Earthview Media’s statement on racism

George Floyd protests denver
A protest in Denver following the killing of George Floyd (courtesy Wikimedia Commons/geoffalexander4

Given the justified outrage following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, and following in the footsteps of myriad other organizations, Earthview Media is releasing the following statement on and racism.

“Earthview Media and its sole employee, Todd Neff, consider racism to be the stupidest of all prejudices. That’s saying something, given that prejudice (the judging of others without supporting factual or sensory inputs) is by definition moronic.

Racism – for these purposes, prejudice on the basis of skin color – is particularly stupid because it amounts to prejudice based on an ancient genetic adaptation having to do with vitamin D (which is, in fact, a hormone, and not a vitamin per se).

Vitamin D, which human skin produces with sun exposure, is essential in absorbing calcium so our bodies can make bone out of it. A lack of vitamin D causes rickets. Vitamin D is also important for lung health.

Vitamin D’s role in the most stupid form of prejudice is as follows.

1) We were all Black once, in Africa, the cradle of humanity.

2) Africa is generally hot and sunny.

3) Many of us migrated out of Africa. We migrated north because that’s where the land was (read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel for a nice rundown on this).

4) North is where cooler, cloudier places are. Think Germany.

5) Dark skin (in particular, the melanin that makes it dark) blocked the ultraviolet rays that trigger the skin to produce vitamin D.

6) This was hugely helpful in generally hot and sunny Africa. Melanin provides the equivalent of little dark umbrellas over the DNA in the nuclei of our skin cells. It’s why Black people’s skin ages so much more attractively than that of palefaces like Earthview Media’s sole employee, Todd Neff.

6) In these cooler, cloudier climates, however, those with darker skin produced less vitamin D. Blame the little umbrellas.

7) Those producing less vitamin D had a very slightly lower probability of survival than those with lighter skin. That’s because, in cooler, cloudier climates, the lighter-skinned people produced more vitamin D and were less likely to end up with rickets or lung ailments.

8) Over time, skin progressively got lighter in these cooler, cloudier climates. It’s how evolution works over time when random mutations stumble into a slight survival advantage for their hosts (see “lactose tolerance”).

Therefore, historically ignorant, Confederate-flag-waving yahoos as well as many other, less-showy racists have based, and continue to base, their prejudices on ancient, geographically driven, subtle biological adaptations to different climates. That this nuance and the prejudice it seeded managed to provide a foundation for centuries of institutional racism is, if you think about it, quite incredible.

It’s all profoundly stupid. So cut it the fuck out.”

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