Let’s Lose Caucasian

Lithograph of 8 variations of "Caucasions"

Dead sexy!

I cringe inside every time someone calls me Caucasian.

Why?

First of all, because it implies heritage in the Caucacus Mountain area, and although my ancestors were a bunch of wandering bastards, to my knowledge none of them lived in that vicinity….

But more importantly, because of the man who coined the word. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, a German scientist and classical anthropologist. He was influential among racial theorists of his time for dividing people into five different races:

He named white people Causasians because:

I have taken the name of this variety from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighborhood, and especially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of men, I mean the Georgian; and because all physiological reasons converge to this, that in that region, if anywhere, it seems we ought with the greatest probability to place the autochthones (birth place) of mankind.[6]

Was he smoking crack? Ok, crack wasn’t invented then, he was probably hitting the laudanum a little too hard!

Anyways, Blumenbach was a major influence on Hitler and US segregationists.

I can’t hear the word Caucasian without linking it to it’s legacy of bigotry and hatred.

I don’t get mad when people call me that, because most people don’t know any better, but I hope we can all educate ourselves and do better!

Let’s lose Caucasian!

5 Comments

  1. agreed.

  2. I agree.
    It reminds me of my methodology teacher who explicitly said: “som many of you use the word ‘white’. We don’t say ‘white’, we say ‘caucasian’ “. I couldn’t believed she actually said that!
    Let’s just stop talking in terms of race…

    • When the society I live in stops talking in racial terms, I will. But as long as I live in a racially segregated city/Country, with such vast inequalities and cultural differences, I’m gonna talk about it!

  3. Woah, I had no idea! Thanks so much for posting this– it’s always good to learn new things. Especially when it involves realizing a rather common word has a really fucked up, bigoted history.

    • Glad you learned something! Spread the word!


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