Detroit Immigrant from Egypt Fighting to Have US Government Classify Him as Black, Not White

The Republic, September 4, 2012

An Egyptian immigrant who lives in Detroit is asking the U.S. government to classify him as black, not white.

Mostafa Hefny has been trying to get the racial designation since the 1980s.

Mostafa Hefny

“As a black man and as an African, I am proud of this heritage,” Hefny told The Detroit News for a story published Tuesday ( “My classification as a white man takes away my black pride, my black heritage and my strong black identity.”

{snip} The 61-year-old was born in Egypt and came to the United States in 1978. When he was admitted to the country, he was classified on government papers as a white person, Hefny said.

“The government (interviewer) said, ‘You are now white,'” said Hefny, who said he is a Nubian, an ancient group of Egyptians considered more African than Arab, from the northern part of Sudan and the southern portion of Egypt.

A white person is defined as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East,” according to Directive 15 for the federal Office of Management and Budget Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.

Hefny said he was denied promotions because of his insistence that he is black.

He also said he lost out on a teaching position at Wayne State University in the early 1990s because it was a position designed for a minority, and he didn’t qualify.


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  • Gues

    All he has to do is do what this blueeyed blonde of scotch irish descent does.  I just check black on every job application, medical questionairre and get preferred aristocratic status.

  • Puggg

    There was a movie made many years ago about Anwar Sadat, and the actor that played him was a real black.  This created a diplomatic controversy because Sadat supporters didn’t approve of a black playing him, because he wasn’t really black.

    • Spartan24708

      Sadat’s mother was from Sudan- a fact that was hushed up since Egyptians are pretty racially conscious.

      • The__Bobster

        Yeah, black as the ace of spades but somehow the Egyptians couldn’t tell. LOL!

        • Roscoe Lee Browne was the actor who played Sadat in that movie, and white Madloyn Smith played his wife Jihan.

          Funny, but I never considered the real Sadat to be a Bantu, as I thought he lacked the typical Bantu features, like the short nose, thick lips and kinky hair. 

  • Church_of_Jed

    Our entire govt. is at war with Whiteness, so they’ll give him whatever he wants that helps the Diversity Victory come all the sooner…

  • IstvanIN

    He is black, that is obvious.  While most Egyptians are mixed race quite a few are sub-Saharan Africans.   How anyone could classify that as white is beyond me.  As for AA, while I am personally against AA, if we have to have it it should only pertain to decedents of AMERICAN slaves, not foreigners, and not blacks whose families came here after 1865.

    Of course if we were s sensible nation their would be no black, Egyptian or Muslim immigration into the US.  That man simply should not be here.  I wonder what qualified white, or even qualified black American, he stole a job from?

    • KenelmDigby

      Actually, the Arab and Berber populations of north Africa like to think of themselves as ‘whites’ in contradistinction to subsaharan Africans who are all classified as ‘blacks’. It’s a very big thing with them, and they feel insulted to be lumped together with subsaharan blacks.

  • Who shot the couch?

    • Neanderthaldna

      Good one.  

      Guy sure looks black to me.  Especially contrasted with that bright couch-skin he’s wearing.

    • Bad_Mr_Frosty

      Where do you even buy a shirt like that?

  • potato78

    White is not special any more.  Everyone can be classified as White.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    “He also said he lost out on a teaching position at Wayne State University in the early 1990s because it was a position designed for a minority, and he didn’t qualify.”

    Welcome to the REAL world of racial quotas and special treatment, how does it feel to be on the other side of the fence?

  • Michael C. Scott

    Yes, he’s black, but “gibs me dat” handouts should never be available to an immigrant.  The correct response would be for the government to agree with him, and then send him back to Egypt.

  • IstvanIN

     Very true.

  • The__Bobster

    Those who have a little cherokee or are quarter this or that can still count as white in my book, (Elizabeth Warren!) but if you take out all the people who are counted as white who are actually not related to Europe in any way, I would say that whites are probably no more that 50% of the population.

    Warren counts as White because she IS White. She hasn’t yet proven that she has a drop of Indian blood in her.

  • IKantunderstand

    This man clearly resides in a parallel universe. You know, where Whites are black, and where blacks are White, and finally, where blacks are black, but somehow, nobody who ever interviewed him was able to see that. Assuming he’s telling the truth, OMG. So, crazy mfr, how do you like living with the crap universe Whites are forced into? blacks=Whites, muslims=Christians,anti racism=anti Whites, and a nod to Mr. Orwell: war=peace. Sir, really, your complaints fall on deaf ears. You are White, although, race is merely a social construct. I sincerely hope you are as frustrated as the rest of us.  No wonder Whites are committing suicide or becoming mass murderers. What else is there?

  • IstvanIN

     The Indians (dots) get all sorts of special favors from the Feds just for showing up in our country.

  • OPersephone

    If the gov defines “white” as a person “having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East”, how does a Nubian even qualify for that? The Nubians are not “original peoples” of any of those regions. They are original to sub-Saharan Africa and were brought into Egypt only as slaves. Saying Nubians are “original peoples of… North Africa” (and therefore White) is as absurd as saying African Americans are “original peoples of North America” (and therefore Asian).

  • crystal evans

    To me, he looks black and I am sure every cop in Detroit would treat him as they do other black males in the city.

  • crystal evans

    What happened is that Indians and other South Asians were once classified as whites. Asians were described as people from East and Southeast Asia. The Indians were so upset that they could not qualify for SBA loans designated for members of minority groups so they were added to the Asian category. Even though, they do not look like either East or Southeast Asians.

  • JackKrak

    Not black enough for Detroit.


  • KenelmDigby

    If he was at home in Egypt, he’d as just as vociferously claim to be ‘white’ rather than black.
    What does that tell you about the modern USA?

  • anmpr1

     I don’t get it, Tyrell. How can it not know what it is?

  • Strider73

    Back in college (1970s) I knew a young lady who was as blonde as blonde can get, yet she had a Spanish surname. Turned out she was divorced from a Mexican man. But unlike the vast majority of divorced women, she did not reclaim her maiden name. The reason: keeping her ex’s name kept her eligible for all sorts of affirmative-action privileges.

  • newscomments70

    I want to immigrate to Egypyt. While there,  I want to change their language and religion. The Egyptian government should cater to my every need. Because i am a white minority in Egypyt, I want special priveleges over the native population. I will sire many children there from several different women. The Egyptian government must pay for all of their upbringing and expenses.  I refuse to work, and the government should pay for my housing, groceries, cell phone, and cable TV (all English language!!). If the Egyptian people complain, I will scream racism and threaten to burn Cairo down. 

  • Theodora

    He does live in an all black neighbourhood.