The Lynching Of Italians (Especially Sicilians)–How Columbus Became A National Holiday

They were darker, they were different and most spoke no English. Ellis Island circa 1905. From The New York Times story.

A lot of emotion spurting out there. Plenty of knee-jerk reactions, sometimes to quell the anger, sometimes to save political asses, sometimes because the angry and responsive decision makers ripping down monuments have no stomach or patience for historical context. Let’s take down the monument to preserve public safety. When the police station is targeted are you going to implode the building? Is that next?

There’s not a soul in history who you can powerwash away the indiscretions that split people apart. Common ground is a useful tool to begin a dialogue. Not everyone gets 100 percent of what they want. They may think they got 100 percent of what they want. That’s fine in the cause of compromise.

Winning is relative and always will be.

Some talks broke down this week, or were intercepted, in the scrubbing of the Christopher Columbus statue in Seaside Park, erected by the Italian American community in 1965. In the last week basically it’s been former State Rep. Christopher Caruso and former Mayor Lenny Paoletta against the world to craft a compromise to place the statue, and what it means, into historical context. We’ve spent centuries parsing Columbus, the good, bad and ugly.

My father and me on a boat to Sicily in 1961.

My father Emilio just wanted a chance. Think about traveling across the Atlantic to a place where you didn’t know a soul. No one. Not even the person you married. He did that.

He embraced an extraordinary life that began in Sicily, landed him in Bridgeport via Port of New York, and finished out his years in Connecticut.

My father lived off the land.

He was born May 16, 1925 in the village of Mascali, Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. In November of 1928 Etna unleashed its wrath on Mascali, firing plumes of ash miles high that reached the African continent. The grumpy mountain gave the people of Mascali just enough notice to get out of town. Etna swallowed everything that day. My dad’s family lost their house, farmland, crops and livestock. The entire village of Mascali was destroyed.

His parents Leonardo and Regina (Rovagnati) Grimaldi started over. The Grimaldis of Mascali farmed citrus trees–oranges, tangerines and lemons–olive groves, cherry trees, artichokes, eggplant, squash, white figs, peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, broccoli rabe and string beans. They raised chickens, steers and guinea pigs. They squeezed grapes into wine and olives into oil. Wood fired the stove and flames from grapevines grilled the fresh anchovies and swordfish delivered daily by bicycle from Mediterranean markets. Surviving off the land and sea was rugged. The bathroom was the great outdoors and a handful of grass. What the people consumed fertilized the citrus trees, the tree trunks used for back support.

Benito Mussolini pledged Italy’s support to Hitler during World War II, then one day an exiled George Patton showed up in Sicily with allied forces and my father’s eyes bulged at the site of amphibian crafts entering the island from the Mediterranean Sea. He could not believe his eyes, boats that moved on land. He had never seen modern conveniences such as a car, truck, telephone or a refrigerator.

By the time the allies invaded Sicily in 1942 he was under the required age for military duty in the Italian army, and the man of the house. His father and oldest brother Giovanni were military men assigned to northern Italian and Greek isle posts. Germans, later Brits and then Americans occupied his land. Eventually, they were gone.

My father’s first true love was soccer and he toiled in various soccer leagues until a bout with typhoid fever rendered him bedridden and near death.

After the war my father, poor and hungry, was restless for a new life. In 1952, Sabina Fusci took Emily, her 22-year-old daughter, by the hand and escorted her across the Atlantic to Sicily to find a husband. Emily was born in Harrison, New York, to a Sicilian father and Neapolitan mother who had friends in Sicily. Within 10 days of meeting, Emilio and Emily were engaged, within two weeks they were married. They did not consummate the marriage. Emily returned to her home in Bridgeport, leaving Emilio behind until he was cleared by immigration eight months later.

In 1953, speaking no English, my father scratched together enough cash to hop aboard the liner Andrea Doria and entered New York Harbor. Although they did not know each other when married, the union of Emilio and Emily Grimaldi lasted 59 years. In Trump’s immigration blasphemy my father would not be allowed here.

Settling in Bridgeport, my father landed work processing milk in the icebox of Mitchell Dairy in Bridgeport and then Borden’s Milk Company in Stratford. It was brutal. Although he had no formal education he was good with numbers and worked his way into the shipping department of the company. He never made more than $20,000 a year.

We talked about cultural divides often. Sicilians, he’d say were the blacks of Europe, they were darker skinned, at the bottom of the continent, a short hop to North Africa, with a strong Arabic influence ranging from music to foods to language.

Guinea. WOP. Dago. Greaseball. As a kid I heard smears directed at me. But I heard those other words outside the house and on television–Moolinyan, moolie, tutsoon–to describe blacks. The Sicilian word for eggplant is mulugnana. In Italian grammar it’s melanzane. (Italian and Sicilian are different languages.) Tizzone is live coal slanged into an offensive word tutsoon, tootsoon, etc.

I asked my father about those terms. He said in Sicily they were never used offensively. Those phrases started here in the United States by second and third generations. So the genesis was here, not there.

He never used the N word ever. He had been called that here in Bridgeport. Why use it on someone else? Didn’t mean in private he’d not hurl one of those other Italian offenses at someone who unnerved him. He was human.

My father lived his life glass half full. Dish of pasta, handful of bread, chased by a sip of red wine. That was it. He felt fortunate. Others were not so fortunate.

It’s instructive in these times to provide perspective. Excerpt from Brent Staples, The New York Times:

Brent Staples

Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea”–a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants–and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.”

The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South.

The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus–celebrated on Monday–was central to the process through which Italian Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record.

Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’ voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892–in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.

The lynchings of Italians came at a time when newspapers in the South had established the gory convention of advertising the far more numerous public murders of African Americans in advance–to attract large crowds–and justifying the killings by labeling the victims “brutes,” “fiends,” “ravishers,” “born criminals” or “troublesome Negroes.” Even high-minded news organizations that claimed to abhor the practice legitimized lynching by trafficking in racist stereotypes about its victims.

Full story here.

3+
Share

63 comments

  1. This is American history that most people in America are aware of unless you are of a certain age. My father would tell me when I was around 11 and playing Little League Baseball about some of what’s in article when he worked at the Bridgeport Brass and about white flight here in Bridgeport and how the north end was changing and what groups of whites were moving in and who were out with only a few blacks in that area. The article is a good read.

    1+
  2. Hey, does this mean we get to ues the N-Word? Just kidin. If Moore is not black enough, then, well, I think not.😊P.S. personal I don’t think it was the Jew on the boat that gave rise to Italian whiteness more than Steve’s people in Hollywood.😂

    0
  3. Lennie that was the best article you have written. Thank you for sharing. Your father sounds like a great man and his life would make an interesting novel. I have always had a fascination with the Italian culture and I took care of my friends mother from Abruzzi. Her stories were also quite amazing. Many of my Italian friends are Sicilian. I have been all over Italy and have never made it to Sicily. I think all first generation immigrants experience the same hurtful prejudice especially in the early 1900’s . My Grandparents came to the United States from Austria in 1914. like many they didn’t speak English and being Jewish like the Italians, stuck to their own. I think every group has experienced some form of racial prejudice. I think now more than every before , There are some groups that 2-3 generations later are still fighting for certain freedoms, Where your story is very eloquently written with love there are those that have no idea where they came from. United only by the color of their skin and that is sad. Back to Columbus. I am hoping that the Statue finds it place in a museum or at an Italian Community Center. You can not erase history . Terrorist have attempted to destroy antiquities in Iraq and all countries. Hitler tried to erase an enitire race of people throughout Europe, We will always need reminders of where we came from to know where we are going. Will taking Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben off the shelf change us. I have always found comfort using those products . Never realized they were offensive to a group of people. If they put a Chinese person on the box of rice would that change the product. If thy put my mother on the box of pancakes and called Mother Marilyns Pancake mix would that be less offensive? We have a local entrepreneur in the area used to be a Bridgeport resident , Wiley Mullins. He is a very smart marketing man and started a business called Uncle Wiley’s . I have been buying his products for years. I knew him years ago. There is an animated picture of a Black Man on all of his products. Not sure why we have to say goodbye to Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima.

    Anyway, Back to this post, Excellent. Your dad was something.

    5+
    1. Stevie A, your comment about blacks shows your lack of knowledge of blacks. Stevie if have a line of men with one being gay, one being Italian, one Jew, one German and one black, when you look at those men in line you’ll have no problem in knowing who the black male is. No one would know if someone is gay, a Jew, German or Italian by just looking at them.

      0
      1. I think made that clear in my comment Ron. Re-read my post. I absolutely agree. Maybe I didn’r elaborate now that i Re-read my post where I wrote there are groups 2-3 generations later still fighting for certain freedoms. I support the Black Lives matter movement. I march with the peaceful Black Lives Matter movement. I am very affected emotionally when I see what I see and I thank G-d I will continue to always stand up for what is right even if people like yourself attempt to alienate me. You are absolutely correct. A Jew a German and an Irish man walk into a room. A gay man and a Italian are sitting there . When a black man enters he different I get it. I have many black friends some of which are gay and ironically some are Jews. Not to make light. In my circle, a black man enters the room we do not see his color. My group are not Racists. I do not judge groups of people. I embrace all culture and have always felt at home amongst all groups. But that’s me and I know I am unusual l like that and for that I thank G-d. .

        1+
        1. Stevie, think any what you said, “a black man enters the room we do not see his color,” how can you not see his color, that’s like looking at woman and you don’t see her as a woman. When you don’t recognize someone of who they are you are totally disrespecting their life and their struggle.

          0
          1. Comrade, in the age of WOKE, I’m disappointed in you. Your gender bias is apparent like your racism. You care more about your racial argument without taking into consideration other people and how they Identify. This includes your attack on PT Barnum’s legacy without taking the totality of his life. You should have more decency towards people’s self-identification and sexual orientation, We don’t live in Steve’s people biblical times. JS

            S.P This is why I don’t date blondes though, they can be so dramatic at the time. 🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOkdR7on6Ok

            0
          2. Ron , I am sorry , I honestly don’t acknowledge my Black friends color. Sorry if that offends you. I have many Black fiends who would be offended by your incessant rants. The point Ron Mackey is that I show up. I support and I am tired of these back and forth rants. You should be grateful I support . It’s not like I could ever imagine you supporting anything Jewish/White or Gay. That’s your business. I am not offended by it. I accept that I am different than most. I like to be part of all communities and it certainly does not diminish my faith, culture or allegiance to any group. Maybe I should be more clear. Of course when you walk into a room I see you are an Black man. But, I should just said yes you are a black man and that is it. I do not acknowledge that as a negative. I appreciate other peoples culture/ music and food. End of story. I accept you wouldn’t eat gefiltte fish and I wouldn’t eat chittlins and pigs feet. But somewhere along the line we all have something in common. Some of us appreciate that and others are always looking for ways to see how we are different.
            Yes Ron, our brains register a million things in a flash. A woman walks in the room I notice if she smells intoxicating, her hair color, what she is wearing . she is pretty, she has a pleasant voice, sharp glasses., nice shoes, she is Hispanic, black, white, Portuguese, Italian Jewish a lipstick lesbian, nice figure, a little lipstick couldn’t hurt 🙂 I don’t know her but I say hello how ya doing.
            When a man walks into a room — Same thing from head to toe!!!! So Ron you are correct, I see a black man walk into a room, I see he is black- and then everything else. You win!!
            You know Ron, I don’t know you but let me share something with you. We have many friends in common in Bridgeport and those that live hours away that you have known for decades and have worked with. Sometimes they are shocked and I say hey , it doesn’t bother me. We are different. I come on here to just write a comment here and there usually in support of the City I love. I rarely enjoy engaging is inexpedient conversation. I appreciate when I learn something new and occasionally on this blog I do.

            1+
  4. Ron if there were 6 black guys and one white guy in a line you would know with one is white. But would know which one was Jamaican, Haitian Kantian, Ethiopian. Rwandan, or American? We understand color, skin tone, black and white, but you might be lacking some knowledge of black people yourself. JS

    0
  5. Grazie Lennie,
    for your family story as it’s truths make us wiser about relevant human experience. And thank you also for attaching the Staples column from the NYTimes to provide some breadth to the depth of your personal account.
    There is much attention today to the history of over 400 years for people of color coming un-free to the across the Atlantic and applied to slave work across generations, with out equal acknowledgement of human rewards, capacity, rights or freedom, even as steps to Emancipate took place in mid 19th America after decades of battling over abolition.
    .
    I wondered about how Reconstruction failed, or actually what happened between Federal law and order and the Southern States in particular. I have been reading the often untold story of reconstruction, followed by Redemption, ‘White Supremacy”, the rise of Jim Crow, lynching and other moments in American history that never appeared in my classrooms of 60-70 years ago. (I suggest STONY THE ROAD by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,recently issued BEGIN AGAIN by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr and RECONSTRUCTION:America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-77 by Eric Foner as worthy of attention.)

    The election of 1876 where failure to fully process the electoral college returns from three states drove the Republican and Democratic parties to allow candidate Rutherford Hayes (R) Ohio who lost in 1876 to Samuel Tilden (D) NY to become President in stead of Tilden. Railroad interests, lack of passion to continue support for Southern people of color in face of widespread white supremacy story-telling and the removal of Federal troops presaged weakness in getting to live full civil rights into the 20th century where racism continued in systemic and structured ways.

    We are privileged today to read what has been written, to speak about our thoughts and opinions, and to exercise full rights or to protest in an organized, peaceful, and memorable manner in the HOPE that time will tell.

    0
    1. JML, America has NEVER had that conversation about race because it’s to uncomfortable and they don’t have time for it. The way out is the way back in, here in 2020 it’s the problem for whites to solve. Whites killed the peace maker in Martin Luther king Jr, they didn’t want to listen to a problem football player when he took knee because Black Lives Didn’t Matter. Whites need to sit down and talk to other whites about the subject of race. Blacks deal with it their entire life, they work in the white world then go home to a Black world. Whites don’t have to make any lifetime changes in dealing with blacks because it’s a white world and being white has it privileges.

      0
      1. Really comrade. a white world? 60% of the world population is Asian. Ron let me understand the black world. Why did McBride say to Moore was not black enough?

        0
      2. Brother Ron,
        Acknowledging with respect your informed state of racial history I have sought to talk with you on multiple occasions over several years. You have avoided a positive response to my invitation.
        Perhaps this conversation may be uncomfortable for all parties? But events of 2020 have gotten to such a point that marchers of all colors join in saying that Black Lives Matter, and THEY are talking about it. How about you, are you ready to become anti-racist as a forward move towards more community justice? What do you have to say about a multi-racial democracy as a future? How does segregation, such as you counsel, fit into the future you hope for? Time will tell.

        1+
        1. W. E. B. Du Bois, was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 and the editor of the NAACP’s journal The Crisis. Du Bois said, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line.” Du Bois was right then and he’s right in 2020.

          The conversation about race is uncomfortable and it has to be done by whites talking to other whites. I’m glad Lennie shared his family story because it put a real face on the article “The Lynching Of Italians (Especially Sicilians).” How many stories of blacks and their family struggles do whites really know about? Being black means working in a white environment and going home to a black environment but for whites everything in their life is a white environment..

          0
    2. JML like everything written, Staples column from the NYTimes was watered down. It mentioned nothing of why Sicilians and Southern Italians were looked down like Blacks in America only other then they chose to live and mingle with the black population, considering they were looked down upon in their homeland. though. No mention of the black race who invaded and conquered Sicily as to why they were looked down upon in American and chose to live with blacks. No mention in your own comment it was the Democrat party who lead the change of Black suffrage in American since this nation came into existence, for 200 years, and was the reason reconstruction fail to the extent as it did or it succeeded as it did because of the Republican Party. Only after the Republican Party fought and died to free them in the Civil War.

      It was the Democratic Party who erected the Confederate Status and monuments. And for better or worse, it was under a Republican President, Trump, not a Democrat, Obama that they are being removed. It was the Democrat party who enacted segregation and Jim Crow laws in the South and run the minority cities today.

      To marginalize the plight of Sicilian people by a black conquering race of the times by changing the narrative to the plight of Black brought to this continent 400 years ago and not mentioning, for the most part, blacks were captured or slaves themselves that were sold to European slave traders from warring African tribes 200 years before America”s revolution and eventually the Civil War to end slavery.

      Or to involve “White Supremacy” without mentioning England’s atrocities on the white Irish, killing, and genociding 1/2 its population (Twice) capturing Irish placing them on the boats to cross the Atlantic to the new world to force labor as so-called Indentured servants with now mean to ever go back to their homeland and their families if the were still alive. But yet it appears in American history the white Irish was not slaves but indentured servants. In what universe does that make any sense? I will agree with your premise though Black suffrage has endured longer than most generations like the mulatto Italians but maybe that because they just weren’t black enough.

      P.S JML did you know Columbus as a Jew? That never appeared in our history books. I know you mentioned for time to time about Columbus’s white supremacy, but never he was a Jew. Just wondering JS.

      0
  6. Bravo Lennie, you never disappoint. My maternal and paternal grandparents came here from Southern Italy, married and had large families. I wish I did as you and asked questions about their experiences. It’s too late now since they’re all gone, but one 90 something aunt. Great writing, as always, and thanks for the real history.

    3+
  7. Good story Lennie. EVERY race, nationality, and religion that has ever come to this country by whatever means has encountered some form of discrimination. Some more than others. Most learned to cope and then work their way out of it. Most have taken advantage of the opportunities that this great country has afforded them and have moved on and improved their conditions. Some, and hopefully just few, on the grand scale of things, have not, and that is unfortunate. They continue to look back and never forward. Those who do that obviously don’t feel adequate enough to not use past inequities as a crutch to continually complain about what they must consider their sorrowful existence in this country. We’ve even witnessed certain individuals denigrate their own in an effort to make their point. Reading and listening to these poor unfortunate souls, one can never be “enough” to satisfy their woeful continual complaints, which after awhile becomes extremely tiring. They accomplish NOTHING by it.
    It’s like crying wolf. No one listens.
    Cheers!!!!

    0
    1. Rich, that’s true but there differences, whites coming to America from Europe and from different country from around the world had protective skin coloring and if they change their name and learn English, they could move to other section in America plus there was a certain time frame in America out west were the government was giving away free land. During these time frame with the great migration from Europe to America from 1836 to 1914, over 30million Europeans migrated to America, The great migration of English to North America from 1650 onward. Blacks in America no matter where they came did not have those same rights. Those immigrants didn’t have to compete for jobs with blacks because those blacks no matter how long that they and their ancestors have been in America immigrants still had more rights than blacks, even blacks who fought in wars for America. Blacks couldn’t change their name, move to another area in America learn to speak English, nothing blacks did would make them equal. I’m just pointing out American history that most people don’t know or cared about.

      0
      1. I believe that everything you just wrote is absolutely true. But it’s been almost 70 years since everything started to change. Many avenues were created for blacks in America to take advantage of. Affirmative action and many many other actions were legislated to help people who had been discriminated against. Ron, you would probably be able to name a lot more than I could without even researching them. The key to many of these initiatives was that education, job opportunities and work ethic would be the key to success those who took advantage of the programs did well. Those that didn’t probably sat around and waited for handouts. Let’s take you as an example. You became a fire fighter and enjoyed the same pay and benefits as every other fire fighter. I’m guessing that when you did become a fire fighter you were probably one of the very few black members of the department. But in the end you attained everything that any other retiree was able to earn. Pension. Benefits. Social security. You went to school, served your country, became a civil servant, retired and now are able to enjoy your life. That’s the American dream or at least to some it was and is. Naturally some people do much better than others depending on what vocation they choose . It also depends on their education, work ethic, and maybe some luck or “connections” that help. Let’s not kid each other no matter who you are or where you came from or whatever your skin color is there are those who have done much better because of many different things including personal contacts, favoritism, and other factors. Women are discriminated against for similar reasons Ron. When a woman walks into a room she is just as clearly identified as a person of color would be. I also understand fully that there are some who may have been passed over or disregarded because of their skin color or the way they spoke, or the way they were dressed, and for many other reasons. I understand that those situations will probably never change because that’s what’s called human nature. So I don’t know if you were able to take advantage of any of the legislative actions and that’s what may have helped you become successful, but all I keep pointing out is that in today’s world basically everyone has a more equal footing then they had decades ago. No doubt influential people on all sides made this happen. The struggle for being equal is ongoing and always will be ongoing because of human nature and not only because of racial prejudice.
        Many things in life are subjective such as hiring personnel. Even the most qualified people do not necessarily get the job because of many different factors as I mentioned above.
        Cheers.

        0
        1. Rich, you’re missing the point. The Great Black Migration” in America was the movement of 6 million blacks the South to urban Northeast, Midwest and the West between 1916 to 1970. Poor economic conditions as well as the prevalent racial segregation and discrimination in the Southern states where Jim Crow laws were upheld. Within that migration were very light skin blacks who were the offspring of black women being rape by their slave masters. That were not excepted by whites and blacks so their best way out was to move North and pass for white. “Queen: The Story of an American Family,” stars Halle Berry in the title role, by Alex Haley and David Stevens. The novel is based on the life of Queen Jackson Haley, Haley’s paternal grandmother.

          “Colin Powell discusses racism in America”

          https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/colin-powell-discusses-racism-in-america-87308869833

          0
          1. What point??!! How about this quote from
            Allen B. West’s father, a black man who told his son (I’m sure you know who he is) : “never use your color as a crutch”. Mr. West raised victors NOT victims. Stop fucking crying for gods sake. Stevie A, is absolutely right in that you are “incessant and redundant.” Didn’t your parents tell you to be strong and not whine and cry about shit. So what point did I miss??? So tired of listening to this shit. Your whining is just overwhelming and as I said earlier no one listens when one cries wolf so much. You may respond which I’m sure you will (in capitols as well) but I’M DONE with this topic.
            Cheers!! And have a marvelous weekend.

            0
          2. Comrade, “light skin blacks who were the offspring of black women being raped by their slave masters.”. You better check Cromwells’ conquest of Irland and America’s so-called “indentured servants” who were forced from the homeland to the new world as force labor, after he slaughtered than the men in towns across Irland. Irland’s population dropped 60% tens of thousands of women and children were brought to Colonies on the onset of the Slave trade, and most of the slaves in that period were male. JS comrade. Just like your narrative about PT. I understand your point though.

            P.S Rich take “advantage of the opportunities that this great country has afforded them and have moved on and improved their conditions. Some, and hopefully just a few, on the grand scale of things, have not, and that is unfortunate”?

            not if it includes opening up a liquor store, right? If you were at the helm of power of that decision, would it have been afforded to them? Asking for a friend. Peace out people. Bam

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC_CpnwZPYM

            0
          3. Rich, this is every day for blacks, for guys like you and Stevie you guys are doing a drive by, it has nothing all to do with your life every day. As for Allen West, he’s just another Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, all Tea Party activist along with Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and consultant who is married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

            Rich, I think you will find yourself in agreement with this.
            https://youtu.be/Ritgq-lUC8U

            0
          4. Comrade, are you saying Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, is drive by blacks. WOW! While I get you point overall you have to take into account all aspects driving that car. That being said Rich has a point it not that it’s not unattainable for blacks, you and Day are proof, Unlike have so-called “white privilege guarantees success. P.S what do you think Colin Powell feels about the Marxist view and tearing down Ameican monuments like the Statue of Saddam?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX89pxjQeQU

            0
  8. Ron, I’m wondering why are you trying to reason with Rich, who’s mind has been made up about Black’s for decades and won’t be changed. All you need to know about this fool is in this one statement, “those situations will probably never change because that’s what’s called human nature.

    This fools still thinks that racism, discrimination, unfair educational opportunities, few job opportunities and police brutality are merely, HUMAN NATURE! Enough Said! 🤔

    0
    1. BINGO!!!!! Don, Rich is showing his true self and his mindset as a cop. Don if you notice there are only two people really replying back to me, Rich and the other is a troll who gets off hating you, Bob and myself and nobody pays attention to. We shouldn’t say anything and just be happy and if blacks just work hard and got an education and pull theirself up by their bootstraps that they will get ahead. Don, during our parents time blacks who got a college degree the hope for them was a career at the Post Office because America wasn’t hiring blacks into the same position that whites had with the level of education, they would let one in but that was it, even Colin Powell understood that so he join the military.

      0
      1. That’s right asshole………
        And HE became a GENERAL and the chairman of the joint chiefs and the national security adviser.
        I can see both your points about race keeping him down!
        Assholes!!!!

        0
        1. Ron and Don!!! The epitome of whiners, snivelers, cry babies and stupidity. The three of us were all civil servants, retired and receive our pensions etc. so we are all equal in this life but unfortunately for them, they somehow feel inferior because I’m white. That’s basically their message. We all had the SAME opportunities and ended up the same, I think? It guess I’m a racist for saying that as well! Assholes!
          Cheers!!!!!!!

          0
        2. Oh and by the way he was also Secretary of State.
          And oh by the way he went to a basically free college just like I did.
          CUNY!!
          Same as me. That’s how the game is played in this country: Education and hard work. He didn’t use his color as a crutch.
          You guys must have a pair of those at home and in your car just in case.

          0
          1. Rich, that’s mighty nice that they allowed one black to get appointed, there are many black general in the military right now who will not get the chance that Powell got. Look at any important meeting that the current President has you see no blacks, why, because he doesn’t know any blacks t appoint, whites never have that problem. Rich, get over that bullshit Education and hard work, there are numerous of black generals would will never get selected to move up. In America it’s who you know and not what you know. Hard work, who the hell built America with hard work for free.

            0
        3. If the troll fits, wear it. 🙂

          I won’t go as far as to say your comments state you are racist, however, the term Asshole at being bare minimum says you upset. 🙂

          What you upset about it? Don’t you have two lakeside homes?

          Rich, you would be surprised how many pears of Crutches someone can have in their life, have to play in this game?

          P.S comrade did call you are racist in this post. He said you have a cop mind-set. I hope that cop mindset comrade Ron stated was related to your suggestion it made you a racist? 🙂

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kxL9Cf46VM&index=9&list=PLRtvIEcszXcRja9dGgPV_0OQMs9okaJjH

          0
        4. Rich, that’s mighty nice that they allowed one black to get appointed, there are many black general in the military right now who will not get the chance that Powell got. Look at any important meeting that the current President has you see no blacks, why, because he doesn’t know any blacks t appoint, whites never have that problem.

          1+
          1. It’s a pity you can’t see how you are making yourself look to others that see this blog.

            0
  9. Don, I wonder if there are families here who are afraid to acknowledge that this history.

    “The Painful Truth About Passing As White” by Mat Johnson, below is a small portion of the article.

    The benefit of passing in American history was the chance to live a life with the full rights of an American citizen, social and economic. An escape from the threat of racial violence in all its forms, from powerlessness and political disenfranchisement. The price, however, was total exile. Also, a soul, possibly.

    There have been people of African descent throughout American history who have used their ability to pass for white in ways that benefited the larger African American community, as opposed to abandoning it. Walter Francis White, former head of the NAACP, joined the organization as an investigator. In his early years at the organization, he investigated lynchings of black men that were ignored by the national white press, by using his ambiguous appearance to infiltrate white spaces. After one such investigation in Arkansas, rumors that local whites were on the lookout for him sent White fleeing town. On the train, waiting to leave, the conductor told him:

    “But you’re leaving, mister, just when the fun is going to start”

    Asked what fun, the conductor replied, “There’s a damned yellow nigger down here passing for white and the boys are going to get him.”

    “What’ll they do with him?”

    “When they get through with him he won’t pass for white no more!”

    https://www.topic.com/passing-in-moments

    0
  10. Comrade, it’s not that you can’t say anything. You just say anything. You know people can read and form their own opinion right? Not hating on Bob, you or Day just point out the fact Bob made a racist rant and you supported him after it. Or Day said black people will never vote of a Puerto Rican. Just facts.

    You, Day, and Bod had shown your true color. I am not denying racism in American, be white, black, Latino, Asian, or any other ethnicity. however Bob has shown it and you have forgiven him for it, No? unlike Bob PT is unforgivable to you base on your posts. It was said PT said “there’s a sucker born every day” You peddle racism, it is what is it, but do expect not to get push back by what you are sell. You talk about wanting to have a conversation yet to tell everyone not to reply to anything I say. Why is that? A troll might be to a stronger of a word, besides I believe the owner of the site sits it aside Bob, that person you seem to have no problem marginalizing black people.

    P.S Colin Powell has been heavily criticized for lying to the UN security council about WMD in Iraq and the justification to go to war. We can play this game all day but your true self and midset is apparent. Peace out Comrade have no more time for you, Day, Bob, or Tom. Bam1 JS

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/06/lie-after-lie-what-colin-powell-knew-about-iraq-fifteen-years-ago-and-what-he-told-the-un/

    0
  11. Rich, all we do is to continue to call attention to the obvious, you are a replete with bigotry and denial. In fact Rich you are suffering from Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people like you would like a certain idea/concept to be true, you end up believing it to be true. You are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the you to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views (prejudices) one would like to be true. Any questions?

    0
      1. Rich Augustynowicz says:
        July 11, 2020
        Still whining huh.

        Your fucking right, black people are dying and being killed in America.

        “How Institutional Racism Kills Black People” | Time
        https://time.com/5851864/institutional-racism-america/

        The novel coronavirus and the knee that Derek Chauvin casually placed on George Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes have shown the exact same thing: there is a racial hierarchy in the U.S., and people of color–particularly black people–are at the bottom of it.

        0
    1. Day,Be careful with that evidence or were it might lead. You may get people telling everyone not to respond to you .

      P.S did you know blacks will never vote for a Puerto Rican? Does that sound like confirmed prejudice views to you? Asking for a Friend, Cheers. 🙂

      0
  12. Ron and Don say and I quote: blah blah blah and more blah blah blah!!!
    You guys expect to get anything you want handed to you on a sliver platter. Let everyone know when that happens as a result of the various “movements” taking place. You say “black people are dying and being killed in America”. You are absolutely correct. You forgot to mention that 99.99999 percent of those dying are being killed by blacks.
    Cheers!!!

    0
  13. Ron says : “get over that bullshit about hard work and education”….. proving my comment about him being an asshole was correct.
    Cheers!!!

    0
    1. Rich, once again you show that you have no knowledge of blacks and American history with your asinine comments. If hard work was a major reason in hiring well blacks would be at the head of the line base on the fact that black slave built America for FREE. Hard work, signs on employment said, blacks need not apply, education, separate but equal was the law of the land, has for hiring whites didn’t have to complete equally with blacks. It’s like running in a 100 yard dash where whites are all ready 50 yards ahead of blacks and then the whistle blows to start the race, how the hell could blacks even get equal with whites?

      Rich, it’s obvious that you don’t have black friends or that you even talk to anybody black just base on what you write.

      0
      1. Blah blah blah!!! Matter of fact,some of my black friends / acquaintances in Bridgeport have told me about you. Some are black cops and a few are firemen. I have actually gone out of my way to ask them if they know you. Do you know what their response is?? “Oh him, sure I know him, complains about everything- always has and always does. I found that amusing!!!
        Of course those people are probably not black enough for you!!
        Cheers!!!!

        0
        1. Rich, my reply to you had nothing to do with me, I’m not here to talk about me or my record in helping to blacks hired and promoted and successful lawsuits is on the record, it speaks for it’s self. Rich, did you talk those same people about racism in their department and what did they say? I know that you don’t talk to your family about racism.

          0
  14. Speaking of education, comrade doesn’t seem old considering the focus on the integration of schools and segregation is primarily on the South but never the North like Boston desegregation of the schools? For the most part, was in the late ’70s. My point is we know Blacks and Whites education really wasn’t integrated into the North, Even Biden said:
    “1977: Biden said integrating black students would turn schools into ‘a jungle… a racial jungle.’

    To be fair he also said:

    In 1977, Joe Biden warned that without “orderly integration,” his children would grow up in “racial jungle, with tensions built so high that it is going to explode at some point.”

    So what I’m getting at, the North schools were for the most part were not integrated. But if you look at the racist South all of the Historically Black colleges were in the Southern States. A few in Ohio, who’s Capital is named after that person the, ” Woke Generation” are protesting against and tearing down his statues. who the Mulatto Italians used to get their whiteness in America. JML any thoughts and insight?

    No real point here people, Just sitting here, high, smoking some tobet. 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historically_black_colleges_and_universities

    0
  15. Hey RT, seriousl question for you. I don’t get the integration thing your mentioning especially “in the north”. From 70 to 73
    I went to De Witt CLINTON HS , the largest high school in the world with about 9300 kids. Used to have 30 plus thousand on 4 shifts. I started on a 2 shifter then the population dropped to about 7600, so we all were on one shift. The school is located in the north Bronx in what was considered a “nice” neighborhood. I trained it up from the south Bronx along with mostly black an Spanish guys. Out of the 7600 there were about 800 whites, 1000 Spanish (Puerto Rican mostly), a handful of Asians, a smaller handful of Euro imports and the rest black. I would think that it was integrated. Predominantly black though. When you say “the north” does that mean many places excluding New York?
    Oh by the way… lol…. for Ron and Don: check out the school on the internet. Many famous persons graduated from that school. Broadway and Hollywood actors, politicians and a slew of sports legends. Many of these people who received their H S education from Clinton went on to get more education and worked very hard and became very successful. MANY of them were black. I even had a few black friends that became famous! Imagine that!!!!
    Cheers!!

    0
    1. P.S not sure about the 30 plus thousand. if the is the same school.

      “1n the 1930s its enrollment peaked at 12,000 and it was said to be the largest high school in the world. Enrollment by 1999 was about 4,000.

      It remained the last gender-segregated public school in New York City until 1983.

      I guess gender segregation is not segregation. Cheers.

      0
  16. pre·dom·i·nant·ly
    adverb
    mainly; for the most part.

    8% white in a predominantly black school?

    What I said, “the North schools were, for the most part, were not integrated.” The school’s make-up was/is based on neighborhoods that are segregated for the most part in general. How many whites do you thin attend East End Dumbar? And if your example of 8% of whites attending a predominantly black school is your example of desegregation and no racism in NY Lord help you.

    Serious question for you, what do you think the percentage of blacks students attending a predominantly white school? T 1% maybe 2 % That was the issue with busing in the 70′ and 80’s People think segregation was the main problem, People segregate themselves all day lone. the Gay community, the Black community, Latino Community, white community. Asian community. No one seems to have an issue with China town NY. It’s the equality of treatment. Feel me.

    That pendulum swings both ways. Comrade treated Bob racist rant far kinder then like say PT actions who was born in the time of slavery. That the game though. Just like you talk about opportunities in Americans but as opposed to someone else using up a liquor store, NO, What happens to his opportunity to be more than a bartender? Cheers.

    0
    1. RT I wasn’t taking issue with integration only asking because I didn’t think it was an issue especially in NYC back in my day. As far as the liquor issue goes you got that wrong. Defilippo used his “political” privileges to go around the law which I and every other business person in Bridgeport had to follow and that’s what we built our business model around. He used his privilege to keep going around the law and every time we beat him fair and square using the legal system. Ultimately he used his political privileges and contacts etc to rewrite the rules and regs in Bridgeport to suit ONLY himself. Do you think any “common” person could have done that?
      Of course not. Those who tried to skirt the existing laws were simply denied and sent away. He on the other hand received special treatment and was allowed to skirt the law. He was challenged and lost continually on a number of levels and after more than 4 years they rewrote the laws for HIM. His store is still not open!
      Go figure.

      0
      1. Privileges are privileges, No? At least you understand there are privileges in American, just not white privilege, though.

        He did not go around the law, variances are laws. People are granted them all the time. You can cut it any way you want you tried to deny him an opportune that you state is available for everyone and that blacks are never denied an opportunity. Peace out. Cheers.

        0
  17. Whew, do you need and cheese with that whine Rich. Damn you’re starting to sound like that damn Mackey and Day!

    “He used his privilege to keep going around the law and every time we beat him fair and square using the legal system. Ultimately he used his political privileges and contacts etc to rewrite the rules and regs in Bridgeport to suit ONLY himself.

    WHINE ANYONE?

    0
      1. Oh no Rich I get it and it’s clear as the nose on your face. All you’re saying is treat me fairly and quit using your political privilege to circumvent fair play. Why should we have to go to court just to make you do what’s right, what’s moral and what’s just! Is that about it Rich and I don’t think I left anything out!

        Now go back and read EVERY Post that Ron and I have ever posted in OIB History because that’s all we’ve ever said about your America!

        0
  18. OPINION
    I’m a Descendant of President Jefferson. Take His Public Statues Down | Opinion
    SHANNON LANIER
    ON 6/18/20 AT 7:55 AM EDT

    I AM THE SIXTH GREAT-GRANDSON OF PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON, WHO WAS A SLAVE OWNER. I AM A DESCENDANT THROUGH HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS SLAVE, SALLY HEMINGS. DESPITE MY CONNECTION TO JEFFERSON, HE FALLS UNDER THE ABOVE DESCRIPTION. THERE ARE MANY STATUES OF HIM THAT SHOULD COME DOWN. HE WAS, AFTER ALL, A PARTICIPANT IN THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY—PERHAPS THE MOST NOTORIOUS ONE AMONG THE FOUNDING FATHERS, NOT LEAST BECAUSE OF THE JARRING CONTRAST BETWEEN WHAT HE PRACTICED AND WHAT HE PREACHED.

    A statue alone only provides content, but a museum setting would allow it to have context. It is imperative that we remember our history, that we don’t erase our complicated past, but preserve and learn from it while understanding where those figures fit into the fabric of our country. In the sentiment of Thomas Jefferson, we have to grow and change with our times.

    Now I know many people, even some of my family members, will say Jefferson was not as bad as a leader of the Confederate Army. After all, he wrote the Declaration of Independence, created the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, made the Louisiana Purchase and participated in the founding of the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia. I respect him for those things… but on the other hand, ask yourself if you can look past the fact that he owned more than 600 people against their will, knew it was wrong, but never let them go.

    Can you look past that and praise him as an idol on a pedestal just because he wrote a document that he thought did not apply to you or your family in the first place? He has a place in our history, to be sure; but this place needs to be occupied by the real Thomas Jefferson, not the character he projected through his more inspirational writings.

    0
  19. OPINION
    “I’m a Descendant of President Jefferson. Take His Public Statues Down” | Opinion
    SHANNON LANIER
    ON 6/18/20 AT 7:55 AM EDT

    I AM THE SIXTH GREAT-GRANDSON OF PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON, WHO WAS A SLAVE OWNER. I AM A DESCENDANT THROUGH HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS SLAVE, SALLY HEMINGS. DESPITE MY CONNECTION TO JEFFERSON, HE FALLS UNDER THE ABOVE DESCRIPTION. THERE ARE MANY STATUES OF HIM THAT SHOULD COME DOWN. HE WAS, AFTER ALL, A PARTICIPANT IN THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY—PERHAPS THE MOST NOTORIOUS ONE AMONG THE FOUNDING FATHERS, NOT LEAST BECAUSE OF THE JARRING CONTRAST BETWEEN WHAT HE PRACTICED AND WHAT HE PREACHED.

    A statue alone only provides content, but a museum setting would allow it to have context. It is imperative that we remember our history, that we don’t erase our complicated past, but preserve and learn from it while understanding where those figures fit into the fabric of our country. In the sentiment of Thomas Jefferson, we have to grow and change with our times.

    Now I know many people, even some of my family members, will say Jefferson was not as bad as a leader of the Confederate Army. After all, he wrote the Declaration of Independence, created the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, made the Louisiana Purchase and participated in the founding of the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia. I respect him for those things… but on the other hand, ask yourself if you can look past the fact that he owned more than 600 people against their will, knew it was wrong, but never let them go.

    Can you look past that and praise him as an idol on a pedestal just because he wrote a document that he thought did not apply to you or your family in the first place? He has a place in our history, to be sure; but this place needs to be occupied by the real Thomas Jefferson, not the character he projected through his more inspirational writings.

    0

Leave a Reply