It has become more common to capitalize the word Black in reference to African Americans.
For some, it is a long-overdue gesture of respect. For others (like me), it’s about consistency. Asian is capitalized. Native American is capitalized. Black has become a synonym for African American, People of Color, and the no-longer-allowed Negro, all capitalized. I think it’s just consistent to capitalize the B.
Doing this led me to also start capitalizing White, which is a synonym for Caucasian, aka, people of European descent or, as Michelle Malkin puts it, People of Pallor. But some of those who insist on capitalizing Black oppose capitalizing White on moral grounds.
Seriously, there’s a morality to capital letters? Who knew …
Supposedly, a capital W legitimizes toxic white supremacy. Or something. So what … toxic black supremacy is okay? ::smh::
Others claim that while lower case white is simply an apolitical description of a skin color, whereas capitalized White outrageously suggests that Caucasians share a culture, which according to these same people, we don’t. So harumph.
First off, white doesn’t describe the skin color of anyone. Even albinos are pale pink, because the redness of their blood shows through their melanin-free skin. I myself am a Person of Easily Sunburned Pallor whose entire genetic history can be traced to rarely sunny Ireland, England, and northern Germany. I can easily see my veins through my skin, but I’m not white.
As for that shared culture thing, gimme a break. People who share a culture are people who share a culture. Skin tone has little or nothing to do with it. Ben Carson and Barack Obama share a similar skin tone, but their up-bringing, life experiences, and choices are vastly different.
The article linked below makes the excellent point that “white culture is routinely cited to refer to white supremacy and white privilege as a shorthand for the cultural biases, prejudices and values that prop up systemic racism.”
But we’re not supposed to capitalize white, because we don’t share a culture. “Both ideas—that white culture is omnipresent and nonexistent—can’t be true.”