Wednesday, July 21, 2010

She must have gotten all of the recessive genes...

I'm loving this story out of the UK right now, about a black Nigerian couple who somehow produced a blonde-haired white-skinned baby. (Click through -- the story is worth a read.)

I am fascinated by genetics and race and ethnicity -- always have been, ever since I found out as a small child that my dad's family in Haiti has been mutli-ethnic for generations. My paternal grandfather had cocoa-colored skin and ice-blue eyes; one of my paternal aunts has light hair and those same blue eyes and fairer skin than my Greek-looking Persian mother. The recessive genes in my family fell to my youngest brother, who towers over all of us at 6 feet tall and has gorgeous green eyes.

So let's suspend disbelief for a moment and assume that there wasn't an in-vitro mistake, or a hospital mix-up. If this little girl is the genetic offspring of her parents, as they both swear she is, what does this mean for race issues in general? It could be really amazing proof that the differences between black and white are more cosmetic than anything else, and at a deeper level, we're all related.

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