Did they really…? Yes…Yes they did.
Caucacity, a portmanteau of the words caucasian and audacity, is a strain of unabashed boldness that people of a certain pale hue often exhibit towards Black and brown humans, or towards trends and inventions emerging from Black and brown cultures. It is a sour soup made up of racism, white privilege, jealousy, and cultural appropriation. Caucacity is underpinned by a belief that persists to this day: that Black people are property, and that anything we create or produce belongs to white people and the world at large. If you’re not clear as to how it plays out in real life, let me be your guide. Take a look at these examples of peak caucacity:
- I think we need to start with Rachel Dolezal. Which could actually be the end of this article, because when it comes to caucacity, she has ALL OF IT. A lily-white woman, who claims to “identify as black,” taught Africana Studies, and even became a chapter president of the NAACP. #whewchile
- Next up: Melania’s outright plagiarism of one of Michelle Obama’s speeches. Yeah…that happened. And no, we haven’t forgotten.
- Of course, Kim Kardashian is going to make an appearance. Remember the “Kimono” debacle? She was called out by the Mayor of Kyoto for that one. She literally tried to trademark an entire culture. And who could forget when she wore her hair in cornrows and claimed that the style (which is actually Fulani braids) originated with Bo Derek?
- This example is pretty rich: Lucian B Wintrich man-splained, white-splained, yes King-splained MLK’s legacy to—wait for it—MLK’s youngest daughter.
Caucacity can also look like:
- Showing your entire underskirt because a Black woman dares to be happy and live well. Yes, we’re looking at you Liv Siddal.
- Comparing SWM (Straight White Male) to the N word.
- Comparing “Karen” to the N word.
- Being upset about the word “caucacity,” and considering it to a a racist term. (Newsflash: it isn’t.)
- A CEO’s (or, *ahem* president’s) offspring telling minoritized people that they need to work harder and get their qualifications for a job—while they’re in a job that they only got because of nepotism.
- Styling your hair in cornrows, braids, and baby hairs because it’s “cool”, but calling Black and brown women who wear their hair that way “ghetto”.
- Speaking in AAVE, or using slang associated with a minoritized group for “cool points”, but considering the Black and brown people who invented these linguistic norms to be ignorant and not well-spoken.
- Ordering tacos, but in the same breath telling Mexicans to “go home”.
Can the scourge of caucacity ever be stopped? I certainly hope so. The great thing about where we are now globally is that none of this foolishness is being tolerated any more. We will name it and shame it. We will call the perpetrators out. We will demand apologies. We will apply #cancelculture where appropriate. The revolution, much to the Karens’ distress, is in progress.
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Text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix