Refuting Racial Myths
African slaves in Portugal
Refuting Racial Myths writes
From the entry on Portugal in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica:
After 1450 yet another ethnical element was introduced into the nation, through the importation of African slaves in vast numbers. Negroid types are common throughout central and southern Portugal. No European race confronted with the problem of an immense coloured population has solved it more successfully than the Portuguese and their kinsmen in Brazil; in both countries intermarriage was freely resorted to, and the offspring of these mixed unions are superior in character and intelligence to most half-breeds...
The normal type evolved from this fusion of many races is dark-haired, sallow-skinned, brown eyed and of low stature.
. . . in 1434 the first consignment of slaves was brought to Lisbon; and slave trading soon became one of the most profitable branches of Portuguese commerce.
In order to understand the apparently sudden collapse of Portuguese power in 1578-1580 it is necessary to examine certain facts and tendencies which from the first rendered a catastrophe inevitable. Chief among these were the extent of the empire and its organization, the financial and commercial policy of its rulers, the hostility, often wantonly provoked, of the chief Oriental states, the depopulation of Portugal and the slave trade, the expulsion of the Jews, the growth of ecclesiastical influence in secular affairs, and the decadence of the monarchy.
While the country was being drained of its best citizens, hordes of slaves were imported to fill the vacancies, especially into the southern provinces. Manual labour was Trade, thus discredited; the peasants sold their farms and emigrated or flocked to the towns; and small holdings were merged into vast estates, unscientifically cultivated by slaves and comparable with the latifundia which caused so many agrarian evils during the last two centuries of the Roman republic. The decadence of agriculture partly explains the prevalence of famine at a time when Portuguese maritime commerce was most prosperous. The Portuguese intermarried freely with their slaves, and this infusion of alien blood profoundly modified the character and physique of the nation. It may be said without exaggeration that the Portuguese of the "age of discoveries" and the Portuguese of the 17th and later centuries were two different races."
The truth
The above only shows that you shouldn't trust everything you read in a book. About that edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all I would like to say is that it is a fruit of the time when it was written. Even that is not an excuse to the racism and utter inaccuracy underlied in sentences like  "and the offspring of these mixed unions are superior in character and intelligence to most half-breeds" or "The Portuguese intermarried freely with their slaves, and this infusion of alien blood profoundly modified the character and physique of the nation."
I already explained the reasons for such a racist behaviour on the part of some Northern European colonial powers and I honestly believe that there is no need to repeat what I already addressed in the Refuting Arthur Kemp section of this same site. In my refutation of Chapter 22 (Part IIa) of March of the Titans, I present an estimate of the number of Negroid slaves brought to Portugal. They made 2% of the population. Obviously that is not enough to make an impact in the phenotype of any population.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
Whether or not genes from African slaves "profoundly modified the character and physique of [Portugal]" is open to question. In pigmentation, Portugal is one of the darkest areas in Europe.
The truth
I advise Refuting Racial Myths to read Mishmar et al. (2002). This study theorized that natural selection might have shaped regional mtDNA variation in humans. Quoting the conclusion of this study:
"Our data suggest that regional variation in mtDNA sequences is likely to have been shaped by natural selection. (...)  mtDNA variation would be the ideal method to foster adaptation to different environments. (...) Given that mtDNA lineages are functionally different, it follows that the same variants that are advantageous in one climatic and dietary environment might be maladaptive when these individuals are placed in different environments."
We can only wonder the extent of the influences of natural selection in traits such as skin pigmentation and body size. It is natural that Portugal is one of the darkest countries in Europe because Portugal is one of the sunniest places in the continent (thus its original inhabitants were prone to get darker pigmentation through natural selection).
Another important study written by Shriver et al. titled "Skin pigmentation, biogeographical ancestry and admixture mapping", addresses an important issue. I will transcribe some of the more relevant statements present in that study:
"Pigmentation is one of the most variable phenotypes observed in human populations, possibly due to the action of natural selection. Very little is known about the number of genes determining normal pigmentation variation either within or between populations, except that many genes are probably involved."
"For FY, the vast majority of European Americans are homozygotes for the allele common in European populations, and only 5 persons are heterozygotes for the African FY* Null allele, with no FY* Null homozygotes. This test is, therefore, based on the comparison of only 5 heterozygotes with a large number of non-FY* Null homozygotes. Contrary to expectations, these heterozygotes showed a lighter skin (p = 0,019) than the average homozygotes for the common European allele."
From the above study one can readily conclude that skin pigmentation is variable, it is affected by various factors (including natural selection) and that the presence of African genes is not necessarily responsible for a darker skin pigmentation.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
Coon notes:
(1) that the Portuguese are almost uniformly brunet in pigmentation and (2) that there are no regions in Portugal in which brachycephaly is as important as in the Asturias and Galicia. In fact, Portugal contains some of the lowest cephalic index means on the continent of Europe. . .
Negroid blood, introduced into Portugal through the medium of freed slaves, has largely been absorbed. The liberated negroes settled mostly in the cities, where negroes from the Portuguese colonies are still to be seen in some numbers. The liberality of the Portuguese social attitude toward persons of different race has prevented the retention, as in Arabia and the United States, of a stigmatized negroid class. On the whole, the absorption of negroes by the Portuguese has had no appreciable effect on the racial position of the country. Portugal remains, as it has been since the days of the Muge shell-fish eaters, classic Mediterranean territory.
The truth
I am surprised at Refuting Racial Myths' stupidity in actually quoting someone that clearly contradicts his own slander. As Carleton Coon clearly put it, "Portugal remains, as it has been since the days of the Muge shell-fish eaters, classic Mediterranean territory". Refuting Racial Myths is a flee when compared to an anthropologist like Carleton Coon. As Refuting Racial Myths admitted himself, he has no formal training. He should quit pretending that he has a college degree in Genetics and Anthropology and resume whatever he does for a living in Alabama. That way he wouldn't made such a fool of himself talking about subjects and countries he knows nothing about, except what he can find through a Google search or through his Nazi-wannabe friends at Stormfront.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
Dark pigmentation and low cephalic indexes seem consistent with Negroid admixture.
The truth
Dark pigmentation alone has no meaning whatsoever in the evaluation of the extent of foreign admixture. Quoting one of Refuting Racial Myths' sources [Madison Grant] on the low cephalic index
"The fact that two distinct species of mankind both have long skulls, as have the north European and the African Negro, is no necessary indication of relationship, and in that instance is merely a case of parallel specialisation."
What is applied to Northern Europeans can and must be applied to everyone else in Europe.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
Of course, they are also consistent with descent from "Mediterraneans". I accept that the Portuguese are largely descended from "Mediterraneans" (including, as it happens, a very significant North African component), and I doubt the absorption of slave blood drastically altered the appearance of the Portuguese people. Still, subtle changes (perhaps accounting for some of the differences between the Spanish and the Portuguese) can not be ruled out.
The truth
If I asked Refuting Racial Myths to find a Portuguese in a crowd of Spaniards (or a Spaniard in a crowd of Portuguese), he wouldn't be able to. Northern Portuguese look like most Galicians (in fact Galicians even speak the same language), the people in the Portuguese province of Beira look like their Leonese neighbours in the Spanish side of the border, and no one is able to distinguish by looks only a Portuguese from Barrancos (Alentejo, Southern Portugal) from a Spaniard from Encinasola (the closest Andalusian village). Why? Because the political borders were never the same as the ethnic borders. The average Portuguese does not look like the average Spaniard, just like the average Spaniard does not look like the average Frenchman, even though there are Spaniards that are able to pass for Frenchmen. This may be hard for an idiot like Refuting Racial Myths to understand, but it is completely ridiculous to expect that we would look the same with or without any African interference. Even Roman writers discriminated several different ethnicities in the Iberian Peninsula, and they clearly separated the Lusitanians from the Celtiberians (from what is now eastern Spain) into two different ethnicities and cultures. We are similar, but we are not the same. We never were. I couldn't expect a man that never went further than the limits of his own backyard to understand the amount of diversity existent in Europe - a continent he never even bothered to visit to date.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
The question of exactly what phenotypic effect the absorption of black slaves had on the Portuguese people is probably unanswerable. While Coon states that "the absorption of negroes . . . has had no appreciable effect on the racial position of the country" and "Portugal remains classic Mediterranean territory", the idea of a "Mediterranean race" has been discredited, and genetics suggest that many of the, for example, North Africans Coon considered "classic Mediterraneans" no doubt would have had substantial Negroid admixture. As Coon himself acknowledges, the Mediterranean skull "often carries a slight negroid tendency". Guenther detected a strong Negroid strain in the Portuguese phenotype, though he admitted some of the admixture may be ancient in origin.
"The Portuguese seem to be racially distinguished from the more homogeneous Mediterranean Spaniards by a heavier strain of that Negro blood which is recognizable, too, in Spain. Is this Negro strain to be referred only in greater part to a mixture brought about in the Portuguese African colonies; and have we to do here also with a Negro palaeolithic remnant driven into the extreme south-west? In any case the importation of black slaves into Portugal was formerly very heavy, and the Moorish dominion brought into Portugal, as it did into Spain, much 'African' blood, mainly of the Oriental, Hither Asiatic, and Negro races."
The truth
Refuting Racial Myths refutes himself. He "proves" his point  by presenting two sources that contradict themselves. According to Coon, the Mediterranean skull often carries a slight Negroid tendency (Coon was referring to the Mediterranean skull in general, not the Portuguese in particular). Greeks are Mediterranean, and Greeks have 0% Negroid haplogroups. According to Guenther, there is a strong Negroid strain in the Portuguese phenotype. Am I the only one detecting a slight inconsistency? I already gave my opinion about Guenther, but please notice that he is quick to point out how "very heavy"  the importation of black slaves was as the main source of that "strong Negroid strain". Guenther is highly inaccurate not only about the amount of black slaves imported, but also about the relevance of the Moorish domination. This issue was previously refuted, there is no need to do it again.
Guenther also presents these Chilean children as examples of the "Mediterranean" phenotype (two of them are clearly mestizos).
Refuting Racial Myths writes
Either way, little doubt can exist that the Portuguese did mix with their slaves, and on a larger scale than elsewhere in Europe.
The researchers themselves explain L lineages in Portugal as follows:
We hypothesise that the recent Black African slave trade could have been the mediator of most of the L sequence inputs . . . many sub-Saharan individuals entered the region during the slave trade period, from its very beginning (middle 15th century) until its total ban in the late 19th century. . . it seems . . . likely that most of the L lineages found nowadays in Portugal have been carried by African slaves, since the country was actively involved in the Transatlantic slave trade. Nine out of 17 L sequences found in this study showed matches with widespread African sequences, and with regard to the 8 remaining sequences the absence of matches can be due to the present bias in the description of sub-Saharan mtDNA variability. Broad areas corresponding to Ivory Coast, Angola and Mozambique, which represented very important sources of African slaves, remain uncharacterised.
There were more African slaves in Portugal than in any other European country: in 1550, Lisbon boasted 10000 resident slaves in population of 100000, and Portugal as a whole probably had over 40000 (Thomas, 1998). In the mid-sixteenth century the birth of slaves' children was stimulated in Portugal for internal traffic purposes. Inter-breeding between autochthonous individuals and African slaves certainly occurred and the predominant mating must have been between slave African females and autochthonous males, due to social pressures and also for legal reasons: offspring of slave females would be slaves, whereas oåspring of slave males would not. Therefore, breeding between slave African males and white females, besides being socially repressed, would not bring any economic profit. If the pattern of genetic admixture was markedly sex influenced, the signature of this recent African influence would be expected to be very different in the maternally inherited gene pool and in the paternally inherited one. In a recent study based on Y chromosome biallelic markers (Pereira et al. 2000) we have reported the absence of typical sub-Saharan haplogroups in the Y chromosome Portuguese pool. This finding, and the detection of L sequences at 7.1% in the mitochondrial pool, both seem to support the above-mentioned pattern of admixture with African slaves. (Pereira et al. 2000)
This explanation is consistent with the distribution of L lineages within Portugal -- highest in Central Portugal (near Lisbon); next highest in Southern Portugal (where large numbers of slaves were also imported); and lowest in Northern Portugal.
The truth
Another inconsistency. First of all, the geneticists from the Pereira et al. study are not historians (unlike many of my sources). Secondly, the origin of the L sequences presented by Pereira et al. (2000) has been thoroughly refuted by Gonzalez et al (2003), which presented a Neolithic origin for at least some of the Negroid DNA present in the Portuguese. I would like to point out that Pereira et al. estimates the total number of black slaves in Portugal as 40.000 (when according to historian Josť Mattoso, the Portuguese population in the XVI century was around 1,8 - 2 million people). The estimate Pereira et al. presented is also consistent with Kuzma Gill's (which was of 35.000 to 40.000). Pereira et al. also showed that no signs of Y chromosomal Negroid contribution had been detected.
Even Refuting Racial Myths' own sources contradict the Kempian invention of the hordes of slaves imported by Portugal. I should thank him for saving me the trouble of finding sources to refute his own slander.  
Refuting Kemp
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