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Archive for June, 2009

We would like to hear your views about our  national Italian American organizations, such as the National Italian American Foundation, the Order of Sons of Italy in America and its Sons of Italy Foundation, the National Organization of Italian American Women, the National Italian American Bar Association, Filitalia, and so on. In short any organization that presents itself as representing Americans of Italian descent in the United States.  Thank you.

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In Memoriam: Neda

Neda Agha Soltan 1982-2009

Neda Agha Soltan 1982-2009

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Thanks to Joe Grano for bringing to our attention the latest attempt by a national company to promote its products by stereotyping Italian Americans as mafiosi. The MillerCoors  beer company had a new ad campaign promoting Miller Lite beer featuring a gangster character from the “The Sopranos.”

Fortunately, because of the efforts of two fast-acting Chicagoans, the company has already pulled the offensive ads. Click here to read the Chicago Sun-Times article which describes the ads and the campaign to have them pulled. You can then vote in the Sun-Times poll and let the MillerCoors company know that they did the right thing.

Apparently, in one commercial, Vincent and his sidekick enter a convenience store and ask the clerk if he needs “protection.” The clerk, pointing to a Miller Lite container, says he’s got all the protection he needs, which prompts an exaggerated “oh!” from Vincent and his sidekick. In a commercial set in a bar, Vincent asks — in a threatening tone — if the bartender needs protection. When the bartender says “no,” Vincent asks if he’s a wiseguy.

Congratulations to Lou Rago and Anthony Baratta from Chicago for their quick and effective action in having the offensive ads withdrawn. Thanks also go to Andre DiMino and Manny Alfano of UNICO New Jersey for informing the Italian-American community of the misbegotten ad campaign.

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On June 2, 2009, on the occasion of the 63rd Anniversary of the birth of the Italian Republic, Italian American House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had this to say about Italian Americans:  “In terms of who we are as people, 40 million bridges between Italy and America. A country discovered by an Italian, named by an Italian, developed by Italian Americans, continuing to take pride in our Italian American heritage.” Brava!

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