European-American

What if we said “European-American” instead of “White?”

This thought occurred to me while I was doing some background reading on talking to my sons about race and racism. I have to stop saying nothing about it. “For white people, talking about race is uncomfortable. For people of color, it’s a necessity.

“European-American” is value-neutral. White is the color of virtue. Europe is just a place, on par with Asia, Africa, and so on.

“European-American” is factual. You either do or don’t have genetic roots in Europe.

“European-American” escapes the one-drop rule. You must buy into the one-drop rule to think in terms of Whiteness. A White person cannot be mixed-race. But a European-American can be mixed race.

“European-American” is awkward to say. Which, for a White person, suggests sharing the linguistic burden of terms like “African-American,” “person of color,” or “black and brown.”


I talk more about race and racism more than most people who identify as White. This is probably abrasive sometimes.