Waves of anger, fear and open hostility have greeted the influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Some have reached levels of paranoia and xenophobic violence that have resulted in death. Across Europe politicians hurry to build “Fortress Europe” but the flood of humanity threatens to bring down the walls.
Predictions of the change in the composition of ‘nations’ the world over have come to fruition, whether as a result of climate change and environmental migration, refugee displacements as a consequence of wars or migrations for economic reasons. The world of the 20th Century is history. The reality that faces enclaves of mono-culture of whatever kind is that political borders, or those of colour, religion or even ideology are crumbling quickly as the world begins to change as never before.
Perhaps the change will be as extreme as that which was inherited after the barbaric hordes smashed through the frontiers of the Roman Empire, or those which were forced by Atilla The Hun or Ghengis Khan? It is prudent to remember that those ‘barbaric hordes’ who brought the downfall of Rome were none other than the ancestors of present day Europeans and that this happed just under 2000 years ago!
Yet, the world did not ‘roll over and die’. What it did was adapt, change and gradually accept, however grudgingly, the new order. The result was that populations changed as new genes were added to old and dying genetic pools. The outcome was more robust, adaptable and cleverer offspring.
Danish biologist, DNA researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Geogenetics, Eske Willerslev underscores the point when he says that Danes will die out if the borders are sealed off to new comers. He explains that Scandinavian geneology can be traced back to 10 000 years ago with the receding of the last Ice Age, when rather small and dark skinned stone age hunters moved into the area. They were followed some 6 000 years ago by a tool using population from the Middle East. Although the initial encounters between the groups was hostile, integration and mixing followed. Consequently, the simpler Stone Age population ‘disappeared’. The next wave of migration took place about 1 000 years later by stock farmers of the bronze age from East Europe. They were a taller people and had lighter skin. Willerslev is at pains to point out that Danish culture is not static; that it is constantly evolving; that the whole range of genetic variations found across Europe today is to a great degree the result of migrations of people from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He makes it clear that the waves of migrations have given Danes everything from light skin, their language and even their physical height. He believes that we have a pressing need for migrations because any society without new genes and cultural input will die out. (See Politiken 29 October 2016)
The world is witnessing just such mass migrations as it gathers momentum across the globe. No country is immune. The old order of homogeneous populations is fast dissolving. New blood is sweeping across the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and now Europe, not withstanding the bluster of Donald Trump or the Le Pens or the Danish Folkeparti!
In many of the ‘new’ homes they have settled in, the immigrants have added not just new blood, but ‘new’ brain power. Microsoft alone will testify that Indians form the largest component of its workforce, making up over 40%. The flood of Chinese, Syrians, Somalians and others are changing our perceptions and limitations on intelligence.
As we have reacted to migrations of the past with distrust, resistance and even hate, so history will teach us that in the final analysis broader society will benefit with a new resilience, new genetics and a few shades of healthier skin colour! The Danes of the future, will still be Danish with all the additions of the newcomers absorbed and be richer and healthier for it.
Welcome the change, embrace it by a willingness to open your old world to the new. It is inevitable!
P R Dullay is an academic, author, researcher and human rights activist.
Copyright is held by the author.