White Immigrants Weren’t Always Considered White – and Acceptable

This article by Brando Simeo Starkey gives us a brief overview of how European immigrants to the US in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s ‘earned’ their way to being considered white via the perpetration of racist acts specifically against Blacks and Jews.
White immigrants weren’t always considered white- and acceptable

Rebecca Jot

2 Responses to “White Immigrants Weren’t Always Considered White – and Acceptable

  • keyue Song
    6 months ago

    Thank you, Rebecca, for the sharing. The article can be a piece of good evidence for the social construction of races. It can also be brought into class as a reading material about the history of immigrants and the United States.

    “The next “whitelash,” however, can only be prevented if whites conclude that joining with nonwhite peoples of similar socioeconomic standing will bring them closer to happiness than seeking to protect white privilege.” I like this argument by the end of the article. However, during the process, we should pay attention to people taking advantage of the policies helping those oppressed groups, and avoid us falling into the pitfall of the “zeal of the converts”, and reinforce the status quo.

  • Rebecca Jot
    5 months ago

    Hi Keyue,
    I’m glad you found this article interesting. It was one of the pieces that we read for the anti-racism course. It reminded me a lot of a quote from Benjamin Franklin in his “Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc.” written in 1751, where he claims, “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.” This is so different from what groups are considered white today. Such changes definitely illustrate that Race is a social construct.
    I would be interested to hear more about your thoughts on avoiding the abuse of policies helping oppressed groups and how that can reinforce the status quo. I’m not sure I understand. Could you say more to explain for me?

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