Why Italians were considered non Whites in America?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,743
SoCal
Check the U.S. Census records as far back as 1900. Those who were born in Italy were listed as "white" in the race column.
Yep--as were those who were born in the Middle East as well as in Latin America.

Also, the US Census race category didn't begin in 1900. Rather, it began all of the way back in 1790. Each individual was enumerated starting from 1850. While most Italian immigration to the US occurred after 1880, surely there was some Italian immigration to the US before 1880 as well.
 
Likes: Rodger

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,034
US
Yep--as were those who were born in the Middle East as well as in Latin America.

Also, the US Census race category didn't begin in 1900. Rather, it began all of the way back in 1790. Each individual was enumerated starting from 1850. While most Italian immigration to the US occurred after 1880, surely there was some Italian immigration to the US before 1880 as well.
My aunt's father was born in Jerusalem. He called himself "Syrian," but keep in mind this was in the days when The English Mandate included Trans Jordan. My guess is he was Jordanian. Anyway, he was listed as white on the Census.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,743
SoCal
My aunt's father was born in Jerusalem. He called himself "Syrian," but keep in mind this was in the days when The English Mandate included Trans Jordan. My guess is he was Jordanian. Anyway, he was listed as white on the Census.
Maybe his family lived in Syria several generations ago?

Also, Yes, Jordanians, Iraqis, and Saudis were also considered White (and still are even to this day):

 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,473
Australia
Australian immigration legislation considered southern Europeans such as Greeks and Italians to be non-white. They were excluded under the White Australia policy till after WWII.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,743
SoCal
Australian immigration legislation considered southern Europeans such as Greeks and Italians to be non-white. They were excluded under the White Australia policy till after WWII.
Did the ones who were already in Australia also classified as non-white on Australian censuses?
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,473
Australia
I've never met anyone who thought Italians were not white. Ridiculous notion.
A proper historian learns not to overlay his modern biases and sensibilties onto people of the past. Plenty of things we consider silly or irrational today were taken very seriously in earlier times.
 

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