2015-05-14 – Back in the Sixties I read a book called Black Like Me by a journalist by the name of John Howard Griffin. The book recounted the white author’s experience passing as black as he traveled through the segregated South during the 1950s. It was a personal testimony by a man who used medicine to darken his skin so he could learn first-hand what it might mean to give up white privilege. It was a powerful story and made a big impression on the teenaged me.
What if we could all have the experience?
A recent scientific discovery could one day make this possible. It appears that human beings have seasonal genes to augment the well-known circadian (daily) rhythms of our lives. Our well-documented seasonal susceptibility to certain illnesses is not just an artifact of the weather. It also reflects seasonal variations in the expression of immune system genes.
What if we could harness that seasonality and link it to the expression of genes for skin pigmentation?
We could be European in the winter and African in the summer. We could be Asian in spring and Native American in the fall. White people already try to darken their skin in the summer. This would be a way to achieve the effect big time without risk of skin cancer.
Racism would be solved.
Maybe sexual preference or even gender itself could be made seasonal. Nah. Not gender. What would happen if a summer woman became pregnant but slowly, through her pregnancy, she became a man? How would that work?
You have to think these things through.