Originally Posted by Jovialis
Near easterners in the U.S. pursued being legally white for property rights, and immigration purposes. Finns had to do the same thing, as did most others that weren't originally considered "white" i.e. Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.
There argument was that Jesus Christ was a near easterner. Thus if near easterners were not white, than Jesus Christ was not white either, nor allowed in the USA. As Christians, the U.S. courts could not let that be. So they made it that near easterners were considered white.