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View Diary: Wife of bill sponsor: Amendment One needed “to protect the Caucasian race” (276 comments)

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  •  "Caucasian" is a racist term (4+ / 0-)
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    Scott Wooledge, raincrow, wasatch, Matt Z

    Unless you are referring to Armenians, Azeris, Georgians (Karvelians, not Atlantans), Chechens, ingush, or their neighbors, you're not really talking about Caucasians.

    The term "caucasian" came to mean "white", but with a glisten of pseudo-science atop it.  "White" sounds like an observation; "caucasian" sounds like you really know something about how the "races" are divided.  This pseudo-scientific bullshit came from an 18th century German anthropologist, Blumenbach, who was trying to scientifically show how white folks were different and superior to everyone else.  He was actually more liberal than his contemporaries who referred to Europeans as the "handsome" race and lumped everyone else together.  But they needed to justify slavery, after all.

    Blumenbach was obsessed with skulls.  Fetish object obsessed.  He collected them and studied them.  He came up with the postulate (theory, in the non-scientific sense) that mankind was really divided into five races, not based on skin color (he recognized the impact of sunlight) but on skull shape.  So "negroid" skulls were shaped differently from "australoid" skulls and "mongoloid" skulls.  

    But his favorite skull of all was that of a Georgian woman who was captured by the Russian army and used as a sex slave, taken to Russia where she died. Georgians were known for being good-looking.  A friend of Blumenbach shipped the poor woman's skull to him.  So in its honor, he named white people -- a group he extended to include peoples of the Caucasus -- "caucasians", as Georgians (well at least her skull) were the "handsomest" of all white people.

    The whole idea is claptrap, as is the "five races" theory. So when you hear somebody (cops love this) use the word "caucasian", you know it is racist at heart.  Just say "white", since that's the broader observational term for what somebody looks like.  Their anthropological ancestry neither matters nor is it always obvious.

    •  I dislike the term myself (0+ / 0-)

      and was rather startled overhearing a Hispanic young woman using it to indicate that the person was Anglo. I take issue with cops using it in a racist manner - it's probably the term they are forced to use in filling out many reports day after day.

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