The Dallas Morning News (whose archives have corroborated family legends of shootings, killings, socialists, and so much more!) runs a partial transcript of my segment from the local NPR affiliate’s Think program about my Harper’s essay on ancestry.
I, too, find it really exciting — finally realizing how we’re all related to one another, finally recognizing that humankind is a brotherhood and sisterhood that can’t be denied.
But there’s a history in the world and even in this country of some pretty terrifying eugenics programs. There were mandatory sterilization laws for “mental defectives,” which was a pretty broad and nebulous category at the beginning of the last century. And, of course, we all know about the Holocaust, which is the ultimate symbol of what can go wrong when this kind of information becomes available and people can classify and categorize and come up with ideas that certain people are less valuable than others.
Here’s the whole hour of the segment, if you’re interested. I also discussed the piece on Wisconsin Public Radio last week.
(Photo of my essay from alexanderchee.)