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Opinion: The pernicious myth of a Caucasian race | Los Angeles Times

By JOEL DINERSTEINSEP. 11, 2019 Anthropologists have for centuries studied human skulls and drawn conclusions about human origins —...

By JOEL DINERSTEINSEP. 11, 2019

Anthropologists have for centuries studied human skulls and drawn conclusions about human origins — some of them inaccurate.(Menahem Kahana / AFP/Getty Images). Featured Image

In the vocabulary of ethnicity, some designations are obvious. African Americans are of African descent; Latinos have Latin American roots. But what about Caucasians? If a Native American told a Caucasian to “go back where you came from,” where would that person go?

Geographically, Caucasia is a region of Russia, a place from which few white Americans come. Yet the term Caucasian remains in wide use as a synonym for a white person.

The classification dates back to 1795, when Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, a respected German physician and anthropologist, conducted research in which he measured skulls, a then-common practice for comparing disparate human groups.

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