- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2018

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it’s time for Americans to “ditch dairy” because it’s a “symbol used by white supremacists.”

A recent piece by The New York Times on milk-guzzling racists has been latched onto by PETA as yet another rationale for abandoning diary products. At issue are random pockets of white supremacists who tout digesting lactose as an adult as an indicator of biological dominance.

“Cows’ milk has long been a symbol used by white supremacists. One more reason to #DitchDairy,” animal rights organization began a series of tweets ranging from Oct. 18 through Monday. “White supremacists are guzzling cow milk in an effort to mock people of color who are lactose intolerant … We don’t like milk for its cruelty. The racists love it.”

PETA then linked to an Oct. 17 Times article titled “Why White Supremacists Are Chugging Milk (and Why Geneticists Are Alarmed),” along with a 2017 blog post making similar claims.

“Nowhere on the agenda of the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, being held in San Diego this week, is a topic plaguing many of its members: the recurring appropriation of the field’s research in the name of white supremacy,” the newspaper wrote.

“‘Sticking your neck out on political issues is difficult,’ said Jennifer Wagner, a bioethicist and president of the group’s social issues committee, who had sought to convene a panel on the racist misuse of genetics and found little traction.”

“In recent months, some scientists have spotted distortions of their own academic papers in far-right internet forums. Others have fielded confused queries about claims of white superiority wrapped in the jargon of human genetics. Misconceptions about how genes factor into America’s stark racial disparities have surfaced in the nation’s increasingly heated arguments over school achievement gaps, immigration and policing.”

Feedback to PETA’s Twitter post suggested the organization overreached.

“Now I must stop sending you money,” wrote one user. “You are going to lose millions in donations over this insanity.”

“You people have really jumped the cow this time,” added another.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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