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Difference between White and Caucasian?

In english language, especially in the police of the USA as far as I know, the people with white skin are sometimes classified as "White" and sometimes classified as "Caucasian". Now I wonder, what is the difference between White and Caucasian? Is there no difference at all and it depends by your own liking which word you use or is there maybe a racial difference between those two, which I don't know about?

Thank you very much for your help!

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Chinafan:

    Here in the United States, racial matters are a VERY sensitive issue. So choosing the correct word is very important.

    If you come to the States, I very respectfully suggest that you use the word "white," for that is the word that almost all Americans use nowadays.

    If you use the word "Caucasian," people will have different reactions:

    a. Some will think that you are being sarcastic.
    b. Some will think that you are afraid of the word "white."
    c. Some will think that you are saying that white people are better than other races.
    d. Some people will think that you are trying to use a technical word in order not to offend anyone.
    e. Some people (like those police officers you mention) do use "Caucasian" because they sincerely feel that the word "Caucasian" is more "neutral" than "white."

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