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This isn't directed at you, Jonathan, but I just wanted to say that I've always found it reductive the way some people see the world as white and non-white. As you say, it's more complicated than that. Though the term isn't used much anymore, distinctions also used to be drawn between whites and ethnic whites, i.e. anyone not WASP. Consequently, you would qualify, as would I, as someone of Irish/Italian/Catholic descent. Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there since "non-white" often indicates diversity, while "white" often indicates the opposite. And now I suppose it's time to cue up the Monkees. :-)

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | January 11, 2008 4:44 PM

but im jewish! am i still an ethnic white? or am a non-ethnic non-white?

Posted by jz | January 11, 2008 4:59 PM

As a person of Jewish descent, you qualify as an "ethnic white." As person of Catholic descent--even though I'm a non-practitioner--I do, too. It's all part of "whiteness studies." Personally, I find that phrase a real turn-off. Why not "ethnic studies"? Books like How the Irish Became White and How Jews Became White Folks explore the topic from a historical perspective.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | January 11, 2008 11:18 PM

Fact: Race is a social construct... and that's real.

Posted by Rachael F. | January 12, 2008 10:44 AM

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