Eli5: Why does the US Government classify Arabs/Middle Easterners as white?

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So according to the US government, Arabs, Persians, Kurdish, etc people are white. Why is this?

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25 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Considering race has always been an arbitrary political construct to determine who is and is not a underclass it makes perfect sense that there are weird outliers.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As of 2 days ago, your question is out of date. The US government has invented a new race called MENA that includes Arabs, Persians, Israeli Jews, and north Africans.

See here for details:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2024/03/29/2024-06469/revisions-to-ombs-statistical-policy-directive-no-15-standards-for-maintaining-collecting-and

IMNSHO, no public good is achieved by assigning people to race. It perpetuates racism.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Race/ethnicity are often at the whim of the needs/mood of the times. Mexicans were sometimes considered white, sometimes not. In 1929, they were considered white. In 1930, the US wanted to limit non-white migration, so they changed the designation…then in 1942 it went back to white, because we needed the labor during WWII.

Anonymous 0 Comments

ELI5 for the rest of the world: why does the US Government need to classify ethnicity by colour?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Race is an artificial construct used to divide people. Government just draws the lines wherever it is politically convenient.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I believe that is changing very very soon. Already on the approving table. I personally have no idea it was this silly.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Dated an Afghani girl and she was whiter than me. The Caucasus Mountains for which the term Cacausian is derived, are in the middle east. People think Afghanistan is full of brown skinned people but they looks like this https://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/children-63175_960_720.jpg

Anonymous 0 Comments

Italians and Greeks are white right? They are pretty much the same complexion right?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because “white” in this case is an arbitrary thing defined by the US government. Just like the concept of race is a pretty modern concept relative to human history.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A better question is why does the US use these outdated concepts of race when other countries only ask peoples place of birth or ancestors