If you're not up to speed on the story of the Cheddar Man, then buckle up. We're going to get racial.
Cheddar Man is a skeleton. A 9000-year-old skeleton in fact, of a Mesolithic human that was discovered in 1903 in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Hence the name. A research team from an upcoming documentary from the British Natural History Museum in London performed DNA tests and discovered that Cheddar Man is 'black'.
“For me, it’s not just the skin color that’s interesting, it’s that combination of features that make him look not like anyone that you’d see today, not just dark skin and blue eyes, because you can get that combination, but also the face shape. So all of this combines together and make him just not the same as people you see around today.” - Ian Barnes, research leader at the Natural History Museum.
Well fancy that, someone who died 10,000 years ago looked a bit different.
The first thing to be understood is that this story is not even news. Cheddar Man had been ascertained for some time to have come from a group of humans known as Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG), who were of 'darker' complexion- which isn't so surprising when we consider they originated in the Middle East during the last Ice Age.
Ancient genomic sequences have started to reveal the origin and the demographic impact of farmers from the Neolithic period spreading into Europe. The adoption of farming, stock breeding, and sedentary societies during the Neolithic may have resulted in adaptive changes in genes associated with immunity and diet. However, the limited data available from earlier hunter-gatherers preclude an understanding of the selective processes associated with this crucial transition to agriculture in recent human evolution.
Here we sequence an approximately 7,000-year-old Mesolithic skeleton discovered at the La Braña-Arintero site in León, Spain, to retrieve a complete pre-agricultural European human genome. Analysis of this genome in the context of other ancient samples suggests the existence of a common ancient genomic signature across western and central Eurasia from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic. The La Braña individual carries ancestral alleles in several skin pigmentation genes, suggesting that the light skin of modern Europeans was not yet ubiquitous in Mesolithic times. ~ Olalde et al, 2014
So far, so boring- unless you like genetics. What Olalde and his team discovered was that the WHG he gene sequenced lacked the DNA markers associated with 'White' skin in European peoples- and it must be understood that Europeans vary wildly in skin tone themselves while still being what one might call White in color. The team from the Natural History Museum have simply made the same discovery. Unlike Olalde, who reports this discovery with the dispassionate objectivity one might expect of a scientist, in Britain we have a different method. This non-discovery is conclusive evidence that multi-ethnic immigration is a universal good.
“Everyone’s ancestors were immigrants at some point.”— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) February 7, 2018
Author Afua Hirsch says the groundbreaking discovery that early Britons could have had dark skin proves “the idea that there’s this indigenous British person who is white…is a fiction”. pic.twitter.com/Wg4I1GNzJY
Afua Hirsch, of Ghanain, English and Jewish descent, once called for Nelson's Column to be pulled down as a symbol of White supremacy and has written a book about her rejection of British identity. Small wonder then that she is invited onto national television to hail the revelation that Black people were British first, and that therefore you, dear reader, are a racist.
I just love the expression on Cheddar Man's face. It's like he knows how much it will annoy white supremacists to learn that the earliest Britons had dark skin. pic.twitter.com/VuXQRh04WF— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) February 7, 2018
We do not have a sense of being an immigrant nation even though that is essentially what we are, and I think this is very useful in reminding people that we are an immigrant nation, everybody came here from somewhere and actually they're saying that only 10% of the current British population is descended from Cheddar Man. So most British people are more recent immigrants than him and I think that that is really helpful in changing our narrative about what immigration means - there would be no British population if it weren't for immigration and it's hard to understand that you could be so hostile to immigration as an intrinsic principle, I think there are people in Britain who feel like that, if you understand that everyone's ancestors were immigrants at some point.
To see Cheddar Man with his dark skin it definitely provoked quite an emotional response in me, and I think that's the power of this. It's one thing to know that there were black people here thousands of years ago and to know that White people weren't always White. We know there were Africans here before there were English people here, for example, and so through that that gives you a sense of the idea that there's this indigenous British person who is White and essentially British is a fiction, it's a narrative that was created over time, it's not based on scientific facts so this is another feature of that really. -Afua Hirsch
Pay close attention to Hirsch's use of the word narrative. Narrative is what Hirsch is all about- she feels an emotional response to seeing a mock-up of what Cheddar Man might have looked like purely based on his skin color being not-White. She thinks this is useful in pushing her narrative -her agenda- that immigration is a universal good. That's her opinion- however, we must consider that immigration is a word with a particular meaning.
Immigration is the international movement of people into a country of which they are not natives and/or do not possess citizenship in order to settle there. A country is a region of land defined as a specific national entity. You cannot be native of a country without a concept of that nationhood- you may well be a wild and unlearned Cheddar Man who happens to live in Britain, but at this time there was no difference between places in terms of country- there were no countries to differentiate between. 'Britain' did not exist. Neither immigration nor emmigration can take place without a concept of what a country is. Do swallows emmigrate, or migrate? The swallow has no idea what a national boundary is- and neither did our distant ancestors. Either Hirsch knows that she is abusing language to push her agenda, or she is a charlatan- a writer who does not know the meaning of words.
Hirsch smiles while thinking about Cheddar Man with black skin. Pay no notice that we absolutely have no idea what color he actually was, or that the idea of his Blackness is predicated on his lack of White genetic markers, rather than the presence of African ones. No, to Hirsch all that matters is that Cheddar Man is not a honky.
This lack of cracker skin shouldn't actually be a surprise to anyone at all provided they do the most basic of research on the topic- as I will show later. This doesn't matter because Hirsch has an agenda to push, and by golly, she's going all out to prove that 'British' means whatever she wants it to mean, and damn reality to hell.
Hirsch claims that Britishness itself is a fiction. In this case, Hirsch is saying that the idea that Britons are White is imaginary because Cheddar Man is a Briton. This is a glaring misunderstanding of what the word 'Briton' means. The tribes of Britain were not understood as such until the arrival of the Roman Empire. Prior to the conquest and subjugation of these peoples, the tribes recognized themselves as Trinovantes or Cantiaci and so on, who used the Old Brythonic word Pretani to describe the land in which they lived. 'Britain' simply did not exist as a nation or concept of shared identity beyond the idea that your tribe and the neighboring tribe both lived there. By Hirsch's rationale, Homo Antecessor and other million-year-old pre-human ancestors who inhabited the islands that would be later named Britain are also as British as fish and chips, cups of Bovril and the Union Flag. The reasoning is so reductive it strips all meaning from a world which is so rich in detail and nuance, and it is all done in the service of progressive ideology.
Afua Hirsch seems to think— BasimaFaysal (@BasimaFaysal) February 8, 2018
1. the existence of indigenous Britons
2 there are no indigenous Britons.
And no indigenous peoples anywhere, as everyone's ancestors came from pre-humans, hominids.
So,let everyone live in Britain,where Britons live.https://t.co/8q8Q6QK8K3
The Cheddar Man is a Briton? Utter balderdash.
The Cheddar Man was part of an ethnic group who were exterminated by the Bell-Beaker culture which swept through Europe from around 2500 B.C. The Bell-Beakers, who themselves were descendants of the steppe-folk of what is today Russia. The vast majority of what we now consider to make up British genetics comes from these people, with later influence from the Romans. This accounts for ~90% of the genetic code in the vast majority of people who call Britain their homeland and can trace their families back to before World War Two. This is to say, that save for a tiny change in DNA following the Norman Conquest of 1066 the DNA of British people has remained almost unchanged for far longer than the time that Britain has even existed as a concept.
To reiterate- British people have a particular genetic footprint. It is measurable and can be traced back to our ancestral lineages in modern-day Russia, Ancient Rome, and of course our neighbors in Scandinavia. Still, the vast majority of what you consider your British genes are from the people that exterminated Cheddar Man and his Neolithic people. The culture that gave rise to Britain comes from these people, with a small genetic remnant of the Western Hunter Gatherers like Cheddar Man.
Hirsch and her ilk would grab this knowledge and claim that it shores up their claim that we are all immigrants. Remember though, that without nation there can be no immigration. With this understanding, Hirsch's argument is reduced to this:
Because 90% of the DNA of modern British people migrated to the British Isles (over 4000 years ago), large-scale immigration that has led to 20% of the population in 2018 being genetically non-British after just 70 years is a universal good.
The reality of Cheddar Man utterly disproves this mentality, whether you adopt Hirsch’s reductive nonsense view of the world or not. If Cheddar Man was indeed a true Briton, then the ancestors of Modern Britons immigrated and basically exterminated his people through replacement migration, interbreeding, and outright genocidal conflict. Not exactly the greatest endorsement of open-borders immigration policy, is it?
You know now that the word immigration is meaningless without the concept of nationhood. You know that there is a narrative being painted. But for what purpose?
The British Broadcasting Company has been spending the state funding wisely, producing diversity-heavy dramatic productions of historical events.
Historical dramas are useful for the BBC as the stories are written already in legend, and as they are copyright free need only the barest minimum of polishing. Huge liberties can be taken under the guise of artistic license, and it doesn't matter if a man of African origin plays Friar Tuck in the story of Robin Hood or that Arabic Saracens were present at the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.
Diversity is our strength after all, and we must be inclusive. The modern world is very different to that of antiquity, and so when stories are told about antiquity it is antiquity that must be changed for the story. After all, who controls the present controls the past.
What's wrong with being inclusive? Nothing. nothing is wrong with that- but inclusivity is not what this extended attack on what national identity means is really about. Inclusivity is the recognition of a people's foreign history and accepting it into the nation. Inclusivity is not actively discriminating against people based on arbitrary characteristics over which they have no control. It is treating people with the same respect due to a native- but no more or less. What the brand of diverse inclusivity peddled by Hirsch and her like is not this. Inclusivity in the progressive Guardianista mentality is about reshaping national history to suit a projection of the desired, ideologically motivated sense of neo-identity which will supplant the Ur-Culture of backward Britain.
Afua Hirsch is not some ignorant dilettante of diversity culture. The media providers are well aware of the game that is being played- one of reframing Britishness to mean anyone who currently resides in Britain. If this is the case, I am not British, as I do not live in Britain, nor was I born there. Neither was my mother for that, but her parents are Kentish, and my father's fathers are from Nottinghamshire. This makes me an Englishman, rather than a German or a Spaniard, and nobody could contradict this- based solely on my genetic history which links me with the Bell Beakers who killed Cheddar Man and all the other pre-British people.
All this from the revelation that a 10,000-year-old hunter-gatherer who's legacy presents itself today in blue-eyed blondes is missing some genetic markers that would not have appeared in the region for another 6000 years. Extrapolated from this information is that British people were really black, and you are a racist for being annoyed about reality itself being abused to push an ideology. Britishness is a cultural identity based on the possession of a certain historical genetic connection to the land.