(Article): "Who is White?"
- WHO IS 'WHITE'? (Article)
In the United Kingdom, "white" and "black"
are not often used as nouns (e.g. "whites"),
as they seem slightly impolite; instead
the phrases "white person / people" and
"black person / people" are used.
In North America, and to a lesser extent other
countries, the term Caucasian is used for "white"
people (even though Caucasian properly
refers to people from the Caucasus region).
Anglo-Saxon is a less commonly used
synonym, which generally includes all white
Northern-European ancestries, not just
English, as the term would seem to suggest.
HISTORIC USE OF THE TERM
The term white has historically been used in
contrast to other racial colour terms, such as
black, brown, yellow (Far East Asian),
and red (Amerindian), etc, all of which
tend to be defined with reference to "white".
In other words, a "black" or "brown" person
is simply defined by having darker skin than
a "white" person, and any given "color"
may often apply to unrelated peoples.
In the U.S.A, "black" denotes [any known amount
of] African ancestry and "brown" is usually
attributed to non-white Hispanics and South
Asians (people of the Indian subcontinent);
in Australia, for example, "Black" denotes
Aborigines and "Brown" denotes South Asians
and Middle Easterners/North Africans.
These terms were in more common usage in the
beginning of the 20th century as ethno-historians
attempted to trace humanity's history through
linguistics, a process that has been largely
superseded with the advent of DNA analysis.
At the turn of the 20th century, some scholars
thought of white people as being the descendants
of Indo-Europeans and divided them into
two categories: Semitic and Aryan.
It is now known that this early categorization
was highly flawed, since Semitic people, although
Caucasoid, are not a sub-group of Indo-Europeans;
"Aryan" was erroneously applied by European
anthropologist to themselves; and South
Asians were altogether excluded,
despite being a caucasoid people
and a sub-group of Indo-Europeans.
Most popular and government definitions still
do not categorize South Asians as white.
Paradoxically, the term "Aryan", highly
associated with White supremacy,
most correctly applies to South Asians.
Although it is most prevalent in casual
conversation, the term white is increasingly
rare in academic and formal discussions of
racial demographics, but it is still often
used in discussions of racial attitudes,
particularly in the humanities, and in fields
such as 'African-American' studies ("black" studies),
critical race theory and whiteness studies.
WHO IS WHITE?
The scope of the term `White' has changed
over time, and varies from place to place.
In the United States, the term usually applies
to people of ethnic European descent or anyone
that looks European with no other discernable
non-European racial features.
The strictest definition held by white
supremacist groups around the world is
that anyone of total ancient ethnic
indigenous European ancestry is 'white.'
(Although few actually insist on a genealogical
record, and tend instead to make their
judgment on relative skin color.)
In Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil,
lighter skinned mulattos
(people of mixed African and European descent)
... are often considered white,
while in the United States or Canada, those
same people would always be considered "black"
and in Europe they would be classed as "mixed
race" a blanket term for all people with multiple
racial heritages --- not just 'mulattos'.
British Afro-Caribbean slang includes
the terms 'Red' for those with half-black,
half-white ancestry, and 'Yellow' for
those who are 3/4 white, 1/4 black.
Other contemporary difficulties of the term,
in the United States for example, is that
Anatolian Turks, Arabs, Iranians, caucasoid
Jews (Northern/Eastern European Ashkenazim,
Iberian Sephardim and Middle Eastern Mizrahim),
may also be seen as non-White by a majority of
people, even though some people in these groups
may look very similar to Southern Europeans; and
in the case of Ashkenazim, to Northern Europeans.
In the United States, generally speaking,
the biggest dilemma of `White' inclusion
is for caucasoid Americans of Middle
Eastern and North African descent:
Berbers, Anatolian Turks, Arabs,
Iranians, Kurds, Mizrahim, etc.
For the purposes of statistics, they are
always categorized as `white' by US
government agencies and the U.S.census.
This categorization, however, does not always
lead to a sense of inclusion for most of them,
as they are often excluded from the general
structural concepts of white-American society,
and may even experience hostile rejection.
Furthermore, while South Asians are also an
anthropologically caucasoid people -- and
recognized as such by the United States
Supreme Court not only are they also excluded
from both the popular definition of "white" and
the general structural concepts of white-American
society, but are excluded as "non-whites" by
US government agencies as well, and are
instead categorised and tallied up as "Asians",
as done in the U.S.census race categorisation.
For an example of legal contradictions in
United States Supreme Court rulings of
"white" vs "caucasian" [click following link]
By contrast in Europe, Canada, and Australia those
same Middle Easterners, North Africans, and South
Asians are almost never regarded or categorized
as `White', neither by society's general
understanding of the term nor by
Instead, they are regarded as "racial minorities".
This latter understanding of the term in
Australia has little to do with White separatist
exclusionism, but rather a traditional, and still
currently espoused, definition of `white' which
has never encompassed Middle Easterners or North
Africans, and which, unlike the definition of
"White" in the United States, has not
undergone "continuous alterations" to
include an ever growing number of people.
In the American context, where Middle Easterners
and North Africans are grouped as `white' by
government agencies, the popular contention
of excluding these Caucasoid groups of North
Africa and the Middle East from the white
label is based largely on the argument
that there is a significant Black sub-Saharan
component in much of their populations
(a long-spanning presence throughout the
history of that region) and on their
disparate cultural, religious,
linguistic heritage and ancestral origins.
It is undeniable that many Arabs in North Africa
(Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, etc) and the Arabian
Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, etc.)
have enough black African ancestry or are
dark enough --at times being [as or even more]
dark-complexioned [than] ... [so-called]
`African Americans' -- to be considered
black by popular US standards...
Additionally, the popular definition of white
in the United States often excludes all
Hispanics, more so those from the Americas
(even if of unmixed European descent, or of
European phenotype with distant non-European
admixture) and at times also questioning
the `whiteness'of those from Spain.
Of the countries of Latin America, those that it
can be said are composed of an overwhelmingly
European population are Argentina and Uruguay.
Chile and Costa Rica are also quite "European",
and possess mestizo majorities where it is not
uncommon for the European element to predominate
heavily over the Amerindian one (Castizo);
of those, very few would acknowledge the
admixture and would simply identify as white.
Countries such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru,
on the other hand, possess Amerindian majorities,
and although they also harbour large mestizo
minorities, on average the Amerindian element
predominates over the European one.
Furthermore, Guyana and Surinam have
significant South Asian populations.
Also, Haiti and the Dominican Republic
are composed mainly of people of
African or mixed African descent.
Despite these vast racial differences, there
is a marked tendency in the US to label all
people from South and Central America as
Hispanic or Latino, not white, no matter
how white or black they might be in appearance...
CRITICSISM OF THE TERM
One recent genetic study suggests that
approximately 30% of self-identified whites
(non-Hispanic) in the U.S. possess some
sub-Saharan-African ancestry, due to
mixing with the population now called
"black" or African American in the U.S. ...
Indeed, whites who have ancestors which settled
in theWestern United States during the 19th
century may have American Indian
and/or African-American ancestors.
The broad usage of "white" is sometimes
criticized by those who argue that it
de-ethnicizes various groups, although the
same charge is not leveled at the question
of ethnic diversity within [so-called] "blacks".
During the era of Jim Crow Laws in the
Southern United States, facilities were
commonly divided into separate sections
for white and "colored" people.
These terms were defined by law, with people of
northern and western European being labeled
white and African-Americans labeled as "colored".
The categorization of people of other
ethnicities and mixed ancestries varied
by state, county, and municipality.
A more contemporary criticism is that many
"black" people have lived in areas of North
Africa associated with Arabs and thus,
should be considered white.
Mostafa Hefny, an obviously "black"-Egyptian,
is among those whose original ancestors are from
North Africa and who is classified as `white',
despite the obviousness of his black identity
and his socialization as a "black" man in America.
AREAS OF HABITATION
Countries with a majority of white ethnic
Europeans include all the nations of Europe,
as well as some of the countries colonized
by them through the 15th century to 19th
century, such as the United States, Canada,
Argentina, Uruguay, asiatic Russia,
and oceanic Australia and New Zealand.
In these nations, the relatively small indigenous
populations were overwhelmed by white colonists
from one or more European "mother countries".
The distribution of Europeans worldwide may
be explained by the traditional argument
that Europeans thrive best in temperate
climates above about 30Â° latitude in
both hemispheres, but do not fare well
in the tropics, except at high elevations.
Indeed, Europeans have colonized most of those
portions of the north and south temperate zones
which had low indigenous-population densities
when discovered by European explorers,
which excluded East Asia but included
virtually all other temperate regions.
Whites are also nearly unique in that they
exhibit a variety of hair and eye colors.
In parts of the world north of 50Â° North
latitude, sunlight is low and weak enough
hat people (and white coloured polar animals
for that matter) with blond hair, blue eyes,
and pale skin have an advantage over
those with darker colouration.
Benefits include resistance to
rickets, possibly frostbite...
However, the only major part of the
world where such conditions exist is
in northern Europe and western Russia.
Parts of Alaska and western Canada, and, in
the Southern Hemisphere (south of 50Â° South
latitude), a small section of South America
including Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland
Islands would fit the requirement as well,
but they were thinly populated at the time of
discovery and are now dominated by the
descendants of European settlers.
Significant minorities of Whites live in
the various Latin American and Caribbean
countries, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia.
Many of these nations have experienced
considerable political conflict between the white
minority (descendants of settlers from the former
Race in the US Federal Census
The 7th federal census, in 1850, asked for Color:
The 10th federal census, in 1880, asked for Color:
The 22nd federal census, in 2000, had a "short form
 that asked two race/ancestry questions:
**1.Is the person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?
**2.What is the person's race?
**Black, African American, Negro
**American Indian or Alaska Native
**10 choices for Asian and Pacific Islander
This census acknowledged that "the race
categories include both racial and national-
origin groups." See also Race (U.S. Census)
[[NOTE: The fact that the form insists on placing the
largely MGM-Mixed raced `Ethnic' group currently
mis-nomered as `African-American' (AA) in
the `mono'-racial `Black' racial category
is as illogical as referring to those of
"American Indian" lineage within the
South Asian category along with `East Indians.
More than 70% of those who are of 100% AA
ethnicity have a racial ancestry of +20-30%
European and more than 25% Amerindian thus,
they are `multi'-racially `mixed' and not ,
and are not `mono'-racially `black'.]]
Mixed==Multiracial Admixed Lineage/Parentage/Ancestry]]