A New York Times list of the rich and powerful has included dozens of white faces among its examples of racial diversity.
The 'Faces of Power' article published on Thursday sets out to highlight the lack of diversity in the US power elite, but inflates the small proportion of non-white political, military and business leaders with dozens of people of European descent.
"According to the NYT, some European-Americans are non-White," tweeted University of Chicago sociology professor Rene D. Flores. "In their analysis of the most powerful people in the U.S. today, the paper classifies Europeans from the Iberian Peninsula like Spaniards and Portuguese as non-White."
He identifies Congressmen John Garamendi, who is of Spanish Basque origin, and Devin Nunes, a "3rd generation Portuguese American" as examples.
Ironically Moroccan Jewish immigrant Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, and Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian, an Iranian, are classified as white.
"The reading of Iberian cultural cues as non-White and the classification of Middle-Eastern people as 'White' is a uniquely U.S. phenomenon," Flores writes, while in Canada "Middle-Eastern Canadians are officially considered non-White or 'visible minorities'."
"Marc Lasry is a Jewish person from Morocco. Hence, he’s most likely a descendant of Sephardi Jews expelled from Spain in the 1400’s," the professor continues. "However, since he was born in Morocco and not Spain (and his name doesn’t sound Iberian), he’s considered White by the NYT."
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose claim of Cherokee ancestry from a DNA test was soundly rejected by Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. in 2018, is still classified as white in the article.