Racist: Pogroms decrease birth defects

I was on IRC and this racist posted this (I’m paraphrasing):

Europe has less birth defects than the U.S. because of their history of Pogroms

I am not a genetics person, but the quoted text seems counterintuitive; I would think decreased genetic diversity (eliminating a certain ethnic group) would concentrate defective recessive genes in a population. Kind of like how royal family inbreeding increases your chance of hemophilia.

My guess would be that the racist in question thinks that white people are genetically superior, that non-whites are inferior and killing them off lowers the chances of them polluting the superior Aryan gene pool. I’ve also heard the racist theory that having children between ethnic groups causes birth defects; someone who buys that could decide that therefore killing minorities reduces the chance of interbreeding and thus that of defects.

There ar so many flaws in the idea that it is hard to know where you begin. Probably the most critical is simply that most birth defects are not genetic in origin i.e. spina bifida, cleft palates, a whole range of low birth weight, and developmental problems, that can be now sheeted home to infections, alcohol abuse, lack of nutrition, drugs, toxins, and immune respone issues. Medical science and the general care provided during pregnancy has made huge advances in the last 50 years. Any decrease in birth defects would be totally accounted for in this. If such advances are more confined to Europe than the US, there are other questions that need asking, and they aren’t about cleansing the gene pool.

But such arguments won’t help. Once some racist crank has heard such an idea they tend to take to it as an act of faith. It isn’t much different to conspiracy theorists, just rather more poisonous.

First question is whether there is a lower rate, and whether the mechanisms for calculating and reporting these rates are comparable.

You could suggest that the posited lower rate of birth defects in Europe is due to socialized medicine and prenatal care.

Pogroms didn’t eliminate Jews from Europe, any more than any of the raping and pillaging of villages that went on for thousands of years eliminated anyone else from Europe. This idea is totally flawed from the very beginning because pogroms were never effective in making any European societies ethnically homogeneous. There’s no such thing as a generic “European” bloodline. Europe has always been a huge mix of ethnic groups conquering each other and fucking each other.

Any proposed effect on the European gene pool can just as well be attributed to the very high German casualties in the war.


Killing enough people decreases the number of birth defects, quite obviously. Otherwise, the quote is stupid.

Hemophilia in the royal family was not a result of inbreeding, contrary to popular belief. Queen Victoria was the original carrier, and her parents were not that closely related. It was spread throughout Europe by her descendents. She had one son who was a hemophiliac, and at least two daughters who were carriers. And then THEIR descendents passed it on, most notably to Spain and Russia.


And a second question would be on the next statement: is the death toll from European pogroms much higher than that of the US from lynchings, massacres, riots, smallpox-laden blankets, etc.? That seems to be assumed, but no evidence is given, and I would like to see some actual figures.

Actually, I wouldn’t. I’m not really that concerned about it, and debating racists, birthers, or drowsers, conspiracy theorists, or such is just not worth the effort.

At the risk of sounding ignorant, what’s a “pogrom”?

Murderous, destructive riots directed on a particular ethnic/religious group. Like a mob massacring thousands of Jews and burning their homes and businesses. The large scale cousin of a bigotry-driven lynch mob, basically.

Why is it that people who talk about a certain ethnic group being superior to other ethnic groups, they end up reducing that particular ethic group to the level of purebred poodles? And, we can all see the lack of genetic defects, and the superior intelligence that lead to in purebred dogs.

The big problem I have believing racists is that their theory goes like this: Out of the myriads of groups with distinct ethnic identities, I found that Group “A” is superior. Oh, and it just happens that I am a member of Group “A”. What a coincidence!

No, if you want me to believe your racist screed, you need to say: Out of the myriads of groups with distinct ethnic identities, I found that Group “A” is superior. Unfortunately, I am part of Group “B” which is one of the inferior groups.

Now, that I’ll believe. Especially if I was a member of Group “A”.

This could be a wildly, wildly distorted version of something that does in fact have a grain of truth.

In the decades after the last war, Germany did in fact have very low rates of certain hereditary conditions, e.g. Huntingdon’s Chorea. This had nothing to do with pogroms, but a great deal to do with the somewhat-related Nazi policy of sterilising or murdering people known to be carriers of these conditions.

Well, a pogram wouldn’t really do that though - as presumably there was fairly limited interbreeding between, say, the Jews and the non-Jewish Russians (to use the example of Fiddler On The Roof, where the daughter doing so was a complete scandal). So, getting rid of those undesirables wouldn’t have any appreciable effect on the True Race’s genetics.

Need it be suggested that lower rates of birth defects in Europe are due to their health care policies?

Ignorance fought. Thanks, Guinastasia!

The Spanish royalty, however …

ahem see post #5

No problem. :slight_smile:
Inigo Montoya, are you referring to Charles II? Oh yeah…