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View Diary: Anti-Chechen Racism Unbridled (152 comments)

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  •  Race is completely useless as an (1+ / 0-)
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    Ray Blake

    "identity" marker, for many reasons, but especially because there is wide variation in physical appearance across any "racial" population and genetic clustering around many different poles-- so some Chechens will look Semitic, some Turkic, some European. Some studies have found close genetic congruence between the Chechens and the Basques-- good luck trying to explain THAT in terms of historical destiny.

    Ethnos, based on shared language and culture-- i.e., based on behavior and conscious affiliation rather than on genes-- is a somewhat fairer and more useful identity marker-- but even there one cannot speak of a pure ethnicity, given that there's plenty of linguistic and cultural variation within an ethnos.

    This is why it is absolutely insane to seek a racially or ethnically pure state-- it would require the purging of all the elements that don't fit the idealized type. And this is why the Chechen nationalist project was from the start bound to provoke violence: there have been 500 years of Russian, Persian, Turkish, Crimean Tatar, Kabardan, Avar, Chechen, Georgian intermixing within the same small area in the Caucasus.

    Greater Serbia, Greater Israel, Greater Chechnya-- these are all absurd and destructive projects.

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