“Or as I like to joke, Italians, and Greeks, and especially Middle Easterners and west Asians (Turks, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Afghanis) are considered “off-white.” Because they have an identifiable ethnicity and a name that is not one found in most northern European countries, they don’t have the full privileges of whiteness.
It seems to me that “whiteness” requires at minimum two things in American culture:
Not being black (“black” understood here as sub-Saharan African and not descended from colonizers or other migrant ethnic groups).
Sufficient numbers (or loud enough protests) to justify creating a new Census category.
That said, by this erasing of culture and ethnicity for some groups (blacks and whites), but not others, I wonder if we are really privileging some groups as more American and reinforcing the black-white racial binary.”