The National History Museum carried out cutting-edge genetic sequencing with facial recognition technology on the skeleton of ‘Cheddar Man,’ found near Gough’s Cave in the Cheddar Gorge, and found that the first British settlers had dark skin, dark curly hair and possibly blue eyes.
Following the news, commenters on the story posted by the Mail Online, not usually known for their restraint, positively frothed.
Many dismissing the scientists claims as left-wing “propaganda” and asked “does this mean nobody can be accused of racism now.” One commenter said it was “nonsense” as it takes “longer than 10,000 years to be white.”
The comments left on the tabloid’s website were picked up by Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy, who stated his “Solidarity with you Mr Cheddar Man,” adding he wished he had known about this when he faced racial prejudice growing up.
I am so here for the comments on the @MailOnline story on Cheddar Man revealing that the oldest known Briton had dark skin. Solidarity with you Mr Cheddar Man – I just wish I knew about you when I was growing up and people asked me where I was ‘really’ from. North London, bruv
Guardian journalist Gary Younge similarly referenced the news to attack alt-right leader Richard Spencer. The avowed white nationalist told Younge that due to his race “you’ll never be an Englishman,” on a Channel 4 documentary on Whiteness.
Others took the news less seriously.
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