How do North Africans view being considered Caucasians? “We clearly are not [white] and what gives the government the right to label us as such” Lamia Barrington stated in an article(Barrington). Despite the government’s label, she has decided to state that she is African American or Black because she received less money for college when she chose that she was Caucasian (Barrington). She has “no problem with white, but [she does]...have a problem with others having to pick what category..[she] should be in” (Barrington). During the 2010 census, there were also activists that told people to choose “some other race” and write in the ancestry (Krogstad). The activists’ slogan was “Check it right; you ain’t white” (Krogstad). During the 2010 Census Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, people stated that the “Egyptian and Lebanese examples were “wrong” and “inaccurate” ”, since Egyptians and Lebanese are considered under the white category (Krogstad). Additionally, some say that the classification essentially counts them as “white” on paper but nowhere else. Samer Khalef, national president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, says that is unfair for people of the MENA background to undergo discrimination and then not even be considered for minority uplift or empowerment programs because they are considered part of the majority on paper. Also, he says that it does not make sense to be counted as Caucasian because it does not allow for monitoring or even acknowledgment of the population of the MENA group. Also for some people, like the Algerian blogger Iman Amrani, say that the people of her country have more cultural connection with the black co-inhabitants of the continent than they do with any other “white” group.
The main problem is that Middle Easterners and North Africans are considered to be white but do not receive the privileges that come with it. In fact, they are “subjected to heightened security wherever [they] go,” to put in the words of Samer Khalef, national president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Hopefully, things will be turning around soon, for the Census Bureau is considering adding a Middle East/North Africa ethnic category. “Community Leaders are optimistic the bureau will test a new ethnic category before the 2020 population count” (Krogstad).