Anti-Italian Caricature is an Outrage
New York Daily News, July 6, 2015
If one picture is worth a thousand words, then the front page of Wednesday's Daily News (July 1) speaks volumes about the persistence of anti-Italian bigotry in the media. In depicting Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio as brutish machine-gun-toting mobsters, your paper has vilified two of the nation's most prominent Italo-American officeholders. Moreover, the lurid headline, "Vendetta: Mayor unleashes rapid-fire tirade vs. ex-pal Andy," calumniates a people whose ancestors pioneered the rule of law, the scientific method and the very notion of world peace.
The scions of Italy are Caesar's heirs — not the spawn of Tony Soprano or Don Vito Corleone. Your editors rightly eschewed Shylock caricatures used to attack Mayor Bloomberg. And the paper has never depicted Police Commissioner Bill Bratton as a drunken Whitey Bulger wannabe. It would be wise for the Fourth Estate to adhere to Filippo Mazzei's ethical concept, which first appeared in the Virginia Gazette in 1774 and became America's founding principle in 1776: "All men are created equal."
Rosario A. Iaconis, Chairman, The Italic Institute of America