I cringe inside every time someone calls me Caucasian.
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:
- the Caucasian race or white race
- the Mongolian or yellow race
- the Malayan or brown race
- the Ethiopian, or black race
- the American or red race.
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.
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!