Italic Institute of America
Untitled Document
 
Subscribe to our blog
Subscribe
 
Holocaust Report
NEW
HOLOCAUST
REPORT!
 
Christopher Columbus
WHO WAS
COLUMBUS?
 
Columbus House Banner
COLUMBUS DAY SUPPLIES
 
This Month in History
 
Galleria Italica Galleria Italica Videos
 
Bella Musica, Italians in Jazz book ORDER NOW!  
 
ATLANTICA MAGAZINE ARCHIVES (1930-1934)
 
OUR CLASSICAL ROOTS
Ara Pacis Site
 
Zinni IIA Honorees
 
Exhibit A: Examples of Media Bias
 
Film Study 2015 NEW FILM STUDY!
 
Organized Crime
 

Mafia Unworthy of Academic's Obsession

Angelo Bruno Daily Herald, April 21, 3014
"Et tu, "Brute?" We refer to Burt Constable's recent profile of Wayne A. Johnson's college course on "the mob." We know: Mr. Constable is just doing his job. But, it's funny how professors who don't share the media's -- and now, alas, academia's -- obsession with Italian-surnamed criminals never get equal time or coverage. Professor Robert Lombardo of Loyola University in Chicago, himself a former cop who also had run-ins with Outfit thugs, has written "The History of Organized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the Mafia."

Unlike Mr. Johnson's course, which appears to parrot the media party line with respect to mythologizing the Outfit (which is exactly what he's doing by writing the umpteenth book about it), Professor Lombardo digs deeper. He looks at the sociological roots of crime, and notes, as scholars like Professor Mark Haller and Professor Dwight Smith have also done, that the media's obsession with Italian thugs obfuscates the truth about the subject matter. Telling students that Tony Accardo lived nearby, or inspiring another student to sketch Sam Giancana's toe tag in a morgue, cheapens, rather than elevates, the topic.

And lest we be accused of being overly sensitive, we challenge Mr. Johnson to also write a book cataloging the murders of black, Hispanic, Asian, Arabic or Russian-Jewish criminals. If so, he would be tendering his resignation, not accepting kudos. Treating criminals of one particular ethnic group as "special," worthy of intellectual respectability, isn't scholarship. It is prejudice, masquerading as scholarship.

Bill Dal Cerro
Midwest Office
Italic Institute of America

 
 
Copyright © 2007 Italic Institute of America, P.O. Box 818, Floral Park, NY 11001     Last updated February 2017