Silencioso wrote:I'm a little sceptical about all this "Italians weren't always considered white" or "Irish weren't always considered white" concept. I've read old books that spoke of Italians as white, Irish as white. I think it was just some WASPs were snobby towards foreigners.
About the Irish (and Scots)-
The Nords and Anglo-Saxons, considered them to be a separate "race" from the Germanic peoples, since they came from a different ethnic background (Gaelic) As funny as this sounds, they were often called the "Green Race" by Germanic peoples, while Germanic people considered themselves to be "white." That attitude was even carried over into the new world way later, when the Irish and Scots came to the US in large numbers (1800's?). The Americans of Germanic heritage would sometimes call the Irish and Scottish immigrants "Green Niggers." Supposedly, the descriptive racial term "green" came from the fact that the Vikings, Anglos, and Saxons, perceived the skin of the Gaels as extremely pale, and almost green-like, in comparison to the Germanic peoples skin.
Funny, just learned this from a friend this week, who is half Irish and half Mexican! Don't know if that is true. I asked him if he considered Irish to be white, and he said yes. His reason was that most people of Irish heritage share the same life experiences and world views, that the people of the other white ethnicities have. (except in North Ireland, for obvious reasons).
This is all speaking in regards to the indigenous Irish peoples, and their diaspora. Because today, when a person says they are Irish, they may have come from a non-Gaelic ethnicity (African-Irish, Indian-Irish, Anglo-Irish, Spanish-Irish, etc...).