Add this to the evidence proving that race isn’t real.
A British couple of Nigerian descent, already the proud parents of two beautiful black children, have given birth to a white baby. Doctors concluded that the child does not have albinism and geneticists cannot really otherwise explain the baby’s skin color. Little Nmachi has a thick head of blonde hair and blue eyes. (View photos and video at The Sun‘s website.)
“Father Ben Ihegboro, 44, a customer services adviser, admitted that when he saw the baby he exclaimed ‘What the flip?’ before joking: ‘Is she mine?’,” reports The Daily Mail. Nmachi’s 35-year-old mother, Angela, said, “She is beautiful, a miracle baby.” Neither parent knows of any white ancestry on either side of the family.
Professor Bryan Sykes of Oxford University responded to the birth by suggesting “there would have to be some form of white ancestry on both sides for the baby to look this way,” but acknowledged that the case was “very unusual” and “quite extraordinary.” He says, “All skin and eye colour are controlled by the pigment melanin. And there are about a dozen genes that control the amount or type of melanin. As albinism has been ruled out, it is more likely that there has been some other mutation that’s happened to produce this colouring.”
Sykes told The New York Times back in 2003, “‘There’s no genetic basis for any kind of rigid ethnic or racial classification at all. I’m always asked is there Greek DNA or an Italian gene, but, of course, there isn’t. . . . We’re very closely related.” In the same article, Is Race Real?, by Nicholas D. Kristof, he reports that “genetic markers associated with Africans can turn up in people who look entirely white.” Conversely – or similarly, really, in this case – maybe a child who looks white can “be” black? Does it really matter?
Stanford geneticist Neil Risch thinks so, at least in terms of fighting certain diseases like sickle cell anemia and Tay-Sachs. He wrote, “There is great value in racial/ethnic self-categorizations,” and that “ignoring our differences, even if with the best of intentions,” can have medical consequences. But biological anthropologist Alan Goodman argues that “Focusing on genetics, when we know there is no white or black race, diverts attention from the sociopolitical origins of inequalities.”
While baby Nmachi has medical professionals and geneticists scratching their heads, she’s poised to open the hearts and minds of many, especially her parents and siblings.
Photo: Jason Morrison via Flickr