I love that you engaged with the article in this way. It’s always great to hear people interpreting this information through their own context. I’ve heard ME people say that the MENA category will make it easier to identify them, which is not a good thing in Trump’s ‘Merica. I have also heard ME people who, like you, feel it’s inaccurate to mark white based on their lived experience in America.
I’m particularly interested in how Americans of Middle Eastern descent experience race and how that relates back to skintone. Since race is a socially constructed political status based on skintone, not a biological reality, I imagine the experience of a darker-skinned Arab American might differ radically from the experience of a ‘white passing’ Arab American.
Either way, it’s ludicrous that an Egyptian or Jordanian American with my complexion is supposed to mark ‘white’ on the census, and I’m supposed to mark ‘black’. Maybe we should just all start marking white and render the entire system meaningless (lol). If you decide to write more on how you experience race as an Arab American, I would love to read it!