David Russell Mosley
10 April 2018
The Edge of Elfland
Manchester, New Hampshire
Today I got the results of my recent DNA test through ancestry.com. The results were surprising. I knew my family hailed from Great Britain and Ireland, and I knew we had some other European stock in there, but I had no idea about the relatively large percentage of Scandinavian ancestry. What is even more interesting is that I received this news just days after discovering that there is a person who is apparently well known in certain Pro-Life circles who has actively come forward as a member of the Alt-Right. This particular person, whom I shall not name, though others have and will, claims that they are fully pro-life, but are an ethnonationalist, and should be able to take pride in their whiteness in the way an Arab should take pride in being Arabic. This person also continues to claim that they are completely pro-life, while groups in which they travel and actively participate include people who believe that it is OK to abort non-white babies.
The last is the most disgusting. I both nearly wept and was physically sick when I read person after person suggesting that non-white babies should be aborted, or that a woman with a Mexican husband (whose parents were, apparently, the “right kind” of immigrants) has degraded herself by virtue of her marriage. Even writing these words it is difficult not simply to stand up and walk away from my computer in anger and disgust, but I cannot do that. I cannot remain silent.
What astonishes me still about white-supremacists and ethnonationalists is their historical illiteracy, and I don’t mean when many of them deny the holocaust. I mean the fact that Mexican people are often a genetic blend of European, Native American, and sometimes African. I mean the fact that an ethnonationalist living in Texas, which was once part of Mexico and contains many people who were fully Mexican until the moment the United States border moved (not them) to cover Texas as well. I mean the fact that this whole country once belonged to a group of people who were not European in descent, making it difficult to see how this land can, in some deep ethnic sense, belong to me, even if I belong to it. I mean the fact that as my own ethnicity shows whiteness as an idea, as a culture, does not exist. My test results do not simply say WHITE. Rather, I am a little this and a little that, mostly European, but my ancestors do not all come from one place.Now, and this is key, I can and should take pride in aspects of my ancestry. I am proud to be of primarily Great British and Irish stock, accounting for roughly 46% of my ancestry. I like this fact and likely, given my past love of these places, would have been a little disappointed if this had not been the case. But I do not believe I am inherently better or supreme to those of different ethnicity. I do not think coming of European stock makes me better than those of African or Asian or Native American (North or South). I certainly don’t think being of European stock gives me a right to the land of North America.
What is more and most important, being proud of my ancestry does not mean I can think that people of a different ancestry can and should abort their babies. You cannot even for a fraction of a second call yourself pro-life if you think any child, made in the image of God, is unworthy of life outside the womb. This is disgusting, it offends God. As my friend Mark Shea would say, God’s name is defiled amongst the Gentiles because of you. If this is how you feel, you cannot and should not call yourself pro-life, you certainly cannot be Catholic.