Stop Saying Caucasian
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Politics and Activism

Stop Saying Caucasian

It means so much more than white

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Stop Saying Caucasian
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One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone says, "Caucasian" when they mean white. It's not that hard to say white. It's one syllable vs. three syllables. Caucasian is weird, it's long, it's got s's and c's. It even has the "-ian" at the end that trips everyone up. And like, why is it that you feel the need to use "Caucasian?" Is it more polite? Because actually, there aren't really any deeply offensive, traumatizing words for white people. Is it because it sounds more scientific? Is it less racist? "Caucasian" actually perpetuates racism because it's based on pseudoscience that has long been disproved.

So, where is the Caucasus? Who actually lives there?

There are actually over 50 ethnic groups in the Caucasus region. That's so many different languages, religions, cultures, alphabets, and appearances. That's where my grandfather's family came from. That's where the Boston Marathon bombers came from. That's where most white people in the US specifically aren't from. That's where Friedrich Blumenbach decided Europeans came from while studying human skulls in the late 1700s.

The word Caucasian is pretty old. It was created before Blumenbach, but he really popularized it as a racial taxonomy for Europeans and people from the Caucasus who had light skin. He decided that Europeans had come from the Caucasus because the skulls he discovered from Georgia were so well-formed, modern, and beautiful, that they had to be the ancestors. When you use the word Caucasian because it sounds more scientific or more official, you are buying into the idea that races are naturally occurring, biologically based, and subdivisions of the human species where Caucasians are the superior race. It assumes that white people are the most attractive and advanced. It assumes that race exists outside of social institutions.

In fact, there is actually no scientific evidence for race. There's no biological evidence to support it. White Americans were defined through a series of court cases and changing political conditions. The US legal system equated whiteness and Caucasian in order to ensure that white people got to keep special social privileges and that white people looked white, intentionally excluding people who were considered Caucasian but looked different from WASPs.

When white people choose to use "Caucasian" instead of white when talking about race and racism, what they are really doing is avoiding taking responsibility for the benefits they receive in a white supremacist system. When white people refuse to be called white people, they're ignoring the fact that skin tone has a bigger impact on their social standing than where their ancestors immigrated from.

Stop talking about biology, stop talking about genetics, just stop talking until you acknowledge that we live in a white supremacist society, not a Caucasian American preferred society.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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