Opinion. T How did the Italians án White ’

Opinion.  T How did the Italians án White ’

Congress thought that would be white, A Protestant and culturally homogenous America when it confirmed in 1790 that only “white free people, who are, or will migrate into the United States”, are entitled to naturalized citizens. The racism of racism was rapidly reviewed when waves of culturally diverse migrants changed from the corners of Europe to the country.

As historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color”, the boom of newcomers introduced a national panic and he noticed Americans take a more restrictive, political view of how the fine was. to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials have embraced all the white Europeans in “races.” Some of them were named “wounded” – and more worthy of citizens – than others, though some of them were too close to localism to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racial pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans who had a good standing in the 20th window on the alchemy through which race is taken in the United States, and how racist hierarchies can sometimes change.

The southern Italians who had more severe skin suffered the punishment of foliage on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, there were many people in the north that Southerners – especially Sicilians – were “non-civilized” people and people who were smaller than ever in race, who were too African as part of Europe.

Racist dogma about the Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the waves of books, magazines and newspapers were discovered that “Americans with images” appeared as suspects of race. ”Sometimes they were isolated from schools, film houses and trade unions, or consigned to a series of dispatches for black people. They were described in the press as “bleak,” “red rink” of a criminal race and were destroyed on the streets by “dago,” “guinea” – a derived term applied to slaves Africans and their descendants – and more insults. such as racism such as “white anger” and “nigger wop.” t


Italian Americans were often used as a cheap work on the New Orleans docks turning the last century.
Library of Congress

Mulberry Street in the Little Italian division of New York around 1900.
Library of Congress

The penalties for neglect went far beyond the name of South apartheid. The Italians who came to the country as “cheap white people” were often marked black because they took “black” positions in Louisiana's sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Africans. This makes them vulnerable to people who were joking as the ones who hung, shot, discouraged or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children throughout the South.

The federal holiday, which honored Italian explorer Christopher Columbus – was celebrated on Monday – central to the process of consolidating Italian Americans completely as white people during the 20th century. The reasoning behind the holiday was mythical, and enabled Italian Americans to write a terrible portrait of themselves into the civic record.

Few people kill in Columbus Day that change or reflect the story of Columbus's journey from Europe to the New World about how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison announced it as a one-off national celebration in 1892 – New Blood after Orleans lynching took life 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a wider effort of the silent masses among Italian Americans, and a diplomatic denial of the murders that brought the war to Italy and the United States.

Recent historians have shown that the dishonest American response to this barbaric event resulted in racist tribunals about the Italians proclaimed in Northern newspapers such as The Times. A significant analysis by Charles Seguin, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, and Sabrina Nardin, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, revealed that the protests lodged by the Italian government prompted something that was not in keeping with the African-American brave newspaper editor. the anti-bias campaigner Ida B. Wells – a wide effort against the pool.

The emerging Italians came at a time when newspapers in the South established the convention to advertise much more public murders of African Americans in advance – to attract large crowds – and put brutes, victims' “Fiends,” “ravishers” “born criminals” or “Troubled Negroes”. .

As Mr Seguin has shown recently, many Northern Ireland newspapers were “as compassionate” in defending mob violence as Southern colleagues. As part of it, The Times repeatedly used the headline “A Brutal Negro Lynched,” accepting the guilt of victims and branding them as congenital criminals. Black clusters in the South were often based on allegations of sexual assault. As the Equal Justice Initiative explained in its 2015 report on shearing in America, a rape charge may occur in the absence of an actual victim and may result from minor breaches of the social code – such as giving a recommendation to a woman. white on her appearance or even hitting her on the street.

The Times was not owned by a family that regulates it today when it rejected Ida B. Wells as an “attractive and evil palliative” for correctly describing rape allegations as “a bare thread lie” used by Southerners. against the black men who had a sexual relationship with white women. However, as Times editor nearly 30 years of age – and student in the history of the institute – I am very sad and scared by the revealing racial treatment that my 19th century predecessors had written about African Americans and Italian immigrants.

When Wells took his anti-anti-British campaign in the 1890s, Times editors reimbursed her for a “black ray” abroad in editing which was capturing what they expressed as “practicing Negro live and boring liqueurs eyes with red The editor denounced African Americans in general, referring to rape as “a crime of great importance to the Arabs”. The editors of the Irish Times may have challenged lenses – but they did so in rhetoric which is firmly rooted in white supremacy.

Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when there was an urgent need for free work with the planter class to replace newly built black people, who were leaving a back-up job in the fields for gainful employment.

It would seem that the Italians were the first answer to the shortage of labor and the greatest effort by settlers to support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana's love began with a sharp Italian work when new immigrants collected low pay and unhappy working conditions.

The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native language, reformed Italian habits and developed successful businesses that attended African Americans, who were despicable and married. with them. Over time, this proximity to the blind would result in white Southers looking at the Sicily, in particular, not being completely white and seeing them as entitled to persecution – including coronation – which was invoked. African Americans usually apply.


Clams are being sold from a chart in Little Italy.
Library of Congress

Many Italian Americans were living in part of New Orleans given it a Little Palermo.
Library of Congress

However, as historian Jessica Barbata Jackson recently showed in Louisiana History magazine, new people in Italy were still considering New Orleans in the 1870s when negative stereotypes were being established in the Northern press.

The Times, for example, described them as stickers and members of the criminal classes who were “poorly and unskilled,” “suffering and suffering completely.” The daughter crime stereotype is clear in the story of 1874 about Italian immigrants looking for vaccination He refers to one emigrant as a “burly member, whose appearance was similar to that of the traditional Abruzzi brigade.” t

The story of A Times in 1880 described immigrants, including Italians, as “connections in descending evolution.” These attributes reached a famous crescendo in 1882 editing under the heading “Our Citizens Citizens.”

“New York City has never been so low and ignorant of the immigrant class that was poured out here as the South Italians who overcrowded our docks over the past year.” T

The editors maintained their worst credentials for Italian immigrant children, indicating that they were “totally unfit – ragged, foul, and finer as they were – to be placed in public primary schools among good American mechanics”. . ”

The racist myth of African-African and Sicily drove both the very criminal story of 1887 Times about a buggy victim in Mississippi whose name was given as “Dago Joe” – “dago” being a duty directed at Italian and Spanish speaking immigrants . The victim was described as “a half-breed” who was “son of Sicilian Father and a mulatto mother, and who had the worst characteristics at both races. He was cunning, treacherous and cruel, and he was considered in the community where he was treacherous by nature. ”

The killing started in New Orleans when 1890 collapsed, when the city's police chief, David Hennessy, was murdered on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. Historian John V. Baiamonte Jr writes that he attempted murder in relation to killing a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a campaign between two businessmen in Italy. On many suspects who claimed he had heard Mr Hennessy say that he had “dagoes”, the city was complicated by 19 Italians in the murder of the chief executive.

The monument for David Hennessy rises above almost all the other tombs in Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.
William Widmer for The New York Times

That the evidence was very weak from the verdicts quickly brought down: Of the first nine to be tried, he was acquitted; mistrials were granted on three others. Afterwards, the leaders of the man after they had announced their plans, and they knew well that older people would not ask the city – which the Italians hid for the Italians for their fraternizing with African Americans – justice for the dead. After the ritual, the major jury investigation announced that the seafarers were praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as "maybe" he is on. one of the biggest white facilities in American history. ” t

The blood of New Orleans victims was not dry but when The Times published a cheerleading news story – “The Hennessy Chief Avenged: Eleven of their Italian Assassins cited with a Mob” – revealed the bloody details. He reported that “the best of the best” of New Orleans society was in the mob. The next day, the racist editors were now well informed by the Times editor screaming, who had the dead people on them and were decontaminated.

“These people are crying and talking heavily, Sicilians,” the editors wrote, “the descendants of the bandits and assassins, who have carried the illegal pieces to this country, are the leakage practices… in their pests without mitigation. These rattlesnakes themselves are as citizens as they are. Our own murderers are emotions and gentlemen compared to them. “The editors concluded that it was difficult to find“ one person who would make it known privately. ”

Lynchers went to prison in New Orleans city in 1891, where they killed 11 Italian Americans who were killed by the Hennessy Prime.
Italian Tribune

President Harrison would ignore the New Orleans if the victims were black. But the Italian government did that impossible. He broke diplomatic relations and claimed indemnity to the Harrison administration. Harrison called on Congress in his 1891 State that he would spend foreign nationals – who are not black Americans – from drug violence.

Columbus Day Harrison's proclamation opened in 1892 the door for Italian Americans to write themselves into the origin of American origin, in a way that sent myth on myth. As historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome”, they will re-qualify history by wearing Columbus as “the first immigrant” – although he never settled in North America and never went anywhere (except to Spain), and although the US was not there as a nation during its 15th century journey. The mythology, which has been done for many years, has allowed “the role of nation-building in the Americans with the formative role of Italian Americans.” He also tied American Americans closely to the paternalistic declaration, which is still heard today, t “Columbus discovered a continent which was already occupied by Native Americans.

The “Monument to the Immigrant”, commissioned by the Italian American Marching Club of New Orleans, stands along the Mississippi River in Woldenberg Park.
William Widmer for The New York Times

But at the end of the 19th century, Columbus's whole myth was still to come. The New Orleans engraved a defamatory sight of the Italians in general, and especially Sicilians, as unpredictable criminals who were a danger to the nation. The influential Anti-Immigrant Representative of Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, who joined the US Senate early, quickly assembled the event. He argued that the real problem in New Orleans was the lack of confidence in juries, rather than drug violence. “Lawlessness and engraving are bad things,” he said, “but there is great belief that jury confidence is even worse.” T

Facts aside, Lodge argued, there were sufficient beliefs about immigrants to need higher barriers to immigration. This notion was ratified by the Congress during the 1920s, restricting Italian immigration on racial grounds, although the Italians were white, and all the correct manners were involved.

American Americans who were working in the campaign put abolished racial immigration restrictions in 1965 used the romantic fiction that was based on Columbus to political advantage. This shows again how racial categories that people mistakenly perceive as biological objects grow from very political mythology.

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