Why Many Arab-Americans Check 'White' On The US Census
Scholarships, grants and government programs for minority groups often don't extend to Middle Eastern Americans.By Noor Tagouri | July 15, 2016
This might surprise you, but according to the U.S. government, I'm considered white. That's because, on the U.S. census, there's no option for Middle Eastern or North African, or MENA Americans. That means while we don't always have the same resources as some other minority groups, we still face a lot of the same struggles.
I like to think of it as "white without the privilege."
Initially, in 1944, MENA Americans were overjoyed when the government ruled to legally identify them as "white." That's probably because, up until 1952, only "white Americans" were able to become naturalized U.S. citizens.