“The Big Myth: Race and Classification” is a series of blog postings with one goal in mind: To help enlighten the uninformed and prove that race is only an idea and social construct designed to divide like human beings
Growing up as a little boy in Detroit, Michigan, I often questioned my family about racial classification in America. I couldn’t understand at the time why a family so diverse in skin tones and features could be broadly classified as “Blacks” or “African-Americans”. I had a strong disconnect with these labels and what I witnessed in my own surroundings. Something was seriously wrong. I couldn’t accept this seemingly baseless idea without doing some digging of my own.
As I grew older, my criticism of race as an idea grew more intense. I sought out literature and research on racial classification. The things I learned would only confirm what I long suspected: There really wasn’t a thing such as race. It was an idea — Founded by man — to carry on our obsession with segregated thinking with regard to human beings.
By now, many of you aware of my views regarding racial classification. There are also readers of my blog who believe I am doing a disservice to “related peoples” of the past. I disagree. Like millions of other people, we were born into a socially oppressed era where ideas to control and divide people ruled. We were raised and taught to accept this idea in our schools, churches and colleges. For me, I couldn’t accept this nonsense. I couldn’t agree to the terms of an idea that was forced upon my identity. I couldn’t accept my identity — Or that of my family’s — Being swept under a big rug to cover up who we really were as individuals and human beings.
I’d like to encourage you to read about the origins of racial classification. This is the only way to inspire people to change the way they see and view race in America and around the world. The more we collectively understand, the better we can relate to each other. Of course, I know there are those who simply won’t bother with this stuff, simply because they’re already convinced that race truly does exist. For those who care about the details — And especially the truth — Here’s a starting point:
Let’s start with the “Caucasian race” (via Wikipedia):
The Caucasian race, sometimes called the Caucasoid race, is defined by the Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English as “relating to a broad division of humankind covering peoples from Europe, Western Asia, parts of the Indian Subcontinent and North Africa” or “white-skinned; of European origin” or “relating to the region of the Caucasus in SE Europe”. The concept originated in attempts chiefly by 19th c. European thinkers to develop a method of racial classification. This typological method was discredited and the concept is not relied on in scientific work related to humans. However, it survives along with the similar classification “white” on many sociological studies, most of which require respondents to choose their “race” from a list of terms. Some also allow “other” or “mixed”. The idea is to use the self-selected classification (sometimes selected by the surveyor by appearance) for correllational studies, sometimes in conjunction with other sciences, especially medicine and public health. People in Europe, especially in Russia and nearby, generally use the term “Caucasian” exclusively to identify people who are from the Caucasus region or who speak the Caucasian languages.
Origins of the term (“Caucasian”)
The term “Caucasian” originated as one of the racial categories developed in the 19th century by people studying craniology. It was derived from the region of the Caucasus mountains. The 18th century German philosopher Christoph Meiners first named the concept of the Caucasian race, but the term was more widely popularized in the 19th c. under the name “Varietas Caucasia” by the German scientist and naturalist, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) who “borrowed the name Caucasian” from Meiners. Blumenbach based the classification of the Caucasian race primarily on skull features, which Blumenbach claimed were optimized by the Caucasian peoples, particularly a single skull from the Caucasia which resembled German skulls. It was from this similarity that he conjectured Europeans having arisen in the Caucasia. Blumenbach wrote about the “primeval” Caucasian race which he believed was “the oldest race of man” and the “first variety of humankind”.
Are you convinced yet that you’ve been duped into accepting a non-existing classification? Ready for more enlightenment? Continue reading the Wikipedia article.