Friday, April 24, 2009

Introduction to Caucasian/American Studies

As an American citizen, I am vaguely familiar with the most popular versions of our history that have been taught in school. From the beginning, America has had a long list of very famous people that helped to create our country. And some that are not so famous, of course. Among the list of people who are logged into the history books of our nation, you will always find some sort of recognizable adjective attached to them that helps to define who they are. Christopher Columbus, a Spaniard; Sitting Bull or Tatanka Yotanka, an indigenous native Sioux Indian; Harriet Tubman, an African/American...all reputable figures of American history and the like. Then there's George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony...all very famous individuals pulled from the same list of Americans in the same randomness in which I began with. The only difference between the first random selection and the last? Ethnicity. It seems that most, if not all of the historic Americans who are Caucasian, are not mentioned as being Caucasian. Why? I don't know. Do you?

As this topic winds its way into a debatable issue, I would like to add that in colleges all over the nation, one may choose to study courses such as African/American studies, Latin/American studies, Asian/American studies and probably any specific culture as it pertains to its roots here in America. Which means that information from these courses are being offered to Americans and non Americans about these specific cultures. But to say Asian/American is not really that specific, is it? The term Asian/Americans spans the entire variety of all Asian cultures. Right?

So at this point you may already be wondering, what is the point of this blog? What does this have to do with the title? Well, as I've mentioned already, "Asian/American'"is a general and loose term for all Asian Americans. Yet it is still offered as a course in which to obtain a degree in college. Which means you are required to study Asians who are Americans. And so what does that feel like to Asians, here in America, to be studied? Do you like to be studied? And if that is ok, then what is the difference between studying Asian/Americans and Caucasian/Americans, an equally accepted loose definition of all Caucasians who are American.

* Now, I know that this is already a delicate topic to start up because I find myself gingerly browsing through my mind for the right way to say all of this. And I think the right way to say what I am attempting to say is: Why leave one group out and include the rest? It is the year 2009 and I am beginning to believe that this sort of dialogue should be accepted and understood as something that is enlightening and informative to all Americans. I also believe that what makes this country so powerfully magnanimous is the fact that all cultures may have their pride and dignity, individually, as it is a part of a greater whole. What makes the union of this country so different( but not necessarily better ) from the rest of the world, is the fact that it is union of all the worlds cultures. And to not include the Cauasian/American culture as a college course, with the rest of the ethnic study courses, would seem ridiculous to any of the great historic figures I've mentioned above.

It is true that there has and probably always will be tension between races here in America. And that, historically, Caucasian/Americans can be perceived as cause for a certain percentage. But who's writing the story? And when does the story end? And, of course it is not ALL negative. The civil war has already proven that fact. It took a nation of milions to win that war. So when will it be time to credit, specifically, Caucasians for the great moments of our incredible history, without causing discomfort to the rest of our ethnic peoples of this nation? To include Caucasians, specifically, for the amount of work, the signed papers and legislative decisions and the civil laws passed to benefit us all, as Americans. To give them pride for who they are as people without separation from the rest. To finally make possible a dialogue in which we can begin to truly hone in on the problems we face as a nation. So that we can begin to do away with the guilt of our past. I have always known that when you let someone recognize the goodness within themselves, the reciprocation is equally reassuring. Uncertainty has always led to mistrust and insecurity of ones feelings. But if we are certain of our mutual understandings; if we share the same information; if common knowledge is the sense that is common opens up an entire different path of communication. We might be lacking a good portion of information from the Cauacasian culture in our studies.

My inspiration for this blog comes from a man by the name of Christian Landers. His comedic approach has been somewhat enlightening and maybe the only textual information I have so far on this delicate topic. His openness and understanding combined with a witty, dry sense of humor allows me to see through the topic and into the heart of his brilliance. His blog is called Stuff White People's very funny. His writing style is both hillarious and deceptively informative to say the least. His message seems to be that Caucasians are really not that different from the rest of us if you are already laughing...

Well...that's my introduction. I am inviting all to join in. It would do me some good to have some input, as I am only equipped with a general education diploma. I am preparing myself for some outlandish comments and some enlightening information from my fellow Americans along the way.
So, lets get this course developed and into the universities and colleges someday.
The kids might love it.
And yes...I am not Caucasian. And no I'm not completely Asian. isn't Tiger Woods either.
But close...

To be continued...

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