It’s not widely known in the U.S. that several ethnic groups, such as
Germans, Italians, Russians and the Irish, were excluded from whiteness
and considered non-white as recently as the early 20th century

So says Mary Alice Daniel in a Slate article entitled “The History White People Need to Learn.”

Says Daniel: Being proud of being white, doesn’t mean finding your pale skin pretty or your Swedish history fascinating. It means being proud of the violent disenfranchisement of those barred from this category. Being proud of being black means being proud of surviving this ostracism. Be proud to be Scottish, Norwegian or French, but not white.