I was a teenager and young adult during the race riots of the sixties in America. Growing up, I was told I was 'Caucasian'. I didn't know exactly what a caucasian was, but I understood it wasn't Negro.
You see back then the Negros were just starting to demand to be called black. I never understood that because, for me, terms like black, white, red and brown were colors. I knew Negros were darker than I was, but why did they want to be a color. I thought it was dumb to call them 'colored'. No one colored them. They were born Negros.
Remember, much of this thought was formulated as a child and teen.
Then the race riots struck our town. We lived in a city that had five converging rivers with the accompanying bridges. It was actually possible to shut the bridges and isolate parts of the city and that is exactly what took place during the riots. The Negros who were rioting were effectively on an island.
I had never been afraid of another race until the riots. I had no reason to be. That was the benefit of growing up Caucasian in America at the time. I didn't know, other than historical slavery, that Negroes had been tortured, and killed just for being a race. That is, until the riots. The only good thing, in my opinion, that came out of that time of de-segregation was to raise awareness beyond the historical account of slavery.
As a young adult, I dated across racial lines, much to my mother's dismay. It fit with my rebellion and I really liked the guys I dated regardless of their race. I did have some run-ins with my peers so I became familiar with racial bigotry on a personal level.
That's my background and now to the point. During the time Negros wanted to be called black, society started to call me 'white'. I still do not understand the term Caucasian, but I really really didn't want to be a color. White is the color of paper or clouds. We call clouds, clouds, not white. I am not white!
It brings me lots of enjoyment when I am offered 'other' on a form when inquiring about race. It's a process of elimination. I am not African-American, I am not black, Indian, Asian-American and they don't offer Scottish-American. Yes, yes, I am most definitely 'other' because I know I am not white. White is a color, not a race.
I don't know any African-Americans who have been to Africa nor Asian-Americans who have been to Asia. They were just born here in America. They are all difference shades in their skin tones. I do know a lot of Mexican-Americans who were actually born in Mexico and now live here in America, but I know some Mexican-Americans who have never been to Mexico, don't want to go to Mexico and want to be called Americans (although, again, that is not a race). I would be considered Scottish-American by the rule of naming these other two groups, but alas, I've never been to Scotland. Perhaps if I became a citizen of Scotland I could be called American-Scottish. On second thought, I'd probably be reduced to being a color. . . white.
What's the big deal? Well, if we are going to get past bigotry, we have to stop being so silly. In fact, I believe if there were only two 'white' people left on the planet, whatever differences they have would be a point of contention. That's being human in the worse sense of the word.
So, stop calling me white and tell me about what kind of person you are on the inside. Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior? Do you love God. Are you kind? Do you have family? Let's just be people.