State Roundup

Detroit immigrant wants to be classified as black

DETROIT (AP) — 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.

“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.”

Hefny is brown-skinned with curly hair. 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.

In 1997, Hefny filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government to be classified as black, but the case was dismissed.

Hefny also has taken his fight online, where an organization he co-founded, The Association of Black Egyptian, Ethiopian, and Nubian Advocates, has posted a petition.
The site had collected 31 signatures as of Tuesday.

Bad Axe
2 Huron Co. men dead after lawn tractor accidents

BAD AXE, Mich. (AP) — Two Huron County men have been killed in separate lawn tractor accidents.

Authorities say a Huron County Sheriff’s deputy found 92-year-old Norm Lorentz in a ditch near his Fairhaven Township residence on Monday. Authorities say his John Deere lawn tractor had rolled on top of him.

A family member found Lorentz and called 911. Lorentz was pronounced dead at a hospital. The Huron County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Lorentz died of natural causes. says a similar accident happened about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, when state troopers responding to a crash at a Hume Township home found 43-year-old Martin Kuhn dead at the scene.