My Indian-descent fiancé and I have a politically-incorrect game going. I call it ‘Whose Race is Genetically Inferior?’ And I lose every time. My fiancé has a number of good points for why brown is better than white.
One: fewer genetic diseases. He says this is because whities had several population bottlenecks in Europe, which caused inbreeding that proliferated mutations. I think his term may have been ‘genetic backwaters.’ And it may be true that some of my ancestors got it on with their cousins or siblings. Whatever.
I do point out that a disproportionate amount of medical and genetic research is done in Europe and America, so we would be more likely to detect rare genetic illnesses and identify their causes. My fiancé points out that there are enough people in India that even a rare disease would be detected, to which I roll my eyes but concede.
Which brings us to point number two: reproduction. I’m no expert at whether Indians are more fertile than Caucasians; I’d suspect not. But lord knows they’re doing something right.
Three: success. I argue that success is not genetic, but my fiancé just raises his bushy eyebrows and responds, “who’s to say?” I can’t deny that Indians seem to show remarkable determination and success in the face of often disadvantaged circumstances. The Indian families I know in America arrived here with very little, only to build medical or business careers that left them quite well off. And in India, despite an exploding population, over a century of subjugation, and an effective Cold War with Pakistan, they’ve managed to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
So yes, I tell him, I’m taking a step up on the genetic ladder. For the sake of the kids.
Whichever of their parents is superior, our kids will benefit from our genetic diversity. For example, they’ll have a lower risk of cystic fibrosis than white children and a lower risk of sickle-cell anemia and thalassemia than children of Indian descent.
So take this as a warning, people. We’re comin’ at you with the Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl.