This is kind of lame, I know, but this has been on my mind for a while, so I’m going to ask this anyway.
Here in America, why are all non Europeans and European descendants described as not being “white”? Or, conversely, why do only Europeans and European decentness get labeled as white? That doesn’t seem too terribly accurate, does it?
For example, I use to work at a pizza parlor, and there was this cashier that was either full, or half Native American (I forget which exactly) and I constantly heard her using the words “white man” this, white man that, but her skin didn’t really seam any darker than mine or our other white coworkers.
And then there’s the Latinos. When hearing discussions about them in the news or on the radio they’re all described as being brown skinned. Where I work, and at one store where I shop, there are plenty of Latinos, and from what I see, their skin color ranges the gamete from light to dark. In fact, I have a coworker who’s Mexican, well, part Mexican on his dad’s side. Now if you look at his face, there’s no mistaking that he’s a Mexican, but look at his skin, and you’ll see that it’s white.
And I’ve seen plenty of Asians who don’t have dark skin, or what some describe as “yellow” skin.
And finally, it seems that there are some groups of dark skinned people that are still classified as white. Take some southern European groups for example, a dark skinned Greek or Italian would still be considered white.
On an intellectual level, I guess I know that the term “white” isn’t strictly defined to skin color, but I still find it hard to think of some people as non white, when their skin color closely matches my own.