The one certainty of American life over the past 125 years is portrayal of those of Italian heritage as gangsters and semi-literate morons. I have several cartoons from the 1890s which depict Italian immigrants as thieves and bomb throwers. America has portrayed Italian Americans in similar terms as witness the Godfather films or the Soprano TV series. The latest depiction of Italian Americans as anything but American is a TV series known as “Jersey Shore.” Naturally, this story of Italian Americans on the shores of New Jersey has them engaged in heavy drinking, sexual promiscuity and women who sit around discussing their breast implants.
Frankly, showing Italian Americans as gel-haired, ignorant, lacking in manners or diction reveal their own ignorance of Italy. We can be certain there will be no scenes in which the two Italian American members of the Supreme Court make an appearance. We can be certain their will be no mention of prominent Italian American industry leaders or artists or writers. As anyone who has ever met someone of Italian American heritage, it i s obvious they speak using expressions such as, “dem guys” and “I went down to toity toid street.”
Hey Mafia, want to send a message to the TV producers they will not ignore?