CRISPR Gene Editing could Fix Racism.

Once and For All.

This is not yet a reality. It's all fantasy fiction; exploring a scenario that could play out if and when gene editing allows us to choose our skin color. CRISPR Gene Editing is some genetic engineering science that allows scientists to edit genes. Genes determine so many things.

To get a glimpse of what CRISPR can do you can watch a ton of YouTube videos. Better still if you have time, watch the 3-episode Netflix Documentary series titled Unnatural Selection.

AI and Gene Editing are presenting us with a challenge unlike many that we have faced before as humans. We are presented with the ethical dilemmas of playing God and “eliminating chance” in procreation.

Most of the discussions on this topic have centered around the medical benefits of overcoming hereditary diseases and the controversies of designer babies. Very few commentators in this space have considered the race question?

This observation (that no one has mentioned race in this area) is actually a direct result of the race problem. The commentators are predominantly white, or some highly-educated blacks who, by virtue of their education are somewhat insulated from racism.

Racism is a Real Problem

I personally love being black, and I do not fancy a lighter or a whiter skin tone but I would not turn down a chance to be white. Even the staunchest black consciousness supporter would be tempted to produce a white baby, due to the realities of being black. Any parent who cares about the future of his/her child would be concerned about raising a dark child in a racist world.

There are pockets of society that deny the existence of race problem, mostly a few privileged whites. The ultimate test for these people would be to check if they would be willing to become black.

From the Bible, in the book of Jeremiah (13 verse 23), King Solomon asked; “Can the Ethiopian (black) change his skin color”. Skin bleaching creams have given us a “maybe” type of answer. CRISPR gene editing will give us a “definitely” type of an answer.

Prevalence of Skin Bleaching and Weaves = $$$ Gene Editing Opportunity

It is estimated that 40% of African women bleach their skin. The market is also huge in India. The prevalence of skin bleaching products, even when they are banned in certain countries gives us an indication of the size of the problem we have at hand, which, on the other side of the coin, is the size of the opportunity that can be exploited.

An ad for a skin whitening cosmetic product in Kumasi, Ghana.

The prevalence of weaves (fake hair) in black communities shows us the extent of the problem we have. It is almost ubiquitous among black women.

If someone somewhere manages to develop cheap CRISPR gene editing kits that could literally turn black skin into white skin, as well as turn black hair into white hair, then we have a very huge problem.

The genes responsible for skin color are already known. The article below claimed to have identified the set.

CRISPR editing would involve cutting the identified patch and replacing it with a set that is prevalent among those with fairer skins.

Huge Potential Market — Big Incentive for Rogue Researchers

Successful gene editing could capture value in several markets:

  1. skin bleaching market = USD 5 billion
  2. Hair Wigs = $5 billion
  3. Plastic Surgery = $1 billion
Forecast market value of Skin Lightening Products

The above three examples are tiny markets. The biggest market is the one that addresses the race question scientifically. How much would you be willing to pay to become white, or for your child to be born white?

This question matters to black people. White privilege is a term thrown around race relations quite a lot. The market for gene editing for race purposes could give us a glimpse into the monetary value of white privilege, literally the amount of money a black person is willing to fork out to become white.

The Technology is Dirt Cheap

The basic gene editing kits are dirt cheap. The assumption is that, if and when it comes to humans, the technology would be dirt cheap on the black and illegal markets.

For small projects on frogs and bacteria, kits cost around $170. An example is given below.

Dirt cheap technology means it can be easily accessed by everyone, including the poor, leading to massive usage. If the technology was expensive, there would-be an implementation hurdle that slows down adoption giving the world time to address the problem.

You cannot racially discriminate against me if I am literally as white as you. You would have to find another dimension for expressing hate such as hating the poor.

This could also change the face of immigration because once migrants are in your country, they could look exactly like you, such that there is no visible basis to warrant or spark different treatment.

Thus, gene editing could wipe out racism, once and for all, by making us all white, whilst robing mankind of diversity.

Ciao!

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Ryan Gosha

Ryan Gosha

Financial Analyst, Cloud Accountant, Citizen Data Scientist, FPL Boss