Last updateFri, 15 Feb 2019 10am

White supremacists, take your cod liver oil

I hear about white supremacy a lot these days. And all I could think of is, who’s white?

Or more accurately, how do you know if you’re white? I’m part Sicilian with darkish skin. Am I white? I always thought so. According to not-so-old European traditions, I’m a “darky.” Which means that I’m not particularly supreme in any way, and may explain why I need the computer to spell check this article.

If being white is a marker of intelligence, albinos should presumably rule somewhere on the planet as supreme beings. Because it is the white skin alone that lifts you to the top of the racial hierarchy.

Now, this skin-color thing is a bias that exists worldwide. For example: MIT Mexico studies done on Mexican populations were able to predict educational attainment, occupational status and household income according to three skin color categories. They found that the darkest skin tone individuals have the lowest socioeconomic status followed by those with intermediate skin colors on these outcomes, with the lightest skinned Mexicans at the highest levels of achievement for all of these achievements.  The study also concluded that genetics played no role in this outcome, only cultural and class attitudes toward each color category. This means that supremacy belongs to the lighter-skinned of any population relative to the others of the same population. My southern Italian mother with her dark tan would surely have been forced to the back of the bus. So, I’m of questionable ethnicity myself because, as a Sicilian, I probably have some Moorish DNA. This leads me to believe that I may be ... a colored person trapped in a white man’s body... Bro.

In the United States, there is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter based on the body’s quest for vitamin D. In recent years, geneticists have uncovered new evidence about our shared heritage, and last week a team of scientists associated with 23 and Me published the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date, based on a study of 160,000 people.

Based on their sample, the researchers “estimated that over six million European-Americans have some African ancestry. Latinos had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African. On average, the scientists found people who identified as African-American had genes that were only 73.2% African with 24% European DNA.” When you include the admix of other ethnicities, each of us becomes a complete ratatouille of humanity.  With endless variations of skin color.

Historically speaking, while white supremacists today are claiming genetic superiority, how does that explain why many ancient civilizations began with darker-skinned people, while white skinned people were still flicking lice from their body hair.

Evidence against a racial hierarchy:

An abundance of clinical and epidemiological evidence supports a single rational explanation: light skin pigmentation developed due to the importance of maintaining vitamin D3 production in the skin. As a consequence, there was a strong selective pressure for the evolution of light skin in areas of low UV radiation, that is, northern latitudes. The evidence is also unquestioned that dark skin evolved as a protection against the effect of intense and ubiquitous UV radiation. This accounts for the development of dark skin pigmentation.

All the variations in between developed on the same basis: so Yellow is also sunlight-friendly. Red, copper, brown, bronze, olive, black, all higher concentrations of melanin protecting against sunlight to one degree or another, but getting their vitamin D without taking vitamin-rich cod liver oil slurpies.  So that’s it. Your skin color says I’m okay with sunlight. Or, I better get some sunscreen. Says nothing about supremacy.

White supremacy evidence for racial hierarchy:

They conclude that harsh climates put pressure on intellectual growth. This naturally means that cold weather produces higher intellect. (Not making this up.) It makes sense to them, because humans in higher latitudes would have had to figure out early on how to invent pants, innovations that require monumental amounts of brainpower. So, chill, Bro.