IMHO, you neither politicized anything nor posted off-subject. The subject matter of your post is one that should concern all those of Italian descent lest we forget the slurs and bigotry endured by our forefathers. You ARE standing up for our heritage and for that you should be lauded.
A little update/FYI. The National Italian American Foundation in Washington DC has sent Rev. Wright a letter demanding a public apology. As of yesterday, 4/2/08, there has been no response.
For anyone interested in contacting the Foundation the web addy is: www.niaf.org and the phone # is 202-387-0600. The web page has no info on the letter sent. I made a phone call yesterday to them and thats where I got the info re: the letter.
The following is the statement released by the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) in response to the remarks made by Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
We write on behalf of the 103 year old Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) and our 550,000 family members throughout the nation, and our anti-defamation arm, the Commission for Social Justice (CSJ), to strongly and unequivocally reject and condemn recently reported remarks made by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. According to MSNBC and other published and internet sources, Rev. Wright in 2007 stated: "[Jesus'] enemies had their opinion about Him . . . . The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans." He then called Jesus' crucifixion "a public lynching Italian style" executed in "Apartheid Rome".
OSIA and the CSJ have sterling records of championing social justice and fair treatment for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality or religion, and of combating, wherever and whenever necessary discrimination, defamation and stereotyping. We have worked closely, collaboratively and effectively for such causes with numerous and various social, religious and cultural groups throughout our long history. The civically responsible, philanthropic and patriotic works of the Sons of Italy have been publicly attested to by every US president since Woodrow Wilson.
Indeed, it is this unchallenged record of advocacy of social justice for all people that has delayed our response to Rev. Wright's unfortunate remarks, as we seek to lend reason and clarity to a deeply troubling historical reality. Rev. Wright's remarks cannot merely be attributed to "anger", but must be viewed against the backdrop of many years of what historian Richard Gambino called a "monstrous tradition in America" and an "injustice which remains hidden" directed at Italians.
While America of the late 19th century witnessed widespread racist, ethnic and anti-Catholic hatred, few immigrant groups suffered more than Italians: in 1891, in New Orleans, ten Italian prisoners found not guilty by a jury were executed by a mob in the largest lynching in American history. That same year, several Italians were lynched in West Virginia. In March 1894, several hundred Italians were driven out of Altoona, Pennsylvania, by an armed mob. In 1895, six Italian labor organizers were lynched in Colorado, six more in Hahnville, Louisiana, as were five Italian shopkeepers four years later in Tallulah, La. Fatal mob attacks against Italians were recorded in 1901, in Mississippi, 1906 in West Virginia, and 1910 in Tampa, Fl. In addition to the highly prejudicial and legally tainted Sacco and Vanzetti case of the 1920s, historian John Higham wrote that "No pogrom has ever stained American soil, nor did any single anti-Jewish incident in the 1920's match the violence of the [vigilante mob-led] anti-Italian riot " in West Frankfort, Illinois.
Words are important and have meaning, clear and subliminal. Shock jock Don Imus, whose very staple and basis for earning many millions of dollars, is the use of provocative, abrasive, demeaning and edge language, was fired and universally excoriated for the use of three extremely offensive and inappropriate words. A skilled communicator, Rev. Wright's deliberate choice of words having explicitly 20th century meaning ("lynching Italian style", "Apartheid", even "Italians"; there were Romans at the time, Italy didn't exist) to describe first century AD events speak to an intention far beyond the expression of mere "anger", or the citing of putative historical truths. We decry those intentions and sentiments as, we are confident, do all decent and fair-minded individuals. Rev. Wright, while perhaps retired, nevertheless owes all Italian Americans a sincere apology. We live in a profoundly complex, multifaceted, diverse society, which defies simplistic questions, answers and reasons. We must transcend personal injustices and seek a deeper understanding and appreciation that each of us, separately and as a group, often are and feel offended. No one has a monopoly on being discriminated against, defamed or stereotyped.
OSIA's and the CSJ's purpose here is not political. We desire no involvement in the current presidential campaign, nor do we wish to become embroiled in a political maelstrom. Still, one of the three candidates will, in all probability, become the next leader of the free world and the next president, thus representing all of the US's 300 million-plus citizens, 26 million of whom are of Italian heritage. We believe that Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama must unequivocally condemn the words and sentiments voiced by Rev. Wright, and clearly disavow his actions.
Philip R. Piccigallo, Ph.D National Executive Director Order Sons of Italy in America
The Supreme Council Order Sons of Italy in America
The Commission for Social Justice Board of Directors
I submitted my last post while you were typing. I certainly see your point with respect to the moderators' decision to close the thread and perhaps I was wrong in responding to Marie. However, I did want to lend her some support and I hope that she doesn't leave the Forum as she seemed inclined to do.
Thank you for your comments. No one wants anyone to leave the forum.
This was a touchy thread because it had two sides. Understandably it was posted with the most sincerest intentions and was not met to be controversial but unfortunately it looked like thats where it was heading and rather than risk losing the original message, Edmondo and the moderators felt it best to lock the thread.
It is our aim here to respect all posters whether we agree with their thread or not, so I hope maric1 and the rest of those who commented here will understand and will follow suit.
Now once again I will lock this thread. If anyone would like further information on this topic or are interested in supporting the cause, they may want to PM maric1.