The Poles, in other words, were not considered white. Far from it: they were considered a mysterious menace that should be expelled. …
…Over time, the strategy of positioning Poles as “white” against a dark-skinned “other” was successful. Poles came to consider themselves white, and more importantly, they came to be considered white by their fellow Americans …[and w]ith that new white identity came the ability to practice the discrimination they had once endured.