Thursday, August 20, 2015

Adolph Caso Speaks Out on Behalf of Italian Americans in Mass Media Vs. Italian Americans...

The TV series The Sopranos has been criticized...
The TV series The Sopranos has been criticized for perpetuating negative stereotypes about Italian Americans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I recently saw the publicity for the new show, Public Morals, coming this fall. I was reminded of previous shows that were actually on television during the 60s that were criticized by more than one book I've read and one, which was on my TBR stack, which I then pulled out...

I noticed one thing especially...The trailer for the upcoming show dwells on the police, including their Irish-American background... Whereas, one of the major shows, although not the only one by any means, The Sopranos, placed the criminals--the gangsters--the Mob/Mafia as the leading group... And, of course, all of the actors were Italian-American...

The Godfather alone has perhaps instilled more fear on the part of American citizens of non Italian background than any other book--fiction or non-fiction alike. With the cinematic renditions and sequels, Mario Puzo succeeded in convincing American and perhaps the world that every Italian American has connections with either the mob, or with organized crime...
The best part of the "Godfather" situation was the recurrent editorial statement on the television screen made by the editors of the national network showing the film, saying that the names and situations did not reflect or depict any ethnic group. What this means is that the Americans were told not to believe that Corleone was an Italian name, etc.
Someone suggested, however, that the television screen should have shown this more accurate statement:
The movie you are seeing represents and denigrates only the Mafia and the Italian Americans. You need not fear retaliation, however. The former does not exist; the latter have no balls. Otherwise, this film would not have been shown..."

What happens when such an emphasis is placed on the criminal element, a small percentage of an entire population of a country? Of course the answer is easy for any thinking person--a reputation is formed... In this case, all Italian-Americans are part of the criminal element!

One of the major ways this type of prejudice is transmitted is through Mass Media... Adolph Caso has updated his earlier edition and I had a chance to read the 2014 edition now available. It is disheartening, to say the least...

Mass Media vs.
The Italian Americans

By Adolph Caso

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Let's tell the truth--America does not have a history of actually accepting the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, does it...? Perhaps we are no different than other countries, I don't know, but I do know enough from actual history, not fictional accounts, to know that we have not lovingly accepted "different" people when they come to America to become citizens. Adolph Caso has had the opportunity as a writer, publisher, and more, to research and study the actions against, just one group of people. those originally from Italy, especially, by the media. In my opinion, the evidence is damning.

First Amendment
During the Watergate Scandal, which came  to
light mainly through the investigative work of two
newspapermen, one often heard reporters
commenting on the Press as having become the
fourth power in the process of America's checks
and balance government. The Founding Fathers
established the system so as to achieve a certain
balance between the Executive, the Legislative,
and the Judicial branches. The Press, through the
First, was, on the other hand, designed and
perceived to be a vehicle given to the people
through which to practice the ultimate check
on those branches. When, therefore, those from
the Media arrogate for themselves that power,
they do not want to understand that it belongs
to the people and is not transferable. Worse, they
do not understand that they, as media, were and
are intended to function as the means to an end.
However, when they use that power for their end,
they become tyrannical. Consequently, they go
against the very people for whom they exist...
The thing about the media is that you normally see, read, or hear about what is being said as a single entity... Unless you read a book, such as Mass Media, the impact of what is being "fed" to your brain is not noticed--until you become saturated and disgusted with it--or, worse, believe it to be true...

Consider another book I recently reviewed. Justice in the Round by Harold Michael Harvey. That author spoke in a similar way about American's Justice System vs. Black Americans.

I want to highlight here that we will learn of even more in Seduced: The Grooming of America's Teenagers...coming soon...

If you are an older American, you may have already realized how much the media has skewed and damaged both individuals as well as entire races and those of specific nationalities... And we allow it to happen, either by not caring, or by lack of attention.

Adolph Caso has recognized this problem and has spoken out on behalf of his heritage--He is an Italian-American, proud of it...and thinks they've deserved better! I agree! Let's look more closely...

Briefly, freedom of the Press, as the Founding Fathers saw it, was and is simply this: any individual has the freedom to express his or her opinion no matter how different that opinion may be from those in government or in other organizations. Through the Press, the citizens can guard themselves against possible tyrannical practices on the part of individuals in power positions, who have the capability to establish controls.
At no time did the Forefathers mean, through the First Amendment, that freedom of speech and the right of the people, peaceably to assemble, that the people had the right in public to express their opinion in vulgar terms or in ways that could inflict damage or infamy on innocent individuals with different opinions. That is why the First Amendment ends with the statement that the people have the right, if harm is done to them, "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

After making those declarations, the author proceeds to provide background documentation to support them. He refers first to Cesare Beccaria's book, On Crimes and Punishments and then on to other references. In fact, the book is full of historical documentation to support what he presents as he speaks out against Mass Media... and to some Italian Americans such as Mario Puzo, who have supported the denigration of the reputation of Italian-Americans...

But Caso does not limit his documentation to fiction--actually it is more toward newspapers such as the New York Times who used headlines like "The Mob Gambles on Atlantic City" or The Boston Globe who spotlighted that Rocco Antonelli, held two jobs, and made more money than the governor... Details were, of course, omitted and the reader would naturally pick up on the insinuation received first-page coverage! What!? All done around election time...???

Unfortunately, the sad display of this type of "selective reporting" continues for page after page, ad nauseam. There is no need to doubt Mr. Caso's information, full details plus an index are provided for readers.  The impact of the prejudicial headlines alone is offensive for everybody, in my opinion. Who wants a newspaper to flaunt prejudice?!

And then we get into the unwillingness to reveal sources...and they claim it is to protect the rights of the public... Ahhhhhh, not this public member...

Another issue covered in the book is one about which I'd already changed my earlier opinion...that of prayer in school... If you feel strongly about this topic, the discussion alone, I think, is worth your checking out the book...

Going into many historical controversial issues have been merged into the book to support the continued negativity about the worth of Italians and Italian-Americans.

On the other hand, I must say I was relieved and enjoyed going onto a topic that brings pride--the contribution of Italians to the world of music! While Caso's review involves music from different countries, it is impossible, in my opinion, not to already have experienced the joy brought by Italian composers and artists...

The Orchestra, which made possible the symphony as a musical form, was first put together by Claudio Monteverdi, the genius that also established Opera and many other forms, including the string quartet...

The piano: The basic instrument was developed by Bartolomei Cristofori of Padova. In 1710, he created the pianoforte, the name he was to give to the first and practical hammer action instrument...

An interesting closing to the book is a guide, "How to Lessen Media Abuses" which would be applicable, I am sure, for everybody's use! We can all show similar types of abuse by mass media!

Whether you are an Italian American is irrelevant as it relates to how Mass Media is handling the news of America. Can we really afford to allow this to continue? Think about it... This book is highly recommended...

"I read the report about how Bobby Kennedy protected me from investigation by Government agents and now realize that after five grand-jury subpoenas, two (Internal Revenue Service) investigations (which probably utilized 30 men) and a couple of subpoenas to congressional committees, if you have a close friend in high office, you don't need any enemies."--Frank Sinatra


Sharing my Favorite Italian Singer...

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