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Let's Give Out Genetic Testing Kits at the Next Neo-Nazi Rally

Destroying the idea of racial purity one tiki torcher at a time

Here's a free idea, internet friends: In order to further reduce the already tiny number of actual white supremacists in our midst, let's start a volunteer effort to distribute free genetic tests to anyone who shows up at a rally with any kind of sign, badge, flag, or insignia that indicates he thinks whites are a superior race.

Take a bunch 23andMe or Ancestry.com testing kits down to the site of the next Charlottesville-style rally and set up a table. Make it a challenge: spit in a test tube and get proof of your white superiority. Family tree research is already a popular activity in the community, why not help them along with some objective data?

The payoff, of course, is when a decent number of folks whose sense of self (and extracurricular activities) revolve around racial purity discover their own mongrelcy. And if even a few neo-Nazis discover that their great-great-great-grandmothers were Jewish, it will all have been worth it, right?

A large number of genetic test takers discover ethnic elements in their heritage they didn't expect, and depending on how stringent your definition of "white" is—plently of marchers would certainly exclude the charming yet swarthy Nick Gillespie from their number, for instance—quite a few swastika wavers could be in for a surprise.

Reason's own Charlottesville correspondent Ronald Bailey can vouch for the power of genetic testing in reshaping one's view about oneself. In fact, he did so at length in his article "I'll Show You My Genome. Will You Show Me Yours?" about the results of his early foray into genetic testing. He was hoping for more racial diversity in his background, not less, but a rumored Cherokee princess did not materialize.

It could be funded through a Kickstarter. Or perhaps one of the genetic testing companies could volunteer to give away the kits or sell them at cost. In a moment when we are furiously debating whether it's appropriate for hot dog shop owners to dating sites to web hosting companies to give white nationalists the boot, why not flip things and around and give away a cool product to Charlottesville protester-types for free?

There are some barriers to this hare-brained scheme, to be sure, including the problem that a dude carrying a swastika might not be keen to give anyone his names and addresses.

Pacific Press/Sipa USA/NewscomPacific Press/Sipa USA/NewscomAnd being presented with data is not the same as incorporating new facts. STAT News had a great writeup earlier this week of what happens when white supremacists get genetic testing done, derived from a presentation of an academic paper by sociologists Aaron Panofsky and Joan Donovan that coincidentally happened just 48 hours after the violence in Charlottesville. The team culled posts from Stormfront, a white nationalist site, and analyzed how users reacted when the got their results.

About a third of the people posting their results were pleased with what they found. "Pretty damn pure blood," said a user with the username Sloth. But the majority didn't find themselves in that situation. Instead, the community often helped them reject the test, or argue with its results. 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.

The researchers found that some aspiring members were excluded from Stormfront as a result of impure genetics, so that's a win right there.

Moreover: this is long con, people. Of course the vast majority of white supremacists will double-down; if they're already willing to be bear the social costs of being a darn Nazi in public, they're already pretty deep in it. The goal is to seed uncertainty that festers, niggling at the back of people's minds as they holler about white pride, slowly turning arrogance into doubt. The more time neo-Nazis spend looking in the mirror for lurking Jewish traits, the less time they spend in my Twitter feed.

For an added upside: if the correct permissions are obtained, all participants can be added to Harvard's Personal Genome Project to increase scientists' stock of (anonymized) data about race and other traits, generating a broader social good out of the next gathering.

Boom. I'm basically Elon Musk, but for racial harmony.

Photo Credit: Pacific Press/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • Hugh Akston||

    I predict a lighthearted comment thread in response to KMW's tounge-in-cheek article, with absolutely no butthurt at the controversial suggestion that white supremacist dickweeds might not be fine upstanding people.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I would happily refrain from any snark and praise KMW's elan if Reason will take a break from "White Superiority". Obsess much?

  • Zeb||

    They are just following what's in the news. That's what H&R is for the most part, alternative commentary on what's going around in the popular/mainstream press. Maybe their efforts would be better spent elsewhere, but I don't really have a problem with it. It's a lot better than the commentary you get from most other outlets obsessing about the story of the day.

  • WakaWaka||

    There are other more pertinent issues in the news, including an ongoing knife attack in Finland, a terrorist attack in Spain yesterday, and the ACLU backing away from defending the free speech rights of everyone (Volokh and WSJ covered).

    At this point they're not covering what's in the news- they're working within a narrative. Seven days is enough. De-Nazify Reason

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    De-Nazify Reason

    Go ahead. Follow through.

  • Dillinger||

    ~~waves protest sign at laptop~~

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Judging by the latest Alexa trafffic report, Reason.com isn't in a position to be leading the news cycle anywhere.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I agree, confederate statues and white people are news, but they are not that much news. You'd think Pearl Harbor got attacked.
    Mostly, Charlottesville has been made into news by entertainment companies who are primarily competing for viewers. Hyperbole attracts viewers.

  • Zeb||

    I think H&R will continue to follow the "story of the day" like that. But I wouldn't mind seeing more coverage of the hysteria and hyperbole of other press and less on the racists and Nazis. Everyone already knows they suck. And if there are people who still think Reason might be insufficiently anti-Nazi, there's no getting through to those people.

  • SKR||

    What should they think about reversing Orwellian historical revisionism?

  • Calidissident||

    So should the former USSR keep up all the statues on public land glorifying Lenin and Stalin? Not having a statue at courthouses honoring someone doesn't mean they're erased from public record. The irony is that Robert E Lee himself was opposed to monuments to himself and the Confederacy.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And it's not as if the woke activists tearing down these statues actually want people to forget about slavery and the Confederacy. I imagine that if they controlled education policy, kids would read a lot more about Calhoun and Davis and Lee, to appreciate how awful these white folks were.

  • ||

    MOSCOW — While controversial statues of Confederate icons who fought for slavery come down in the United States, Russia is erecting new monuments to a once-disgraced Soviet Union dictator who killed millions: Josef Stalin.

    This summer marked the 80th anniversary of the "Great Terror," a massive purge Stalin ordered against political opponents. Yet the milestone was barely noticed by Russians, who increasingly see Stalin as a national hero who defeated the Nazis in World War II as a valued U.S. ally rather than the brutal mass murderer reviled by historians.
    As Confederate statues fall in U.S., Russians are erecting statues for dictator Stalin

  • Cy||

    They should keep those statues up. Every time they walk by them, they can be reminded of 70 ears of a brutal dictatorship and the millions of lives snuffed out by dictators and bureaucrats.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Meaningful debate about what?

  • BambiB||

    If white supremacists are scum - what are black supremacists?

    Because I have distinctly heard members of the BLM movement call for the deaths of whites and unequivocally stating that blacks were "superior".

    How about criticism of the scum that started the violence? You know - the ones who did NOT have a parade permit and who showed up to block those who did?

  • SDN||

    "killers like the guy who ran into the crowd of people deserve to be put away for life. "

    Yeah, he should have stayed and let them kill him by throwing bricks at his car. There's video of it, but YouTube says that exculpatory evidence violates their TOS.

  • Craig J Bolton||

    Do tell, Domestic Dissident, what would be "an honest debate" about these topics? (Popcorn anyone ?)

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Can we taint the kits with that stuff that gives kids autism?

  • colorblindkid||

    I'll check with Monsanto to see if I can get some. They're the ones who make all the mind-control drugs in our water, right?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Right after I posted that, I realized it would be a waste of good autism drugs. The damage has already been done to these slack-jawed troglodytes.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    We could offer them cosmetic surgery to move their eyes farther apart. If that's even possible, given the thickness of the bones the surgeon would have to contend with.

  • Aloysious||

    Ronald Bailey is down with all the secret squirrel Monsanto mind control candy. Of course, he will deny this to maintain his kayfabe babyface image. But you know what they say: denial is the first sign of guilt.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    And if even a few neo-Nazis discover that their great-great-great-grandmothers were Jewish, it will all have been worth it, right?

    Given that by that criteria, you'd still pass muster even under the Nuremberg Laws, I don't think it'd phase them much.

  • Curt||

    If anything, I would expect them to interpret any unwanted results as proof of their righteousness. Finding out that one of their Aryan friends/relatives/heroes has some undesirable DNA would be further emphasis on the overwhelming importance of being more vigilant in their prevention of interbreeding.

    Generally speaking, it's pretty silly of the article to suggest that some group of people is going to interpret a new piece of information in a way that is counter to their core beliefs instead of interpreting it as support.

  • WakaWaka||

    This site has become Nazi central. All Nazi articles, all the time. Going on day seven.

  • Rich||

    "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!""Nutsy for Nazi Fluffs!"

  • EscherEnigma||

    That's how news cycles go. If something new doesn't happen, it'll probably move on sometime next week.

  • WakaWaka||

    If only there was other news. If only

  • Crusty Juggler||

    If only there were other outlets that covered all that other news.

    Maybe there will be someday!

    *fingers crossed*

  • WakaWaka||

    Oh yeah, your mom

  • WakaWaka||

    Inane comments receive inane replies. His remark did not refer to what was being discussed, so I responded in kind

  • Rich||

    niggling

    Katherine, you just *had* to go there, didn't you?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    We call it negroling now!

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Niggler, please!

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Nice.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I can give up niggardly, but I'm not giving up niggle!

  • Eric||

    A recent ancestry.com search showed that my great-grandmother was labeled an "octoroon" on her birth certificate. That makes me 1/64th black*...

    ...Those are my words Whitey.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    1/64th? Shit, you're probably the whitest dude here.

  • ||

    I suspect that a lot of the freed slaves that could pass for white did.

  • Juice||

    I can give up niggardly

    I can't. I guess I'm a niggard lover.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    *rips KMW poster from wall and burn baby burn*

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    What a horrendous article.

    Nothing is free, K. Not even ideas. smh

  • Robert||

    How many articles do we need here screaming, in effect, "LIBERTARIANS ARE NOT NAZIS OR KLANSMEN!"? People are likely to react, "Methinks thou doth protest too much." Because, after all, why would we need to have all this pstensibly distinguishing material unless we actually are racist whoozophobes?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "It's a good site. It's not racist, I can tell you that."

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Copper: What do you know about libertarians?

    Turkish: I know they're not to be trusted.

  • CE||

    They liked Obama, but they helped Trump win by supporting Johnson over Clinton.

  • jelabarre||

    They liked Obama, but they helped Trump win by supporting Johnson over Clinton.

    If there hadn't been a Libertarian candidate, I would have voted for Jill Stein before wasting my vote on Clinton or Trump.

  • CE||

    To the proglodytes, we're all alt-right.

    But for the record, I disavow any white supremacists who like my comments defending Confederate monuments.
    Will Taylor Swift do the same with her fans?

  • Azathoth!!||

    There will never be enough. Those Ron Paul newsletters and some of reason's own articles will keep the magazine squarely in the Nazi camp--to the left.

    Forever.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    I think it would be a better use of science if we went to the towns where these nutjobs were born, and tested the water for teratogenic agents.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Retroactively?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Radioactively.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Spyrographically.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Etch-a-sketchishly.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Tommy Bombadilly FTW.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    And if even a few neo-Nazis discover that their great-great-great-grandmothers were Jewish, it will all have been worth it, right?

    "Don't you see what Whatley is after? Total joke telling immunity. He's already got the two big religions covered, if he ever gets Polish citizenship there'll be no stopping him."

  • Number 7||

    you're an anti-dentite

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Just a shtickle.

  • SIV||

    So libertarians are all about the one drop rule now?
    KM-W is advoccating testing for racial purity and submitting the results to a centralized progressive institutional database?

    I'm starting to think there's something to this whole "libertarians are closet Nazis" thing

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Miscomprehension much? "My enemy's best move is my best move."

    If white supremacists (or any race supremacists) think the one drop rule holds, then show them that one drop and make their heads esplode. Is that so hard to understand?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Yes.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    SIV has a well-established reputation as Reason's most easily triggered snowflake.

  • WakaWaka||

    It's funny, because no one would classify as pure 'Aryan' or whatever is the ideal for neo-Nazis nowadays. It undermines their entire ideology. Showing how dumb and unrealistic their ideas are.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    +1 Bulworth

  • Tom Bombadil||

    It's even funnier that the Nazis said they were going for the Aryan ideal, and the meaning of Aryan ain't it.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    +1 Leader that looks nothing like his people.

  • Zeb||

    You mean they don't actually idealize Iranians?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Dat's wot ohm sayin', mate.

  • ||

    Fun fact - Nazi Germany did actually court relations with Persia on the "Aryan homeland" premise, and the Shah changing the country's name from Persia to Iran was part of that diplomatic effort.

    I use that as a sort of knee-jerk liberal test,* since most people think that "Persia" is some sort of colonial name like "Siam" and that "Iran" is the proper ancestral name and not the result of a diplomatic gesture courting Nazi Germany.

    *I refer to people from there as Persians, not Iranians, which incidentally I've noticed is the common practice for people from there, who will often describe themselves first as "Persian" and then self-correct to "Iranian" seemingly because it's what they think that's what we prefer.

  • ||

    Of course, there was also the "Pan-Iranian" response to the "Pan-Turanian" response to "Pan-Slavism," so it's not just cozying up to Hitler, but I find it an interesting angle, nonetheless.

  • Dillinger||

    stock of (anonymized) data

    my anonymized ass.

  • Cy||

    Goolag will happily handle that information fro you.

  • Zeb||

    Even better, just ignore them when they seek attention.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    My last genetic test proved that I am 100% pure beefcake.

  • Dillinger||

    Von Nukem levels of swole.

  • WakaWaka||

    I accidentally read that as 100% piece of shit

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Reason's resident wordsmith strikes again!

  • WakaWaka||

    Sorry. I did read it like that at first and then I thought it would be funny. I was wrong.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    That's alright, I initially read pukecake.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    The many names of David Ryder:

    B

    Beat PunchBeef

    Big, Brave Brick of Meat

    Big McLargeHuge

    Blast HardCheese

    Blast ThickNeck

    Bob Johnson (No, wait...)

    Bold BigFlank

    Bolt VanderHuge

    Brick HardMeat

    Buck PlankChest

    Buff DrinkLots

    Buff HardBack

    Butch DeadLift

    C

    ChunkHead

    Chunky

    Crud BoneMeal

    Crunch ButtSteak

    D

    Dirk HardPec

    F

    Fist RockBone

    Flink

    Flint IronStag

    Fridge LargeMeat

    G

    Gristle McThornBody

    H

    Hack BlowFist

    Hunk

    L

    Lump BeefBroth

    P

    Punch RockGroin

    Punch Side-Iron

    Punt SpeedChunk

    R

    Reef BlastBody

    Roll Fizzlebeef

    Rip SteakFace

    S

    Slab BulkHead

    Slab SquatThrust

    Slam

    Slate Fistcrunch

    Slate SlabRock

    Smash LampJaw

    Smoke ManMuscle

    Splint ChestHair

    Stump BeefKnob

    Stump Chunkman

    T

    Thick McRunFast

    Touch RustRod

    Trunk SlamChest

    W

    Whip SlagCheek

  • BillytheBrute||

    Mmmm... Crude Bonemeal. *gargle*

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Haha, it's "crud", not "crude". But really, almost anything works.

  • colorblindkid||

    Has the reaction from the press and the left on Charlottesville surpassed the hysterical reactions to Islamic terror from the right, yet? I believe so.
    I'm arguing with people who legitimately think Jews are at risk of being sent to the gas chambers and black people are going to be enslaved any day now.

    I think it's because the media has been anxiously waiting for this day for years. The strawman they've been screaming about is finally real.

    I'm not downplaying the threat of these stupid Nazis. I'm saying the reactions from this have been more insane than Pamela Geller's reactions to Muslims.

  • CE||

    They've wanted the Confederate statues and flags taken down for a long time, but couldn't come up with a convincing argument in the past. Now they've taken the actions of two killers as proof that those statues and flags are too dangerous to remain.

  • Zeb||

    I think you may be right.

    And I'm not even convinced that there is an appreciable threat from the stupid Nazis. It looks like they went looking for a fight in Charlottesville, but I suspect that's just because they knew there would be others there who want to fight them. Not to say there aren't racists out there ready to do violence against people who aren't looking for trouble. But that's neither new, nor a significant threat.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    If it had been a routine media event with the fringes occasionally taking swings at each other, you would be right. The IS style car attack changed the formula a bit. We are fortunate the attacker wasn't looking for martyrdom, he might have persisted in his attack until dead.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Probably. What I've seen is mostly the usual "Trump is soooo bad" reaction. I don't go out seeking hysterical takes from the left. I also don't seek hysterical takes from the right, but they're sometimes unavoidable when I come here.

    I do think there's something to the sad fact that there was now a terroristic, ideologically motivated attack with a fatality in the midst of an extreme right-wing rally. That's right out of a SPLC storybook. It was also probably inevitable.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    After I had time to let the dust settle, One very striking fact to me was: No shots were fired (as far as the reports I've heard/read). I don't know if there was as much armament as some folks have been claiming, but, restraint was exercised.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I was following along Saturday morning, and when I saw some video of white guys joining the march playing army man with their rifles and cheap tactical vests, I did fear that something was gonna happen this time. So I was slightly relieved that it was a lonewolf crazy, and not a bloodbath in the middle of the rally.

  • ||

    Moreover: this is long con, people. Of course the vast majority of white supremacists black nationalists* will double-down; if they're already willing to be bear the social costs of being a darn Nazi thug in public, they're already pretty deep in it. The goal is to seed uncertainty that festers, niggling at the back of people's minds as they holler about white pride, slowly turning arrogance into doubt. The more time neo-Nazis black nationalists spend looking in the mirror for lurking Jewish traits, the less time they spend in my Twitter feed.

    I don't know what's being posted to your twitter feed, but it seems like if black militants started polluting your twitter feed offering them genetic tests and questioning their racial identity/makeup might be offensive.

    Either way, it's pretty manipulative/devisive. "I'll undermine your cause and call your heritage into question in order to prevent your 'polluting' of my Twitter feed. Doesn't twitter already have an ignore feature?

    *I assume there are still black nationalists groups, right? I presume they didn't die any more than the KKK did.

  • ||

    Argh! tag fail!

  • Cy||

    I wonder how the media would feel if the KKK showed up to a modern election and threatened to beat black people with clubs if they didn't go away....

    But you know... it's ok if you're that one color.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I'll never forget the day I found out I'm 25% Native American: it really put me in me place.

    Now, get off my land, oppressor assholes!

  • Tom Bombadil||

    White Injun returns.

  • cgr2727||

    I always smirk when I hear people mention they are "x% or 1/x Cherokee," where "x" is not a power of 2. Well, I guess that could work in the case of cousin-lovin', which I strongly suspect in many of the people who've told me about their "one-sixth Sioux" heritage.

    (btw, I'm not knocking you...25% is 1/4 which works out. I'm just saying your post reminded me of different people).

  • perlchpr||

    Someone could be 3/8's something.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    So you're saying we should buy one of these test kits for Elizabeth Warren?

  • Cy||

    Free college and grade A victim cred? Psshh, liberals must hate you.

  • lap83||

    antisemitism is not restricted to Neo-Nazis

  • cgr2727||

    90 comments into this thread already, and no one's Godwin'ed it yet? Sheesh, you know who else would've loved genetic testing...

  • Cy||

    It's right if 'they' do it. It's wrong if everyone else does it. I'm sure that the US will become a beautiful racial paradise right after we get done focusing on everyone's race. Accomplishments? Actions? Rights? Those are for the 'uneducated.'

  • Juice||

    In order to further reduce

    Stop it!!

  • Juice||

    Why do those dudes have condoms on their shields?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Those aren't condoms. Those are douchebags.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I always wonder how they can tell about the jew genes. Are they wearing tiny yarmulkes?

    See, I'm pretty fucking sure genes don't join religions so when I see supposedly 'scientific' tests that include adherence to a belief system being treated as a genetic trait, I start thinking that they're scientists who 'fuckin' luv science!!'

  • Ecoli||

    For a free 23andM3 test kit I will attend one of the rallies.

  • GMATFF||

    I've been saying this for 20 years. I also advocate it for deciding who gets to remain in Israel/Palestine since that is the crux of that biscuit.

  • Myk||

    I just read a ScientificAmerican article on this (dated Aug 16 2017). The racists actually do those tests on their own and then have support groups helping them deny the results when they don't get what they wanted. But you won't always get what you want for your $100/ea either, 1/3 were happy. I'm pretty much white European except for .1%, .2% and .1% unassigned. The .1% is Ashkenazi but I don't know if that little bit is going to cause a racist to flip out without someone there to rub it in with "one drop" comments.
    I would rather see the companies market "purity" to the racists and use their own money to cause discord within their ranks over who's the purest princess of them all.

  • J_West||

    And every "white supremacist" whose DNA test shows any non-white ancestry immediately is eligible for affirmative action, minorities-only contracts, and all the other government benefits for being non-white?

    Being non-white comes with considerable benefits in this country, and we are not even talking about government mandated "diversity" quotas in private business. This is one reason for the rise of the alternative right: white people are systematically discriminated against, but it seems that Reason does not recognize this. Instead, its writers seem to be going into hysteria over a legally permitted march in Charlottesville.

  • Tony||

    I'm a Feldman, damn it!

  • Craig J Bolton||

    This is a delightful essay. However, it gives the alt-right movement more credit than it deserves. It presumes that if the test shows that one is not, in fact, "racially pure" that there will be a material effect on expressed beliefs and behavior. There won't be, unless the test results are public. (And not even then, as at least one example has shown.)

    Racial purity is just another of those labels around which a psychological disfunction centers. It is like the claim that one is a part of the "vanguard of the proletariat" or "a true advocate of A is A." It is a signal that you are willing to rape, murder and pillage on behalf of a "higher goal." It is a way of liberating oneself from the chains of being civilized.

    So, as much as I'd like to believe that some White Nationalist will accept one of these test kits, utilize it, and then react rationally to the reported results - they won't. That isn't what this is about.

  • mysmartstuffs||

    If it had been a routine media event with the fringes occasionally taking swings at each other, you would be right. The IS style car attack changed the formula a bit. We are fortunate the attacker wasn't looking for martyrdom, he might have persisted in his attack until dead.
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