FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Am I More Nordic Than Members of the Alt Right?

In order to obtain my genetic history earlier this year, I sent a sample of saliva to a DNA outfit and received the results. I wasn’t surprised about my 23% Nigerian ancestry. When I visited Nigeria in 1999, I was told that I had pan-Nigerian facial features. According to the results, I might be pan-African with contributions to my bloodline from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. I’m also 4% Western European, but 15% Scandinavian? How did that get into the mix?

Like Muhammad Ali, members of my generation felt that if some of our ancestors were Europeans, it was the result of the rape of African women by European men.

When I visited a slave castle in Ghana, I discovered that these assaults began even before the slave ships set sail. Muhammad Ali must have been surprised to learn that while his father’s ancestor might have been the victim of sexual assault committed by a slave master, his mother Odessa O’Grady’s ancestor was no slave master, but an Irishman named Abe O’Grady who migrated to the United States. When Ali traveled to Ireland he was greeted by thousands including the relatives of his Irish ancestor, Abe O’Grady. [1]

The fact that millions of blacks have European ancestry renders much speculation about race to be ignorant, including the quack race science hoax that is taken seriously by some of the most sophisticated media.

Like Muhammad Ali, I also have Irish ancestry, which was verified by the results, but until I received the results from Ancestry.com I believed that my European ancestry ended there.

In 1983, I met my brothers on my father’s side. One of my brothers, the distinguished pediatrician, Dr. Michael LeNoir, provided me with photos of my father’s ancestors. One was a photo of a white woman. He speculated that she was Scandinavian. And now, DNA has confirmed this Nordic connection.

Would this explain the lock of red hair that my mother saved from when I was a baby?  When I visited Reykjavik and my hosts invited me to live there for a while did they recognize something about me that I hadn’t noticed? When my hosts in Helsinki invited me to participate in a Summer Solstice rite, during the same tour, from June 11-21, 1985, did they detect the same thing? Is Eric the Red, the Viking, some distant ancestor? No, I don’t plan to buy one of those horned Viking helmets or attend the local symphony’s all-Wagner program.

When one examines the literature of the Far-Right, one finds an invocation of Scandinavian mythology. Some of the images associated with Norse religion were on display at the infamous march of disaffected White men in Charlottesville. The Washington Post reported the use of one symbol: “The sonnenrad or sunwheel is one of a number of ancient European symbols appropriated by the Nazis in their attempt to invent an idealized ‘Aryan/Norse’ heritage.”[2] Patrik Hermansson, a 25-year-old graduate student from Sweden, who went undercover in the world of the extreme Right, found such symbolism during his witness to the riot in Charleston. Posing as a student writing a thesis about the suppression of Right-wing speech, Mr. Hermansson “hung out with heavily armed Holocaust deniers and attended gatherings where extremists drank mead from a traditional Viking horn and prayed to the Norse god Odin. In Charlottesville, he marched alongside hundreds of young neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”[3] Odin is described as the god of war, patron of heroes, and ‘father of the dead.’ Like a lot of pampered men, he is tended to by a group of women called the Valkyrie. According to the Anti- Defamation League, a group called the Soldiers of Odin, which originated in Finland, has adherents in the United States

“Moreover, Soldiers of Odin USA is attracting adherents from both of the two largest segments of the American extreme right—white supremacists and the anti- government extremist “Patriot” movement—and may be the most significant coalition of such extremists in the United States since the early 1990s.”

While the Christian have their Armageddon, for the followers of Odin, the destruction of the world is called Ragnarok. Boy, are we in for it.

One way to test their origins would be for American Nordics to send for their DNA heritage as I did. Would they find that they have some connection to Scandinavia or are they merely engaging in the old American past time: Passing.

Notes.  

[1]https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/when-ali-came-to-ireland-1.2673128

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/charlottesville-videos/

[3] “Undercover With the Alt-Right,” by Jesse Singal, The New York Times,Sept. 19, 2017

 

More articles by:

Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
Kenn Orphan
Grieving in the Anthropocene
Jeffrey Kaye
On the Death of Guantanamo Detainee 10028
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
In Salinas, Puerto Rico, Vulnerable Americans Are Still Trapped in the Ruins Left by Hurricane Maria
Ben Debney
Christchurch, the White Victim Complex and Savage Capitalism
Eric Draitser
Did Dallas Police and Local Media Collude to Cover Up Terrorist Threats against Journalist Barrett Brown?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Straighten Up and Fly Right
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s $34 Trillion Deficit and Debt Bomb
David Rosen
America’s Puppet: Meet Juan Guaidó
Jason Hirthler
Annexing the Stars: Walcott, Rhodes, and Venezuela
Samantha M. - Angelica Perkins
Our Green New Deal
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s Nightmare Budget
Steven Colatrella
The 18th Brumaire of Just About Everybody: the Rise of Authoritarian Strongmen and How to Prevent and Reverse It
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Riding the Wild Bull of Nuclear Power
Michael K. Smith
Thirty Years Gone: Remembering “Cactus Ed”
Dean Baker
In Praise of Budget Deficits
Howard Lisnoff
Want Your Kids to Make it Big in the World of Elite Education in the U.S.?
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Foreign Policy is Based on Confrontation and Malevolence
John W. Whitehead
Pity the Nation: War Spending is Bankrupting America
Priti Gulati Cox
“Maria! Maria! It Was Maria That Destroyed Us!” The Human Story
Missy Comley Beattie
On Our Knees
Mike Garrity – Carole King
A Landscape Lewis and Clark Would Recognize is Under Threat
Robert Fantina
The Media-Created Front Runners
Tom Clifford
Bloody Sunday and the Charging of Soldier F
Ron Jacobs
All the Livelong Day      
Christopher Brauchli
Banking, Wells Fargo-Style
Jeff Mackler
After Week-Long Strike, Oakland Teachers’ Contract Falls Short
Chuck Collins
Bring Back Eisenhower Socialism!
Binoy Kampmark
Grounding Boeing
James Munson
Why Are We Still Sycophants?
Jill Richardson
Politicians Are Finally Catching Up on Marijuana
Warren Alan Tidwell
Disasters Don’t Discriminate, But Disaster Recovery Does
Robert Koehler
Artifial Morality
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Goodenough Island in MacArthur’s Wake
Alex McDonald
U.S. Iran Policy: What is Great?
Tracey L. Rogers
Stop Making Women Apologize
John Sarbanes – Michael Brune
To Clean Up the Planet, Clean Up DC First
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail