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Caucasian, literally, refers to people native to the Caucasus, but it has become interchangeable with any number of ‘White’ populations, most of wh1om trace their ancestry to Europe. One gets the feeling that the term ‘White’ fell out of favor and was replaced by ‘Caucasian’ much like ‘Black’ was replaced by ‘African-American’. But the roots of such terminology are a bit disturbing; it was postulated that the natives of the Caucasus exhibited the idealized physical appearance so the Caucasus were believed to be the birthplace of mankind.
The logic behind this idea — the assumption that Whites exhibit the best physical appearance — is implicitly racist. Additionally, we now know our species first appeared in Africa, so the biology isn’t any good either. The connotations of the term Caucasian along with the geographical absurdity of using that term to describe all Europeans or Whites are the two main reasons we should abandon the term.
Up until the late 1990s I had thought of people from the Caucasus mountains when I heard the term, but then I began to reorient my assumption because of its colloquial usage. But as it became more and more popular I got more irritated, because it became obvious that the type of people who now were using the term likely did not know where the Caucasus mountains were.
While the older classical physical anthropology terms like “Negroid” and “Caucasoid” fell into disuse after 1960, as you’d expect, “Caucasian” went through a renaissance in the 1990s. I think RPM’s supposition is probably correct, people wanted a pretentious term somewhat less coarse than white, and since most people are geography-challenged, “Caucasian” sounds good if you want to pose as the faux-sophisticate.
originally posted by: bally001
a reply to: JesusXst
I was often referred to as "hey whitey" where I worked in Aussie. Didn't care... When I was called "son of Captain Cook?, I carefully explained that the good Captain was the first aboriginal man who discovered "Strayla". And went on a long story about how all us caucasians were slaves to build the country to where it is today.
We just kept working hard and imported other caucasians and asians to make to country better for the original discoverers.
Sadly I digress. I can't care less about what I'm called but to the persons that call me out as white or caucasian or perhaps the son of Capt Cook please don't get upset if I reply with the "B" or perhaps the "N" word.
I am not racist if I reply in kind.