Thursday, January 14, 2016

Being white is about ancestry, not melanin

Just a note for all those imbeciles who think they're terribly clever when they glibly speak about the amount of melanin in one's skin, and say that white people have to embrace albinos as brothers, or that "white is just a color". When I, or others, say I am white, it's not intended to be a literal physical descriptor. And you know it.

Historically physical appearance has been a short cut to assist with estimating one's genetic relationship to someone else. It's a very rough estimation, and it's intended to be. But the odds are better that someone with light skin, dark blond hair, and light brown eyes is more closely related to me than someone with dark skin, kinky black hair, and a flattened nose. Albinism is an obvious exception, and every time you bring it up, you just look like a moron, because being white isn't about the level of melanin in my skin. It's about who my ancestors are.

These sorts of shortcuts were necessary in ancient times, when we didn't have (a) our modern resources regarding ancestry records and (b) there was much, much less (and what there was, was much much slower) intercontinental travel and migration. But they're still valid shortcuts, even if they're not perfect indicators. They were never meant to be.

So, shut up about "melanin in the skin". Being white is about ancestry. And I'm proud of my white ancestors, and my white cousins, some many times removed, who still live in Europe, and those who live elsewhere around the world.

Why shouldn't I be? We conquered and civilized most of the world.

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