Why Are Middle Easterners Considered White On The US Census?
In 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Middle Easterners were Caucasian, but were not “white” because most laypeople did not consider them as such. This case was being brought to court because Middle Easterners were being treated as “coloreds” and not “Caucasian/Whites” in US states with segregation laws. If a group was considered “Caucasian/White” they had access to better facilities, better schools, and sometimes entire towns which kept out “coloreds.” The 1923 ruling basically said that Middle Easterners could be legally discriminated against. They could be considered “coloreds.”
The U.S. Supreme Court changed its mind in 1946, relabelling them “white.” And through today, Middle Easterners check the box next to “white” on the US Census.