Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School Edited by Mica Pollock

February 2012

View Chapter Three : Getting Rid of the Word "Caucasian"

I have been rereading chapters from this publication as of late to keep me grounded in the work that we must do in our College of Education programs as we prepare professionals to educate, serve, and lead.  This book focuses on the theoretical underpinnings on how teachers should respond to children who have critical questions about race.  I found in my experience that one of the most difficult subjects to talk about with students besides sex education is race relations.  Most young children have questions about race that are innocent in their asking, but we as adults shy away from them because we either do not have the content knowledge to explain it or we simply think that it is wrong to discuss the topic.  When we tell children not to see color, then this color-blindness may cause them to miss out on the richness of a person’s race and culture.

This book helps educators answer some of the critical race-based questions that students might ask, but it also provides content knowledge around areas that we may not have information.  I have often heard White people as well as others refer to a person of European descent as Caucasian.  In the book there is a chapter entitled “Getting Rid of the Word Caucasian.”  In the chapter it explains why the term Caucasian based on its historical roots depicts a racist world view.  I highly encourage reviewing the table of contents of this book and selecting those chapters that will enhance your knowledge base around race.