Enjoy a snippet from our history.
Slavery and Discrimination in America
Slavery and Discrimination in America
Label My "Race" Human
The label of race in America was used as a way for the proponents of slavery to continue using humans as free labor, to keep the poor poor and make the rich richer while integrating the idea in the mind of the Caucasian that their 'race' was superior to that of the Indians and the African. Only society makes a difference between people. There is nothing in the law of nature that makes one color of person superior to another despite the fact that cultural differences, language barrier, and the color of skin all fused together to form a case set against another group of people.
The different physical traits of African Americans and Indians became markers or symbols of their status differences. The concept of race was developed and established by a study and thesis paper that was written by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. It is amazing how the mere words of another person can effect and change the course of history, and the wealth, health and well being of another. Mere words, whether based on truth, personal beliefs or delusion can make or break a world, a nation, a life, mere words.
Blumenbach born May 11, 1752 was a German physiologist and anthropologist. His thesis paper written about the difference in people and titled On the Natural Varieties of Mankind was considered one of the most influential papers of his time and basically established the way different races are seen in the world today. The separation of the people by race was established in order to institute the separation by social and economic differences. The idea of the Caucasian race to be superior to other races has been spread across the entire world. How people have been accepted and treated within the context of a given society or culture has a direct impact on how they perform in that society. Racial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human species and about the abilities and behavior of people placed into "racial" categories. The myths combined the perception of behavior and physical features together in the public mind, and blocked the ability to understand behavior is not a genetic determination of a person. Temperaments, dispositions, and personalities, regardless of genetic, are developed by the life we live.
Blumenbach's theory was based on his study of 60 human skulls, with these skulls Blumenbach divided humans into five races, Caucasian (white), Mongolian (yellow), Malayan (brown), Ethiopian (black), and American (red). Later in life Blumenbach was in Switzerland when he came across a beautiful Negro woman who caused him to do further anatomical research and come up with the belief that Africans were not inferior to the rest of mankind. Unfortunately these later ideas were far less influential than his earlier assertions with regard to the perceived relative qualities of the different so-called races.
He believed that like skin color, cranial profile, etc., went hand in hand with declarations of group character and aptitude. The "fairness" and relatively high brows of Caucasians were held to be apt physical expressions of a loftier mentality and a more generous spirit. The epicanthic folds around the eyes of Mongolians and their slightly sallow outer epidermal layer bespoke their supposedly crafty, literal-minded nature. The dark skin and relatively sloping craniums of Ethiopians were taken as proof of a closer genetic relations to the apes. Despite the fact the skin of chimpanzees and gorillas beneath the hair is whiter than the average Caucasian skin and orangutans and some monkey species have foreheads fully as vertical as the typical Englishman or German.
Blumenbach’s analysis sealed the fate of every race other than Caucasian as inferior. Looking over the list of the awesome people that have made America the fantastic country it is today, it is has been proven time and time again that the 'inferior' label placed on many races is false. Basically what it all boils down to is the fact one set of people decided they were better than another, used the unknown about the Indians and Africans' culture to foster the belief further and spurred the lies and discrimination to justify the psychological, and physical torture aimed at another group of people.
Blumenbach died January 22, 1840. His classification and the scientific concept of human races was widely accepted for about two hundred years, but in the late twentieth century, it came to light that Homo sapiens could not be divided into races or subspecies.
So where did the term Caucasian originate? The term Caucasian is sometimes used to refer to people whose ancestry can be traced back to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, and in certain areas of the Horn of Africa and Central Asia. In Europe (especially in Russia and the surrounding area), Caucasian usually refers exclusively to people who are from the Caucasus region or speak the Caucasian languages.
Usage of the term Caucasian as a racial classification declined in Europe in the 19th century because it did not allow for enough distinctions as required by the new forms of nationalism that were emerging. In The United Kingdom, Caucasian refers to people from the Caucasus. In Canada, the term Caucasian is known, but rarely used as a description of white people. In Australia and New Zealand, the term Caucasian is mainly used in police offender descriptions. In New Zealand, the terms more commonly used to describe white people are Pakeha, European New Zealander, or simply New Zealander.
In the United States, Caucasian has primarily been used as a distinction based on skin color, for a group commonly referred to as White Americans, as defined by the government and Census Bureau. A large segment of the Hispanic community in the United States can be scientifically categorized as Caucasoid, but may not be labeled as white (by themselves or others).
The question of a difference between the Caucasian race and white as a racial category in the United States has led to at least one set of major legal contradictions in the United States Supreme Court in the pre-Civil Rights era. In the case of Ozawa v. United States (1922), the court ruled that a law which extended U.S. citizenship only to whites did not apply to fair-skinned people from Japan, because: The term white person, as used in [the law], and in all the earlier naturalization laws, beginning in 1790, applies to such persons as were known in this country as white, in the racial sense, when it was first adopted, and is confined to persons of the Caucasian Race. A Japanese born in Japan, being clearly not a Caucasian cannot be made a citizen of the United States.
However a year later, the same court was faced with the trial of United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923), where they ruled that someone from the Indian subcontinent could not become a naturalized United States citizen, because they were not white. The Supreme Court conceded that anthropologists had classified Indians as Caucasians, and thus the same race as whites, as defined in Ozawa. However, it concluded that the average man knows perfectly well there are unmistakable and profound differences, and denied citizenship.After Blumenbach's time, the term Caucasian no longer was associated with peoples from the Caucasus but continued to be used as a racial indicator. Wow, amazing how one person's opinion, a mere word shaped America. We are a nation that thrives on 'mere' words to shape our actions and thoughts...mere can almost be integrated into our name A-mer-i-ca.