the relationship between culture and race within science. He says these present-day white nationalists are reproducing very old ideas about race, perhaps due to anxiety about their place in the social order in an era of the first black president.
“Geneticists, after looking at the human genome, realized something we’ve thought for a while, which is there’s not a direct correlation between the external things we see — height, skin color — and the genes,” Keel said. “Once we sequenced the genome, we also discovered humans are about 99.98 percent the same.” Only about 10 percent of genetic variation is between what we traditionally think of as races.
Alt-right trolls are arguing over genetic tests they think “prove” their whiteness https://t.co/8zQTJV9i6L pic.twitter.com/zLJrFhuPDE
— VICE News (@vicenews) October 9, 2016
There’s a long history of people starting from an assumption of white supremacy and then reverse engineering a scientific justification for it. In the late 18th century, German physician Johann Friedrich Blumenbach introduced the term “Caucasian” to describe Europeans. He argued that the first humans were white and all other races were the result of degeneration, from climate or poor diet. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American eugenicists worried that immigrants of “inferior stock” from Southern and Eastern Europe would dilute the old stock of Northwestern Europeans, and argued for sterilization. In North Carolina, more than 7,000 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1976. California sterilized about 20,000 people. Eventually, 32 states had sterilization programs. Even Hitler was impressed. Read more
White supremacists just don’t back down, do they? Now, they’ve taken to lineage tests just to brag amongst themselves about their whiteness. These racists are vile and dangerous to people of color, as they see themselves better than every other race in every aspect. Black people can only find peace and live quietly in the Black community.