I’ve been interested in ancestral research ever since my maternal grandfather and his brothers did some genealogical research years ago. So a few years ago, when Ancestry.com began offering their DNA testing, I couldn’t wait to try it.
My test confirmed much of what I knew about my family, but it offered some surprises as well. For instance, we had known that my grandfather on my mom’s side came from Welsh ancestors, and the test proved that my largest percentage of ancestry is from Great Britain. My grandfather and his brothers had always told us that their grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee, yet there’s no Native American DNA in my profile, so I’ve wondered if they were mistaken.
It’s pretty natural to assume that white supremacists would be chomping at the bit to test their DNA to prove their, um, purity. And now research from UCLA has demonstrated just how much these alt-right cretins talk about their heritage at sites like Stormfront – and just how disappointed some of them are when the test results come in.
…many are disappointed to find out that their ancestry is not as “white” as they’d hoped. In a new study, sociologists Aaron Panofsky and Joan Donovan examined years’ worth of posts on Stormfront to see how members dealt with the news.
It’s striking, they say, that white nationalists would post these results online at all. After all, as Panofsky put it, “they will basically say if you want to be a member of Stormfront you have to be 100 percent white European, not Jewish.”
Naturally, the ones whose DNA fits the profile described above – about a third of the posters on Stormfront’s discussion boards – brag heartily aboug their “pure blood.” Those who don’t? Well, let’s say that they turn denial into an art form.
Some rejected the tests entirely, saying that an individual’s knowledge about his or her own genealogy is better than whatever a genetic test can reveal. “They will talk about the mirror test,” said Panofsky, who is a sociologist of science at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics. “They will say things like, ‘If you see a Jew in the mirror looking back at you, that’s a problem; if you don’t, you’re fine.’” Others, he said, responded to unwanted genetic results by saying that those kinds of tests don’t matter if you are truly committed to being a white nationalist. Yet others tried to discredit the genetic tests as a Jewish conspiracy “that is trying to confuse true white Americans about their ancestry,” Panofsky said.
But some took a more scientific angle in their critiques, calling into doubt the method by which these companies determine ancestry — specifically how companies pick those people whose genetic material will be considered the reference for a particular geographical group.
The authors of the study noted that this particular online community shifted their definitions of who counted as “white.” Those who had been a member of the community for longer periods of time found that they received a pass when their DNA tests turned out different from what they hoped, while newer members weren’t treated with as much favor.
Here’s the thing, and I’ve said it so many times before: this is what happens – on both the right and the left – when people derive their entire identity and worth from what they are rather than who they are. The level of disappointment, along with the constant moving of goalposts, must be pretty exhausting.
Man, these people need Jesus. But they probably don’t care to give their lives over to a Man with Jewish heritage.