I am not Caucasian.
I identify my race as White. Which is in itself misleading. I’m more pinkish-beige and if I spend a lot of time in the sun, I turn brown as an Indian.
My ancestry is predominately British: English, Irish and Scottish with a German and a Native American in the mix. If you dig deeper, you find the Celts and Angles (Anglos) and some Vikings.
I have had my race referred to as Caucasian a few times lately by people of another race and I found it somehow jarring. The word Caucasian refers to a person who is from the region of Caucasus, which is in Europe bordering Turkey and Iran.
According to Wikipedia:
“The Caucasus /ˈkɔːkəsəs/ or Caucasia /ˈkɔːkeɪʒə/ is a region at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black and the Caspian Seas. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, which contain Europe’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus. Politically, the Caucasus region is separated between northern and southern parts. The southern parts consist of independent sovereign states. The northern parts are under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.”
If you read some of the names of the countries in this region, you will recognize a number of them as places of political, religious and ethnic conflict. Georgia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya.
The suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are ethnic Caucasians.
I am not.
I do remember that the term used to be used on forms and applications that asked your race. The same ones gave the option of “Negro” or “Black” for African Americans. There were never more than two other choices on the same forms and one of those was the all-encompassing “Other”.
I know it is a term used by African Americans when they don’t know quite how to refer to Whites, so they fall back on an old term that never quite fit right in the first place.
So, if you want to call me by a race, call me White or Anglo. Or we can forget the race thing altogether and just call me a fellow traveller on this blue planet called Earth.
For further reading:
Especially interesting : http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/04/2013421145859380504.html