The first surprise was that SLC24A5, which swept Europe, is also common in East Africafound in as many as half the members of some Ethiopian groups. This variant arose 30,000 years ago and was probably brought to eastern Africa by people migrating from the Middle East, Tishkoff says. But though many East Africans have this gene, they don’t have white skin, probably because it is just one of several genes that shape their skin color.
The team also found variants of two neighboring genes, HERC2 and OCA2, which are associated with light skin, eyes, and hair in Europeans but arose in Africa; these variants are ancient and common in the light-skinned San people. The team proposes that the variants arose in Africa as early as 1 million years ago and spread later to Europeans and Asians. Many of the gene variants that cause light skin in Europe have origins in Africa, Tishkoff says.
Interesting. So selection of the lighter genes occurred later, in Europe, as well as some additional mutations that would build on these earlier variants. So all white skinned people are mutants.