shree chauhan, Sean Spicer

Many have seen the viral video posted by a young, courageous woman, Shree Chauhan, who encountered Press Secretary Sean Spicer, while shopping in an Apple store. As she asked Mr. Spicer several questions in a rapid-fire manner. He wasn’t able to articulate his response much, due to his unwillingness to answer her repeated questions.

The questions revolved around fascism accusations due to Trump’s tweets, comments and white supremacist ties. The one thing Spicer was able to articulate, albeit somewhat under his breath, was the statement “Such a great country, that allows YOU in it.”

That was the comment that got my attention, and the attention of many people in the initial seconds after she posted her tweet and video. If you listen to Shree Chauhan speak, it’s blatantly obvious that she is a native English speaker, with a typical, nondescript American accent.

So what would lead Spicer to make such a reference, as if Shree is not to be taken as an American citizen? Listening to the video, it’s clear she peaks English more succinctly and eloquently than he does, and he’s the current Press Secretary of the White House.

The answer is an ugly one. It’s called Eugenics, and the danger of eugenics, being perverted as a basis of belief, is becoming more prevalent in American society. A quick search online of the word renders the original Greek root and definition, which in itself seems rather benign.

Eugenics Definition Wikipedia
Eugenics Definition Wikipedia

By definition alone it appears that it would mean that “good genes” can be created, or curated to improve the genetic quality of the human population. However, it doesn’t end there.

Spicer’s comments are actually a reference to a growing belief, mostly among Americans who believe that Caucasian genes are “superior” or “stronger” than say, those who are of mixed heritage, or, non-Caucasian ethnicities.

In theory, of course, a healthy society would want to remove genetic ailments or “bad genes” that can pose dangers to health, such as some diseases, because who wouldn’t want to live in a disease-free world?

Unfortunately, the belief that is prevalent among many in the growing “White supremacist” movement is a return to a more “homogeneous gene pool” that closely resembled the early settlement days in America.

This mentality is the only one that would lead a blond, blue-eyed American like Spicer to view a brown skinned, brown-eyed woman like Shree Chauhan as automatically being “less American” than he considers himself.

Since her post went viral on March 11th, I personally witnessed the comments roll in over Twitter, mostly by Trump-supporters who ranged in the ‘racist spectrum’ from slightly to fully flagrant.

The scariest and frankly, saddest, aspect of the hateful words that were written, was they all had a common theme that is rooted in a perverted application of eugenic theory.

In the days after her post, we’ve seen more examples, in Representative Steve King’s (R-IA) comments, going so far as to reference the far-right Dutch Nationalist, Geert Wilders, as an example that you cannot “rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies”.

Rep King went so far to say to CNN that “If you go down the road a few generations, or maybe centuries, with the inter-marriage, I’d like to see an America that is just so homogeneous that we look a lot the same”.

Well, we don’t. It’s just not what America is about. When the first Pilgrims touched down on Plymouth Rock, they didn’t look at all like the Native Americans who greeted them. Every generation of Americans since, with beautiful waves of immigrants who came teeming to our shores, brought not only new and different looks, languages, foods, customs and so much more.

We, as American liberals who are open hearted to all faiths, creeds, colors and people must ensure that we fight these sorts of ideas on a daily basis. What makes America truly great is our diversity. Accepting each and every American as being fully American, even when we don’t look alike, is what truly defines America in so many ways.

I always think of Woodly Guthrie’s song, “This Land Is Your Land” that we sang in elementary school, and that gives me hope. It’s not just proof that our past had some good examples of equality that have been forgotten by some in power; but it’s important for our future, as a welcoming society who embraces all types of Americans:

“This land is YOUR land, this land is MY land, from California to the New York island; from the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, This land was made for you and Me.”

Let’s make that our mantra against the #MAGA hatred.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ms.West, I think you should have included the delightful dilemma of idiotic irony inherent to right wing “thinking”. Most of the eugenicly inclined white supremacists are obligatory evolution deniers, cognitive dissonance straight up the whazoo.

  2. Actually, Linda, you’ve missed the point, and eugenics theory is NOT the basis of the progressive movement of today’s core principles. While you’re more than welcome to your personal opinion of Ms. Chauthan, “rude or ignorant” are thoroughly inaccurate. Ms. Chauthan is a degreed educator, which renders your description alone utterly false. Education is definitely key to a better informed society, that is for certain, but bringing everyone to a quality education level is part of our movement. Her intonation mirrors the growing resentment of many on both sides of the political aisle when dealing with the flagrant ignorance and arrogance of those like Mr. Spicer.
    Thanks for your input!

  3. Unfortunately, your article fails to mention that eugenics was a core set of beliefs of the early progressive movement. Margaret Sanger, Woodrow Wilson, et al, believed that there were too many poor uneducated people reproducing. There is your Progressive movement. Apparently Progressives (a word I wouldn’t be particularly proud to use, given it’s checkered history on issues of race and immigration). Further, this young woman needs to learn how to engage in dialogue, as well as to cure her rising intonation. She is rude and she is ignorant. Call people racists who are not racists often enough, and everyone will ignore everything you say.

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