After more than 25 years in the United States, I understand why we dwell on color – I think… It’s so that we can make sure kids from disenfranchised groups get opportunities they might otherwise miss. And to ensure that certain people don’t grab what’s not theirs. Society must serve everybody.

That’s why government focuses on it, anyway.

So all these years, I dutifully filled in the box that either said “white” or “Caucasian.”

The latter term is getting rarer these days, thankfully, because it just never made any sense. Why did they think I was from the Caucasus when I hail from a country near the North Pole and now live on the East Coast of the U.S.? In fact, I’ve only met a handful of people from that part of the world my whole life.

The Caucasus, as you may recall, is a mountain range in southern Russia that has also given name to a large family of languages and a region that includes countries as diverse as Azerbaijan, Turkey, Chechnya, Dagestan and Iran.

None of it made any sense at all, until I stumbled across a video on MTV. Turns out, this Caucasian business was all a racist plot!

Since I’m not white, at least not in August, nor from the Caucasus, I’m now thinking European-American will do. Or Scandinavian-American, perhaps…Or maybe we should just scrap all these labels once and for all?

 

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