Why Italians were considered non Whites in America?

Jun 2012
1,472
Florida
In the US all immigrant groups at onetime or another were considered non-white. Heck, Benjamin Franklin thought the Germans were not White. So, all others were non-white, including the Irish, Italians and nearly everyone from eastern Europe. They were non-white until they were white. WWII probably did more for cohesion of the ethnic groups than anything else.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
In the US all immigrant groups at onetime or another were considered non-white. Heck, Benjamin Franklin thought the Germans were not White. So, all others were non-white, including the Irish, Italians ans nearly everyone from eastern Europe. They were non-white until they were white. WWII probably did more for cohesion of the ethnic groups than anything else.
AFAIK, Germans were always considered White on the US Census.
 
Jun 2012
1,472
Florida
Here is a Benjamin Franklin quote on whiteness:

"That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind. "
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
Here is a Benjamin Franklin quote on whiteness:

"That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind."
So, BF declared Native Americans to be "tawny" and then said that they were "lovely"?
 
Oct 2009
3,434
San Diego
For the same reasons that Irish were seen as 'Non-White"- Catholicism.

It wasn't about 'white' - it was about papists versus protestants.
That Kennedy got elected was a shock, Both because of his catholicism ANS because he was Irish, and even in 1960, the Irish were still seen as not quite American enough.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,331
appalacian Mtns
I've never heard of anyone in the USA considering Italians to be anything other than white. If there were such notions they were not widely held. Italian girls have a reputation of being very beautiful but quick tempered. I think the religious thing is way overblown. There are lots of Catholics in the USA & most people just don't care much about religion anyway.
 
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Dec 2011
4,437
Iowa USA
Here is a Benjamin Franklin quote on whiteness:

"That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind. "
Inhabitants of Mars and Venus, you don't say?
 

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