Whiteness of a Different Color

Caucasian is a term that came into existence to categorize all people of the white race. In the book Whiteness of a Different Color, by Matthew Frye Jacobson a topic that has been avoided for years is brought to light. America is supposed to be the melting pot, but Jacobson analyzes the idea of whiteness and the blending of colors. Categories of race have fluctuated, not only in response to the imperatives of a segmented labor market, or to the “spontaneous allegiance” of white workers based on their own perceived whiteness, but also to perceptions “of fitness for self government. ” (Jacobson p 20)

This book was one that made me look at our society in a way that was at times uncomfortable. Race is such a touchy subject. It seems that any white person that you talk to about race that they do not declare that they are not a racist and that they have friends of another race. I had to wonder why that would be such a common response. I came to the conclusion that it is an issue that Americans still are not completely comfortable, yet we are a nation with as much variety as a rainbow. The subject of Whiteness of a Different Color is those who are considered white who are not of Anlgo-Saxon descent.

Our country was not only populated with Western Europeans, but Eastern Europeans as well. I think that this issue is still prevalent today. My friend, an Anglo-Saxon, is dating a girl from Bosnia, and he is forced daily to deal with other Anglo-Saxons who feel that there is a problem with him dating a non white woman. She is considered a Caucasian the same as he is, but other, especially his family members see it differently. They see her dark skin and automatically feel superior. I do not see why it should be a problem, even if she was not a Caucasian, I do not see the problem. People are all human beings.

Doctors do not have to learn a whole different anatomy for different races. One person’s blood can be given to another with the same blood type. It simply does not matter what the race is of either of the individuals. There is still discrimination against those who are white, but not white enough by society’s standard. As Jacobson points out, too much emphasis has been placed on the color of one’s skin, and the origination of their family. America has failed on some levels as the melting pot of the world.

Works Cited

Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Whiteness of a Different Color. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1988.