Sunday, November 8, 2009

fail to see when they're acting white©

This is a guest post by Leland J. Anderson, who describes himself as "a Los Angeles based writer who spends far more time playing video games than writing. He doesn’t take the corporate media, swine flu, the Cowboy’s secondary or himself very seriously at all."

A friend of mine who was raised and educated outside the United States asked me once, “Why aren’t you angry all the time?” The question was in the context of a larger discussion we were having about racism and, to my mild surprise, he was quite serious.

I responded, only half-joking, that not only did I lack the emotional fortitude to maintain such a profound state of rage but, frankly, it wasn’t worth it. There were simply too many other important things for me to expend my mental energy on to worry about every insult, transgression or thoughtless remark.

We mused over why race had not been a stumbling block to our friendship the way it seems to be between most people of different races in this country, who self-segregate from grade school through college and into professional life. I concluded that I didn’t harbor any resentment towards him or any of my friends and co-workers who were overwhelmingly non-POC because: A) we all had a lot in common, B) they were cool people, and C) they never ignored the fact that I was black, nor treated me differently because of that. I attributed their behavior to what I have concluded is a fundamental cultural difference among non-POC: these people that I knew weren’t White© -- they were Caucasian.

My Caucasian friend was, quite naturally, puzzled and asked me to explain. I said something to the effect of, “Caucasians, colloquially speaking, are people of a European ethnic background who basically go about their lives trying to make a way like everybody else, treating each person they meet as an individual and judging them accordingly. Conversely, 'White©' people are too busy being 'White©' to bother with much else.”

What I meant by the latter is that such people have fully invested themselves in what I call the brand identity of Whiteness©. They embrace, whether consciously or unconsciously, the structures of White© privilege, internalizing and then outwardly manifesting the presumed superiority and value of their opinions, actions and worldview as White© people.

White© people are necessarily smarter, more capable, more entitled to the fruits of success because they cannot conceive otherwise. Their Whiteness© imbues them with a kind of inoculating narcissism that aggressively militates against empathy or compassion or, in some cases, common sense. They feel and believe that this is their America, their ancestors’ hard work (i.e. slavery, Native American genocide, etc.) made it great and, by that logic, their personal attributes and those alone are responsible for whatever success they may achieve (as opposed to generations of institutionalized advantage, a fact to which they remain obstinately oblivious).

My use of the word Caucasian, however antiquated the term, solely refers to someone's European origin. On the other hand, to be White© is to rely almost exclusively on a set of learned behaviors, all rooted in the notion that anything not White© is unconditionally outside the perceived norm and inferior.

Caucasians can and do speak out against injustice when they see it. They accept people, warts and all, and don’t attribute faults to a color or a background.

White© people fail to see anything fundamentally wrong with income inequality, housing and employment discrimination, or even plain old run of the mill racism. There’s always some rationale or extenuating circumstance for their statements/actions. White© people think they can draw a clear line from baggy jeans, hip-hop and bilingual education to the fall of western civilization.

After that conversation, I began to question the validity of my theory, until this past Halloween when another close friend, who happened to be Caucasian, did something very White©. I emailed him to ask that he remove a Halloween photo of himself he had posted online. He was dressed as a notorious and flamboyant sports figure that happens to be black, and yes, he painted his face and hands with what certainly looked like shoe polish.

Suffice to say I was not amused, but more I was troubled by his failure to see the problem. Happily, he pulled the photo after a brief exchange wherein he proffered a few textbook White© defenses of odious behavior.

“This other black person thought it was hilarious/didn’t say anything.” “Why are you being so sensitive?” “It’s just a costume.” And so on.

I say this episode ended happily because he ultimately realized that he’d done something offensive and apologized sincerely. Further, he expressed interest in understanding what was wrong about what he did. This behavior seemed to support my theory that being Caucasian is just something you’re called, but being White© is putting where you choose to live, who you let your kids play with, and who you hire/fire or invite into your home through a pernicious racial litmus test.

To return to my friend’s original question, another reason I'm not angry all the time is because I don’t know many White© people. I often see them lampooned on "The Daily Show," but the vast majority of my interactions with non-POC are generally positive. I continue to make this W© v. C distinction because it helps me avoid the very traps that White© people fall into on a routine basis. Assuming people are Caucasian, that is, different from me in only a superficial way, until they prove otherwise, allows me to deal with the reality of being a black man in America. It reminds me to consider that every time I get slow service in a restaurant, pulled over by the cops, treated like an employee in a clothing store or just plain ignored, it’s possible, just possible, that it has nothing to do with the color of my skin.


  1. interesting, but it kinda reminds me of "nigger vs. black"

  2. When I was growing up, nobody bothered our family unless we spoke. Our accents were obvious, and rednecks in my hometown used to tell us to "go back to where we came from". But if we just shut up, nobody bothered us.

    It was weird.

    I agree with the author-- there's something about European immigrants that makes us unable to assimilate easily into American culture. I think a lot of it has to do with being European and Roman Catholic, although Jewish immigrants seem to suffer the same difficulty. It's a weirdness that doesn't seem to "carry forward" more than one generation.

    I can always spot "FOB" Europeans. My Mexican husband also has this innate ability to spot Europeans, and he can also guess what country any Latino comes from-- we'll be walking down the street, and he'll say, "Oh, that dude's not Mexican--he's from Chile". He's usually right.

    The Spanish and Portuguese are the easiest for me to spot, but Russians and Romanians are easy too. The shoes with no socks, the men's clothing in the right size (no baggy clothing). They're usually thinner than Americans, too. Romanians usually look pretty beat up, especially if they're Gypsy (Romany).

    They usually have facial scars, polio vaccine scars on their arms, and all the women wear scarves on their heads; a remnant of the Muslim occupation hundreds of years ago.

    It's funny, because WASPs don't seem to be able to figure it out unless an Euro-immigrant starts talking and their accent becomes obvious.

  3. So you finally made the distinction between people that love their history, culture, and way and people like yourself, who just happen to look like us. It's about time.

    So what should we call you?

  4. Finally?

    Who's your "you," crab apple? Note that this is a guest post. I also don't see the distinction being made in the post as the same one you're making . . .

  5. So, crab apple,

    you "love" your history of theft, slavery and genocide?

  6. And good point, Roxie.

  7. Hm... this raises a few points that I'm going to have think on deeply, particular the distinction that author makes between White and Caucasian, which is troubling to me (and I'm only just trying to figure it out). I think it partially stems from the concept of white as being purely cultural (and not, additionally, a physical descriptor), and Caucasian as a physical descriptor but NOT a cultural term (but a term that also refers to ancestry). Am I misreading?

    I identify as white because, physically, that is what I am, and I have tons of privilege for being a white woman and am continuously becoming more aware of it. But I am also aware that I have Native ancestry, and though it isn't marked on my skin or my culture (the latter, and arguably the former, because the value of that ancestry was marginalized, ignored, and/or devalued in my family), I would loathe to take as a self-identifier such as "Caucasian". That refers to European ancestry, and again marginalizes and ignores my Native ancestors. I know little to nothing about them (again, the silence of my family), but I will not deny their existence by using a race-linked descriptor that goes beyond my skin color.

    This is my gut reaction, and apologies if this is at all derailing (I am continuously learning, so please set me right wherever necessary). Time to think on this more...

  8. The author of this post seems to think that, when it comes to white people, there are the overt "give me privilege or give me death!" racists, and then there's everybody else. I don't buy it. I'm not even sure there's enough granularity in "racist|not racist|anti-racist."

    How do these "caucasians" of whom you speak feel about the fact that they benefit everyday from white privilege? Does the term make them roll their eyes in derision and remind you that "racism is pretty much over?" Do the systemic inequalities matter to them? Do they matter to you?

  9. "There were simply too many other important things for me to expend my mental energy on to worry about every insult, transgression or thoughtless remark."

    Oh, silly me! I guess I can stop wasting my time educating people about racism and go back to catching up on the last six seasons of Seinfeld.

  10. This post really bothered me. Maybe it's a matter of realist / idealist?

    The realist says "Most people aren't actively racist, and that's good enough for me. Live and let live."

    The idealist says "Most people aren't actively anti-racist, and there's a lot more work to do if we're going to truly be a country with equal opportunities for everybody."

    This post smacks of, if not outright racism apology, then certainly white privilege apology. The attitude of the author seems to be "As long as an individual Caucasian isn't actively racist, who cares if they benefit from white privilege? Everybody's just trying to make a life."

    The author of the post says he has better things to do with his time then get worked up over every slight and insult. There's something to be said for letting things go, but not if it means letting racism go on and on.

  11. @ Elysse

    It seems to me that the key distinction being made in the post is between "white" and "White." "white" (the OP uses Caucasian, but I agree with you that this is a troubling word) describes physical characteristics; "White" is a mindset, often unanalyzed and unacknowledged, and the outward expressions of that mindset ("acting White").

    As for the distinction itself...I am very ambivalent on this. I think that the OP knows very different people than I do.

  12. this is a compelling argument and i was quite willing to disseminate it widely, but towards the end i was left at the station while the author's train went someplace i'm not sure is safe for me to venture. .

    to use the guest's rhetoric, there seem to be more W's than C's in my world.

    Racism is not going to disappear by pretending that it isn't in play, and I mourn the little crushed spirits of POC who search too far beyond race to justify or explain the often radically odd behavior of the W's in their lives.

    I mourn the W's as well . . . All they are doing is using race as a lens which is a difficult practice to escape. The habit must be deliberately broken through really uncomfortable self-examination. Who would do that if they didn't have to besides Macon and a few other masochists (and there lies the trap of white privilege).

    Correct me if I'm off, but it seems that the guest's suggestion places the burden of proof on the POC. I got the "we're just people until we think about it too much" vibe from his ending.


    While I get treating all people with respect . . .the waiter, the customer, the friggin' candlestick maker are ALL RACISTS, the poor sods.

    Why wouldn't they be?

  13. I feel like the distinction you're talking about is real, but can be abstracted away from a strictly racial discussion. There are some people who just can't realize that there is a larger social reality than the one they were exposed to in their formative years, or for their entire lives for that matter. They should all get the © label for whatever racial, class, sex or gender group they come from. I really think anyone can have the © label, but it's especially pernicious when the dominant social group has it.

    For whatever reason, people with the © label are always very surprised about the things which bind all humanity together, like when Bill O'Reilly commented that no one was shouting "Hey MFer, bring me some iced tea." But at the same time, they're perpetually blind to the elements of privilege and expectation that actually divide us.

  14. If this mindset helps the author navigate the world, I'm pleased for him.

    However, it does make me uncomfortable because I don't think that white people deserve the benefit of the doubt most of the time. I'm tired of (usually third-party) white people advocating that benefit of the doubt be given when a POC describes a racist incident or even that it be a general policy to give the benefit of the doubt.

    I'm sure that lots of white people would read this thinking, "How refreshing! A black person who doesn't love playing the race card."

  15. As a POC, and FoR (friend of a Romanian) I take offense to Portuguese C's quote, "Romanians usually look pretty beat up, especially if they're Gypsy (Romany).

    They usually have facial scars, polio vaccine scars on their arms, and all the women wear scarves on their heads; a remnant of the Muslim occupation hundreds of years ago."

    This is purely ridiculous. There are tons of Romanian women who don't wear headscarves even in Romania, and, yes, the Romani have been and are terrible oppressed -- that doesn't mean the look beat up.

  16. Okay sorry. Maybe I should have said "terriby opressed" instead of "beat up". I think that your version sounds worse, so let's go with that.

    As for the headscarves, yes, I know that not every woman wears headscarves. But my mother and grandmother always did. I didn't. It was just a common observation, not a stereotype.

    I notice you didn't think it was a major issue when I said that Europeans are thinner.

    Scarves=not okay to mention
    Weight=no problem

    got it.

  17. @Portugese- most Europeans, like most people in the world, are thinner than Americans -- that's a fact -- we're one of the most obese countries in the world. That fact doesn't mean a litany of other stereotypes is ok. And saying the Romani are oppressed is worse than saying they look beat down? Um, oppression describes the institutional prejudice they face as PoC's in Europe just as PoC's face institutional prejudice here. That doesn't mean they look beat up, anymore than Native Americans or blacks or Asians or any group facing racism looks beat up in America. And yes, observing what your mom and grandmom did and attributing it to all Romanian women is a stereotype -- just as it would be a stereotype for me to say that Romanians don't wear headscarves based on the Romanian women I've observed.

  18. Wow, Momma Ma'am, a Ms., is it really masochistic to do what macon and a few other whites are doing? Maybe so, but I'd say it's liberating. Somehow the opposite of masochistic.

    This post is useful for seeing how differently different individual POC negotiate with whiteness. I think it offers hope, at least, in the redeemability of at least the author's "Caucasians." But then, who's supposed to do the work of redeeming them? I guess POC. Strange, -- I often hear that "it's not POCs job to educate whites, whites should work on themselves," but then I also hear that "power won't give up anything unless the subjugated rise up and take it."

  19. I find the twist to this scenario is when POC chose not to look past it and actually evaluated white people by their actions and not dream up some good devil/bad devil routine that got in the way of their wholesomeness. I understand that this isn't the point of the piece, but the conclusion I came to was, "We're being unreasonable if we can't get past it, and if we are willing to discuss the matters and come to a compromise, a friendship could be saved."

    Just because a white person didn't mean to be offensive doesn't mean I have to like them, or accept their apology; and I'm finding it more often than not, when a POC chooses to cut a white person off from their life, the burden of truth and the person responsible for mending the relationship is the POC.

    IF the OP had chosen not to call said friend and discuss his Halloween costume and chose not to speak to him ever again, the story would follow that he was the one with the problem. "I don't know why he won't talk to me. He knows I didn't mean anything by it. There's nothing I can do about it."

    In the workplace this behavior is known as an "attitude problem", whereby we're supposed to get along and save face in a professional, but friendly manner in the face of humiliation and offensive behavior.

    "Acting white" is code for being a jerk. Why should the POC bother? Can some people truly call themselves a "friend" to POC?

  20. Yes, I am one of those people who thought this post was refreshing. (And yet again, I see that I'm going against the grain here)

    Regardless of the terminology used, I think it's great to see varying perspectives on the issue of racism.

    I would like to point out that none of us know what his relationship is with his white friends. We don't know whether or not he discusses issues of white supremacy and institutionalized racism with them.

    I think it's pretty clear that he's talking specifically about outright racists (little r) instead of institutionalized Racism (big R).

  21. I'm with Karen L. on this one. I was a bit uncomfortable with the "benefit of the doubt" theme of the post.

    But, then again, I have mostly white associates rather than friends because of this aspect of "acting white". Every white person has this aspect-anti-racist or not. Often times, it makes difficult for me to really become friends due to the mistrust of knowing that that aspect will show its ugly head eventually.

  22. I find it ironic/amusing that the guest poster uses Caucasian here to make anti-racist distinctions considering its loaded (and incredibly racist) history. I can, however, see how the distinction, regardless of terminology, would be useful in an everyday, practical way.

    And speaking of Caucasians, does anyone else find it strange that the US Census uses Caucasian to refer to Europeans, North Africans, and Middle Easterners? (Whereas the guest poster uses it in its stricter, everyday usage to refer solely to Europeans.) The fact is, these last two groups would never in a million years be considered as such either while walking down the street (if they're brown) or the moment they mentioned their heritage (if they happen to be pale). Let's hear it for opacity!

  23. I'm sure that lots of white people would read this thinking, "How refreshing! A black person who doesn't love playing the race card."

    I was actually thinking "how refreshing, an article where individual people are treated by individual merit". The author still combats racism, but I got a much more "as long as we're heading in the right direction" vibe from the article.

    It's also kind've weird that some commentors are talking as if he's oblivious to racism and he's not fighting it, despite giving some examples in the article.

    Regarding the Caucasian terminology, it's pretty clear the concept he's trying to get across, rather than trying to nail down an exact definition of 'Caucasian' - it's impossible as the varied meanings are highly contextual.

  24. Roxie had the realest comment:
    "interesting, but it kinda reminds me of 'nigger vs. black'"
    which in itself was interesting.

  25. I see where the author is going with this, but I don't quite buy the argument. I think they're trying to make a distinction between whites who are aware of their privilege, and perhaps even anti-racist, and then everyone else, who would fail a racism 101 pop quiz. I make these sorts of distinctions myself, when I consider why I am friends with the white people I am friends with (I commented about this last week, and others voiced similar feelings) -- there are some white folks who are sort of down with the lingo of privilege and oppression. It makes it easier (safer) to be their friends. But I'm not really sure I'm comfortable describing 2 distinct camps of people. And that's partly because even the white people who do better than most at recognizing their privilege are still sometimes loathe to denounce it. Even the ones you've had long coffee shop talks with about racism and how it's not just burning crosses, they'll question your experiences and perceptions. They'll still surprise you with their "white" moments. I also think that the way this author has defined "white" sort of ignores the topic of privilege altogether -- that their "Caucasian" friends may not exhibit certain common white tendencies, but they do nonetheless, benefit from white privilege.

  26. As a black person I can count the number of white friends I have on one hand, and still have fingers left over. This after having grown up in a predominately white neighborhood. I simply had too many white "friends" turn on me, embarrass me, or put me in racially uncomfortable situations.

    My experience is that no matter how enlightened a "caucasian" individual might be, if you hang out long enough you'll start to run into their less enlightened "white" friends and family members. Black folk end up dead over that shit sometimes. It's simply not worth the effort.

    That said, I understand what the OP is trying to do. The original question is "why you're not angry all the time?" The answer is you can't live like that. At the risk of sounding like Yoda: anger leads to hate, hate leads to high blood pressure, high blood pressure leads to death. Hatred eats you up inside. While you're grinding your teeth, punching the wall, and beating your spouse, the object of your hatred is skipping down the street singing a happy tune.


    You could pull a Nat Turner on their asses of course (see Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan), but, once again, you can't live like that.

    So the poster has found a way to rationalize his reality. Humans are expert at that. We that are without privilege have to find ways to cope. To his credit he calls out bigotry when he sees it. Maybe he fights the power in other ways as well.

  27. Sense Quest said: 'I'm not even sure there's enough granularity in "racist|not racist|anti-racist."'

    The excellent book by Barbara Trepagnier, Silent Racism, goes into this question in depth. I recommend it highly. One of her conclusions is that, in fact, there is no actual racist/not-racist opposition among white people, only degrees of racial awareness. Accepting that we live in a racist system and help maintain that system in various ways seems like a much more useful approach than for white people to think that they can establish and dwell in non-racism (and thus get a pass personally) just by their determination to do so or to open up a third category, anti-racist.

  28. As a clarification, I did not say, nor mean to suggest that I held a dim view of actively fighting racism or that non-POC were somehow blameless. EPT's comments highlighted the larger point I was trying to make: i.e., anti-racism is grounded in pro-humanism. Meaning that POC can't make the mistake of relying on a racial rationale in their decision making. I fear that is the case among POC who find that they don't have non-POC friends and see nothing unusual, as if they had no input in the matter (the obverse is also true, of course, but we can’t determine other’s actions only our own). Though some may view it as unfair, the work of racial healing is shared. Non-POC must account for their privilege and need to consistently evaluate and address their preconceptions. Moreover, POC must shoulder the burden of not merely tolerating but correcting "White" behavior while looking to turn misunderstandings and displays of ignorance into opportunities for reconciliation. It’s not easy but then again nothing ever has been easy for us.

  29. "Romanians usually look pretty beat up, especially if they're Gypsy (Romany).

    They usually have facial scars, polio vaccine scars on their arms, and all the women wear scarves on their heads; a remnant of the Muslim occupation hundreds of years ago."

    I'm Romanian and I respectfully disagree. Better stick to what you know.

  30. @AE: I think you missed the tongue in cheek with the "masochist" label. I agree that growth is liberating, albeit painful. I found the rest of your comment confusing. I wish you would clarify what you mean by "redeem" Caucasians; how does that lead to "the subjugated" rising up and taking power?

    @TheScienceGirl: YES!!! YES!

    @KarenL: 'I'm sure that lots of white people would read this thinking, "How refreshing! A black person who doesn't love playing the race card."'-YOU ARE A GIFT FOR THAT! I almost woke the baby on that one.

  31. @the writer, In the world that I'm familiar with, this is how I see your caucasians v. whites, scenario playing out. Your caucasian friends will remain caucasians as long as the conversations remain innocuous and there is no competition for resources. So, you can talk about the weather, the cowboy's secondary, stock market,
    H1N1,etc. And they remain Caucasians.

    Once the conversations move onto more sticky subjects like say, interracial marriages, you will see some movement into the white camp. Start openly and unapologetically supporting affirmative action, in school and in the work place, you will witness more migration into the ranks of whites. By the time you get around to reparations, most if not all of your caucasians friends will be flying the white pride banner.

    So, your caucasian friends will tolerate you as long you do not cost them any conversational discomfort, you reaffirm white supremacy, and you do not threaten their privileges.

    The whites, well, they are the most honest of the two groups. They never liked you, and did not pretend otherwise.

  32. imhotep, as a white man i can confirm that you are indeed largely correct. you pegged it. that IS how the vast majority of whites see things(including me). we DON'T want to see things 'go back to the way things were'. we DON'T wish black people would stay 'in their place'. we DON'T support race-base violence against PoC's in word or deed. really.

    but yeah...affirmative action?(at least in it's more radical forms) reparations? not a chance.

    part of the problem is with the term Racist. it's become stretched too far to mean much. it now has to cover it's original meaning-someone who actively HATES and wishes harm on those of another race, for no reason except race, with no exceptions...but 'racist' has unfortunately ALSO come to mean someone like imhpotep describes; a white who is just not actively anti-'white privilege' i geuss you could say.

    to me, there's an important difference. in any case, how would one go about erasing White Privilege as an individual? the message i'm getting is that we whites are supposed to do that by shutting up, except when enumerating and lamenting the endless sins of our wicked ancestors, supporting PoC whatever they may do or say, by nodding and smiling, and...asking for confiscatory federal tax policies to redistribute wealth.

    i'm here to tell you most whites are never going to get to that point.

  33. @Randy:

    At the risk of tossing a lot of White folks into the deep end of the pool too quickly, I would suggest most White people start with James H. Cone's "A Black Theology of Liberation" and go from there.

  34. Imhotep -

    distilling what you've said, you've implied the author is a problem (via inaction) because he hasn't convinced his caucasian friends that reparations are mandatory (the trump topic that 'turns every caucasian 'white'')

    Forget that it is possible to have opposition to reparations for anything that isn't 'white pride', I guess.

    As for the author not causing his friends discomfort on the issue and their tolerance of him... I suggest you read the article again.

  35. @ Randy, I take issue with your statement: "As a white man..." as I doubt you have the authority to speak on the thoughts of any white man other than yourself. To think otherwise is a bit self-serving, no? Your defensiveness over the concept of addressing how White Privilege benefits non-POC at the expense of everyone else is an attitude a number of White people may share but at its core it's merely an effective method of derailing any serious dialogue on race. false 1 committed the same offense from the other perspective by lumping all non-POC into the same box and being done with it. The point of all this, we should remember, is neither placing blame nor denying history but finding common ground, so first I suggest both sides loosen their grip on whatever racial baggage they're carrying and start listening to one another.

  36. @randy: please stop speaking for white people. I am white and I'm not perfect but your comments make me want to vomit. The reason you think that you can speak for all white people is because I would never be your friend and, even if I were, you would never hear me talking because, if you're like the other people I've heard voice this same sentiment, you're too in love with your own voice and your own place in the world.

  37. I like the idea of the post (not sure if I agree on the terms per se), but like others, I see far more W's than C's in my daily interactions.

    Still, thank you for a different perspective.

  38. describes himself as "a Los Angeles based writer who spends far more time playing video games than writing. He doesn’t take the corporate media, swine flu, the Cowboy’s secondary or himself very seriously at all."

    The funny thing about this quote is that it is pretty much a stereotypical self-description of your typical "stuff white people like" kind of person.

  39. Romanian and Rromani are 2 very different things and nations.
    Romanian is someone who was born in Romania, Europe. A romanian is a white/ caucasian athnicity.
    Rromani is just a new name for the gipsies. It has nothing to do with Romanian people. Rroma( gipsy) can be found all ove the world. the gipsy-rroma group is not wite/caucasian.
    All romanians are christians, about 90 % of greek orthodox confession, and the rest of catholic and protestant denomination. The headscarf has nothing to do with the romanian ethnicity. Only gipsy women ( who keep calling themselves rroma for I don't know what confussing reason) do wear a headscarf as a traditional garment.

    It is very offensive for a romanian to be considered as rroma. It is also vey offensive toa romanian to hear he speaks a slavic language ,just because h comes from the eastern Europe.
    Romnian people are proude to be orthodox christins and of Latin ( attention, latin, not Latino origin). Latin means derived from the Latin Roman Empire (just like the italians, french, portugese , spaniards ).

    We have nothing against the gipsies ( or rroma, as they preffer nowadays to call themselves ) but we care about our origin, our name and our languag very,very much. And we do not wear headscarfs .... :)

    Please, note this difference.

  40. The orginal definition of Caucasian comes from a German anthropologist:

    “Caucasian variety – 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."

    This term is also full of inherent superiority, just like "white". I feel that neither is acceptable to describe my racial background, because I don't want to build superiority into it. I don't deny that I receive white skin privilege, but I don't want to say that privilege is my race. Actually, I guess I don't really believe in race at all when it comes to it. I acknowledge my background is European, or more specifically, Czech. Czechs haven't always been "white" anyway, but again, I do not deny that they are now considered white.

    So complicated. Let's just say that I hate checking a box next to the word white or Caucasian.

  41. Is it bad that I kinda like the Caucasian vs. White, as much as I enjoy Black people vs. Niggas?


    I find the dichotomy works for me. I actively talk race with my, for this conversation, Caucasian friends, and find that most of the White people I know I can't be friends with because they are so... White.

    Also, my 7th grade students deem it racist to refer to white people was White in ANY fashion. They year after year correct me that I should say Caucasian LOL


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