The Silly Notion of “Race”

 

With overt racism on the rise again in America, white supremacists are checking their DNA to make sure their genes are OK. And – surprise! – many of them are “disappointed.”

Some of those who come up with a mixed ethnic background are blaming the tests. But the tests are probably quite accurate.

I imagine it must be hard to find racially pure human beings after the invasions and migrations this old world has experienced.

The notion of an Anglo-Saxon “race” seems quite spurious, for example.

It’s been a long time since the German Saxons invaded Britain, and even longer since the Anglos came over from Scandinavia. I imagine they didn’t hesitate to mix with the descendants of the Britons, Romans, Scots, Picts and Celts already inhabiting the country (as well as the progeny of Viking marauders who raided the coast from time to time).

Later, the conquering Normans arrived from France, and I’m sure some of them intermarried with the other “races” they found there. Then there’s the more recent deluge of immigrants from all over the British Empire – and all over the world.

Anyone who studied history knows that much of Europe was flooded by Moors at one time.  And what about the influx from the East – Mongols, Huns and on and on?

I imagine most of the families whose ancestors came to North America in Colonial days have Native American roots. There were very few “white” women here at the time, and I  am sure a lot of  pioneer men were glad to find indigenous mates.

Any of us is likely to have unpexpected ancestors. Someone I know, who was born in Jamaica, took the DNA test and discovered he is mostly Flemish. Who knew?

I think the notion of “race” is silly, anyway.  Nobody gets to choose their ethnic background. It’s not something you earn by being honest and decent or by working hard. So how can you claim credit for it?

Read the news story.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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