DNA is destroying the artificial construct of race. The oldest known skeleton found in England is of a dark skinned man with blue eyes. Which means lighter skin developed much much more recently than previously believed…By about 30,000 years.
‘It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories we have… are not applicable to the past at all,’ said one project worker.
The first person known to have lived in Britain had dark skin, according to cutting-edge scientific analysis from London’s Natural History Museum.
In research that may raise eyebrows among modern-day white nationalists, scientists used DNA analysis from Britain’s oldest nearly complete skeleton to reveal he had dark skin and blue eyes.
The skeleton was discovered in 1903 and is known as Cheddar Man, after the area where he was found, which is also where the cheese originated. He’s believed to have lived more than 10,000 years ago and is the oldest Briton to have ever had their DNA tested—with some surprising results.
The research suggests that light skin developed in ancient Britons much later than previously thought, with experts commenting that it flies in the face of modern perceptions of Britain, Europe, and race.
Tom Booth, a Natural History Museum archaeologist who worked on the project, told The Guardian: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”
Yoan Diekmann, a biologist at University College London and another project worker, added that the connection drawn by some between Britishness and whiteness was “not an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change.”
The discovery is embarrassing for white nationalists such as Richard Spencer, who has previously linked whiteness to Europe, saying previously that he wanted the U.S. to become “a homeland for all white people, all European people.”
According to the scientists who ran the project, it was previously assumed that Europeans developed paler skin thousands of years before Cheddar Man and he was previously believed to have had pale skin and fair hair.
However, they believe the research shows that the lighter pigmentation in Europeans is a “far more recent” phenomenon and that one in 10 modern-day Brits share ancestry with the dark-skinned Cheddar Man.
Scientists obtained the DNA sample by drilling a 2mm hole in the ancient skull, which allowed them to extract some bone powder. Using the “unusually well-preserved” DNA, they then constructed a likeness of his head using a 3D printer and a high-tech scanner.
Prof. Chris Stringer, a research leader at the Natural History Museum, said: “I first studied Cheddar Man more than 40 years ago, but could never have believed that we would one day have his whole genome—the oldest British one to date!”
“To go beyond what the bones tell us and get a scientifically based picture of what he actually looked like is a remarkable (and from the results quite surprising!) achievement.”
Something somewhat extraordinary happened last month at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas.
The school — with a student population of nearly 900, about 90 percent from low-income families — planned to host its first “Breakfast with Dads,” according to the Dallas Morning News. About 150 male students, ages 11 to 13, signed up. But event organizers were concerned that some would attend without a male figure at their side, so they put out a call for volunteers who could serve as mentors.
“When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen,” the Rev. Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and the event organizer, told the Morning News.
A call for volunteers by children’s advocate Kristina Chäadé Dove — who has served on what is called a site-based decision-making team for the middle school — was published on social media in early December
When the day came for the event, nearly 600 men showed up to help and mentor the boys, some of them volunteering for the first time.
Stephanie Drenka, a Dallas photographer and blogger who works with Dove at Big Thought, a nonprofit organization that works with partners across the city to provide creative learning programs for young people, chronicled the event here in words and photos. She wrote:
Back in December, the team ran into some difficulty when planning their annual “Breakfast with Dads” event. Dade’s community liaison Ellyn Favors mentioned that student participation was low due to young men not having a father/father-figure available to attend the event. Kristina decided to post a call for volunteers on Facebook in the hope of finding 50 male mentors to accompany the middle schoolers…
The unexpected influx of interest led the team to move the event from the cafeteria into the gymnasium so they could house more guests. Kristina engaged the community again in getting volunteers to help with setup and check-in. Team members from Big Thought, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and even Kristina’s personal friends showed up alongside the male mentors to make the event possible…
I will never forget witnessing the young students surrounded by supportive community members. There were so many volunteers, that at times I saw young men huddled in the center of 4-5 mentors. The look of awe- even disbelief- in students’ eyes as they made their way through the crowd of “Dads” was astonishing.
Jamil “The Tie Man” Tucker led the auditorium in a hands-on icebreaker activity. He spoke of learning how to tie a tie as a rite of passage some young men never experience. Mentors handed out ties to the eager students and helped them perfect their half-Windsor knot.
The sight of a necktie may forever bring a tear to my eye.
Nice move, Memphis!
In a rapidly emerging war between municipalities, the Trump administration and white-wing, neo fascist Republican dominated legislators opposed to local rule…
Another mile marker.
The city of Memphis engaged in a “massive operation” on Wednesday to take down two controversial Confederate statues before the morning light, the Commercial Appealreports.
The Memphis City Council first unanimously voted to sell two public parks to a private entity. Within minutes, Memphis Police Department officers had deployed to the sites of statues honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Within one hour of the vote, Mayor Jim Strickland had signed the ordinance.
The sale of the parks was a legal mechanism to circumvent a decision by the Tennessee Historical Commission intended to prevent local governments from taking down the statues.
“Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park have been sold. Operations on those sites tonight are being conducted by a private entity and are compliant with state law,” Mayor Strickland explained. “We will have further updates later tonight.”
Black folks have been the most reliable voters for the Democrat Party the last 50 years. But the Party has delivered very little in return for that loyalty. That lack of delivery has led to voter apathy, and is the leading culprit in Hillary losing to the Chumph.
We, as a people are now under existential threat from Trump and his white wing followers – but the Party and it’s policies are being driven by the interests of white women.
Black voters just delivered two major victories for the Democrats in Virginia and Alabama. That vote wasn’t as much for Democrat candidates, as against the Chumph white supremacists.
If elected Democrats don’t find a way to head off the Chumph…They are going to lose again in 2018 and 2020.
I realize now that the love has been one-sided.
Dear Democratic Party:
You were the love of my life. I fell in love early and hard. I have been the kind of party loyalist ― the kind of sappy, soapbox-y, clichéd devotee ― that makes Fox News moonwalk with glee.
The first vote I ever cast, at 18, was for Bill Clinton. The last vote I cast was for his wife, Hillary. My adoration for Hillary bordered on mania. In college, I named my ficus plant after her. Twenty years later, I canvassed, held fundraisers, dragged my 8-year-old daughter door to door, proudly wore HRC’s face on T-shirts and housed campaign volunteers in my home.
I loved you so much that I cried each time I voted. Thinking about the women who died fighting for my right to vote did it every time. I cried when I voted for Bill. For Barack Obama. I wept when I voted for Hillary. You’ve been that kind of mad love to me.
And now I want to break up.
I realize now that the love has been one-sided, unrequited. You’ve never recognized me, as a brown woman. You’ve taken my love, my money, my tokenism, with nary anything in return. You married the white woman and hooked up with me on the side.
Black Lives Matter is a second ― or third ― thought. Where is your outrage over the national epidemic of police brutality against black people? You continue to call angry white men who commit mass murder “lone wolves.” But if someone who looks like me screams “Allah” and fires a gun, it’s “terrorism.” And you wonder why angry white men are gunning down innocent brown men at bars, in their yards, on the street.
For all your talk about Dreamers, there’s been little action. You don’t seem to give a crap about kids of color who will be kicked out of this country, the only country they know. What if all those Dreamers were white? I suspect there’d be a very different outcome.
You spend a lot of time and energy wooing white voters, while giving short shrift to voters of colors and assuming we’ll always show up for you.
To be fair, there’s no reason for you to assume otherwise. We always show up for you. Take, for example, the special election in Alabama on Tuesday. Had black people not shown up, an accused child molester would be our newest senator.
What will Doug Jones do for the black folks who put him in the Senate? If history is any indication, very little.
This past year, I held and attended numerous fundraisers for your candidates. I donated money every time I was asked. I marched: for women, for children, for reproductive rights, for science. I traveled across the country for the March for Women in Washington, D.C. It was there that I got the first hint that you weren’t that into me. The giveaway? The sea of white women in pink hats with brown and black women dotting the waves like debris. I let it slide but I kept my eyes and ears open.
My fellow brown and black sisters started to notice, too — and the chatter began, in whispered hushes at first, then loud and clear. You are a party of white feminists. Of white feminism, the kind of feminism that focuses on the struggles of white women. It was the first time I’d heard the term, most likely because self-awareness is hard and I was a brown woman trapped in a white feminist’s world.
But then I woke up. I saw you with clear eyes for the first time.
For every Kamala Harris and Pramila Jayapal sticking their brown and black necks out for me, there are dozens of white female Democrats who want me to shut my trap.
Your advocacy for reproductive rights zeros in on wealthy white women. Women of color and other marginalized women get sidelined. The gender pay gap is worse for black and Latina women than it is for white women. Women of color make up 64 percent of women in U.S. jails. Why isn’t the Democratic Party talking about this and trying to fix it?
My own “liberal” white congresswoman in Colorado has given me a hint as to why.
At the congresswoman’s town hall in February, Neeti Pawar, the brown female founder of the South Asian Bar Association of Colorado, was one of the only people of color in a room of nearly a thousand. She asked about immigration and DACA protections. The congresswoman scoffed. When Pawar pressed on, she was told to remain silent or she’d be asked to leave. During a follow-up, staffers told Pawar that civil rights weren’t the representative’s “issue.” Brown and black people don’t have the luxury of sidelining civil rights. It’s life and death for us.
And it didn’t stop there.
I was organizing a fundraiser for a U.S. senator earlier this month, and had planned to use the opportunity to highlight women of color by having black women introduce him. The congresswoman’s staff caught wind of the event and asked if she could introduce the senator. I explained my position but invited her to come as a guest. No response. When pressed on her stance on racial inclusion, her staff didn’t respond to me directly but tattled on me to the white women co-hosting the event.
I know there are some good ones among you. But for every Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters and Pramila Jayapal sticking their brown and black necks out for me, there are dozens of white female Democrats who want me to shut my trap, and say please and thank you. I should be grateful for scraps while white women enjoy a proper marriage with you.
I’m done with all that. And if you don’t want to lose more women like me, there are a few basic things you can do.
Pay attention to the reproductive health of women of color and other marginalized women. Do something, anything, to protect Dreamers. Or, if you’re really feeling bold, move forward on some form of reparations for black people.
Finally, mentor young people of color to run for office. Campaign for brown and black folks. Raise money for them. Show up for them. I’d come running back to you with open arms if you did even a few of these things.
In the meantime, I’ll be on the sidelines waiting, watching, hoping, praying. You broke my heart.