Anti-Italianism or Italophobia is a negative attitude regarding Italian people or people with Italian ancestry, often expressed through the use of prejudice or stereotypes. Its opposite is Italophilia.
Anti-Italianism in the United States resulted among some Americans in reaction to the period in the late nineteenth century and twentieth century of large-scale immigration of Italians, mostly from southern Italy and Sicily.
The majority of Italian immigrants arrived in waves in the early 20th century, many from agrarian backgrounds, and with religions different than the Protestant majority. In United States, and other English-speaking countries to which they immigrated, such as Canada and Australia, Italian immigrants were often viewed as perpetual foreigners, restricted to manual labor. As they often lacked formal education, and competed with earlier immigrants for lower-paying jobs and housing, there was inter-ethnic hostility. Ethnocentric chauvinism exhibited by early northern European settlers towards Italian immigrants was also an important factor, especially in the American South, which was overwhelmingly Protestant.
Much of the anti-Italian hostility in the United States was directed at Southern Italians and Sicilians, who began immigrating to the United States in large numbers after 1880. Before that, there were relatively few Italians in North America. In reaction to the large-scale immigration from southern and eastern Europe, Congress passed legislation (Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and Immigration Act of 1924) restricting immigration from those regions, but not from Northern European countries.
Anti-Italian prejudice was sometimes associated with the anti-Catholic tradition that existed in the United States, inherited from Protestant/Catholic European competition and wars over centuries. When the United States was founded, it inherited the anti-Catholic, anti-papal animosity of its original Protestant settlers. Anti-Catholic sentiments in the U.S. reached a peak in the 19th century when the Protestant population became alarmed by the number of Catholics immigrating to the United States. This was due in part to the standard tensions that arise between native-born citizens and immigrants. The resulting anti-Catholic nativist movement, which achieved prominence in the 1840s, led to hostility that resulted in mob violence, including the burning of Catholic property. The Italian immigrants inherited this anti-Catholic hostility upon arrival; however, unlike some of the other Catholic immigrant groups, they generally did not bring with them priests and other religious who could help ease their transition into American life. To remedy this situation, Pope Leo XIII dispatched a contingent of priests, nuns and brothers of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo to the U.S. (among which was Sister Francesca Cabrini), who helped establish hundreds of parishes to serve the needs of the Italian communities, such as Our Lady of Pompeii in New York City.
Some of the early 20th-century immigrants from Italy brought with them a political disposition toward socialism and anarchism. This was a reaction to the economic and political conditions they had dealt with in Italy. Such men as Arturo Giovannitti, Carlo Tresca, and Joe Ettor were in the forefront of organizing Italian and other immigrant laborers in demanding better working conditions and shorter working hours in the mining, textile, garment, construction and other industries. These efforts often resulted in strikes, which sometimes erupted into violence between the strikers and strike-breakers. The anarchy movement in the United States at that time was responsible for bombings in major cities, and attacks on officials and law enforcement. As a result of the association of some with the labor and anarchy movements, Italian Americans were branded as labor agitators and radicals by many of the business owners and the wealthier class of the time, which resulted in anti-Italian sentiments.
The vast majority of Italian immigrants worked hard and lived honest lives, as documented by police statistics of the early 20th century in Boston and New York City. Italian immigrants had an arrest rate no greater than that of other major immigrant groups. As late as 1963, James W. Vander Zander noted that the rate of criminal convictions among Italian immigrants was less than that among American-born whites. A criminal element active in some of the Italian immigrant communities of the large eastern cities used extortion, intimidation and threats to extract protection money from the wealthier immigrants and shop owners (known as the Black Hand racket), and was involved in other illegal activities as well. When the Fascists came to power in Italy, they made the destruction of the Mafia in Sicily a high priority (Sicilian Mafia during the Mussolini regime). Hundreds fled to the U.S. in the 1920s and 1930s to avoid prosecution.
When the United States enacted Prohibition in 1920, the restrictions proved to be an economic windfall for those in the Italian-American community already involved in illegal activities, and those who had fled from Sicily. They smuggled liquor into the country, wholesaled and sold it through a network of outlets and speakeasies. While other ethnic groups were also deeply involved in these illegal bootlegging activities, and the associated violence between groups, Italian Americans were among the most notorious. Because of this, Italians became associated with the prototypical gangster in the minds of many, which had a long-lasting effect on the Italian-American image.
The experiences of Italian immigrants in North American countries were notably different from that in the South American countries to which they also immigrated in large numbers. Italians were key to developing countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. They quickly rose into the middle and upper classes there. In the U.S., Italian Americans initially encountered an established Protestant-majority Northern European culture. For a time, they were viewed mainly as construction and industrial workers, chefs, plumbers, or other blue collar workers. Like the Irish before them, many entered police and fire departments of major cities. Increasingly, their children went to college and, by 1990, more than 65% of Italian Americans were managerial, professional, or white collar workers.
After the American Civil War, during the labor shortage as the South converted to free labor, planters in southern states recruited Italians to come to the United States to work mainly in agriculture and as laborers. Many soon found themselves the victims of prejudice, economic exploitation, and sometimes violence. Italian stereotypes abounded during this period as a means of justifying this maltreatment of the immigrants. The plight of the Italian immigrant agricultural workers in Mississippi was so serious that the Italian embassy became involved in investigating their mistreatment in cases studied for peonage. Later waves of Italian immigrants inherited these same virulent forms of discrimination and stereotyping which, by then, had become ingrained in the American consciousness.
One of the largest mass lynchings in American history was of eleven Italians in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1891. The city had been the destination for numerous Italian immigrants. Nineteen Italians who were thought to have assassinated police chief David Hennessy were arrested and held in the Parish Prison. Nine were tried, resulting in six acquittals and three mistrials. The next day, a mob stormed the prison and killed eleven men, none of whom had been convicted, and some of whom had not been tried. Afterward, the police arrested hundreds of Italian immigrants, on the false pretext that they were all criminals. Teddy Roosevelt, not yet president, famously said the lynching was indeed "a rather good thing". John M. Parker helped organize the lynch mob, and in 1911 was elected as governor of Louisiana. He described Italians as "just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in their habits, lawless, and treacherous".
In 1899, in Tallulah, Louisiana, three Italian-American shopkeepers were lynched because they had treated blacks in their shops the same as whites. A vigilante mob hanged five Italian Americans: the three shopkeepers and two bystanders.
In 1920 two Italian immigrants, Sacco and Vanzetti, were tried for robbery and murder in Boston, Massachusetts. Many historians agree that Sacco and Vanzetti were subjected to a mishandled trial, and the judge, jury, and prosecution were biased against them because of their anarchist political views and Italian immigrant status. Despite worldwide protests, Sacco and Vanzetti were eventually executed. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis declared August 23, 1977, the 50th anniversary of their execution, as Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Memorial Day. His proclamation, issued in English and Italian, stated that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names." He did not pardon them, because that would imply they were guilty.
Anti-Italianism was part of the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic ideology of the revived Ku Klux Klan (KKK) after 1915; the white supremacist and nativist group targeted Italians and other foreign Roman Catholics, seeking to preserve the supposed dominance of Anglo-Saxon Protestants. During the early 20th century, the KKK became active in northern and midwestern cities, where social change had been rapid due to immigration and industrialization. It was not limited to the South. It reached a peak of membership and influence in 1925. A hotbed of anti-Italian KKK activity developed in Southern New Jersey in the mid-1920s. In 1933, there was a mass protest against Italian immigrants in Vineland, New Jersey, where Italians made up 20% of the city population. The KKK eventually lost all of its power in Vineland, and left the city.
Since the early decades of the 20th century, Italian Americans have been portrayed with stereotypical characterizations. Italian Americans in contemporary U.S. society have actively objected to pervasive negative stereotyping in the mass media. Stereotyping of Italian-Americans as being associated with organized crime has been a consistent feature of movies, such as The Godfather (all three works in the series), GoodFellas and Casino, and TV programs such as The Sopranos. Such stereotypes of Italian Americans are reinforced by the frequent replay of these movies and series on cable and network TV. Video and board games, and TV and radio commercials with Mafia themes also reinforce this stereotype. The entertainment media has stereotyped the Italian American community as tolerant of violent, sociopathic gangsters. Other stereotypes portray Italian Americans as overly aggressive and prone to violence. MTV's series Jersey Shore was considered offensive by the Italian-American group UNICO.
A comprehensive study of Italian-American culture on film, conducted from 1996 to 2001, by the Italic Institute of America, revealed the extent of stereotyping in media. More than two-thirds of the 2,000 films assessed in the study portray Italian Americans in a negative light. Nearly 300 films featuring Italian Americans as mobsters have been produced since The Godfather (1972), an average of nine per year.
According to the Italic Institute of America:
The mass media has consistently ignored five centuries of Italian American history, and has elevated what was never more than a minute subculture to the dominant Italian American culture.
According to recent FBI statistics, Italian-American organized crime members and associates number approximately 3,000. Given an Italian-American population estimated to be approximately 18 million, the study concludes that only one in 6,000 has any involvement with organized crime.
An early manifestation of Anti-Italianism in Britain was in 1820, at the time when King George IV sought to dissolve his marriage to Caroline of Brunswick. A sensational proceeding, the Pains and Penalties Bill 1820, was held at the House of Lords in an effort to prove Caroline's adultery; since she had been living in Italy, many prosecution witnesses were from among her servants. The prosecution's reliance on Italian witnesses of low birth led to anti-Italian prejudice in Britain. The witnesses had to be protected from angry mobs, and were depicted in popular prints and pamphlets as venal, corrupt and criminal. Street-sellers sold prints alleging that the Italians had accepted bribes to commit perjury.
Anti-Italianism broke out again, in a more sustained way, a century later. After Benito Mussolini's alliance with Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, there was a growing hostility toward everything Italian in the United Kingdom.
The British media ridiculed the Italian capacity to fight in a war. A comic strip, which began running in 1938 in the British comic The Beano, was entitled "Musso the Wop". The strip featured Mussolini as an arrogant buffoon.
Wigs on the Green was a novel by Nancy Mitford, first published in 1935. It was a merciless satire of British Fascism and the Italians living in the United Kingdom who supported it. The book is notable for lampooning the political enthusiasms of Mitford's sister Diana Mosley, and her links with some Italians in Great Britain who promoted the British Union of Fascists of Oswald Mosley.
Furthermore, the announcement of Benito Mussolini's decision to side with Adolf Hitler's Germany in spring 1940 had a devastating effect. By order of UK Parliament all "aliens" were to be interned, although there were few active fascists. The majority of the Italians in Great Britain had lived in this country peacefully for many years, and had even fought side by side with British soldiers in the First World War. Some had married British women and even taken British citizenship.
This anti-Italian feeling led to a night of nationwide riots against the Italian communities in June 1940. The Italians were now seen as a national security threat linked to the feared British fascism movement, and Winston Churchill instructed "collar the lot!". Thousands of Italian men between the ages of 17 and 60 were arrested after his speech. They were transported to camps across the country.
During World War II, the United States and Great Britain treated Italian alien nationals in their countries as potential enemies. Hundreds of Italian citizens, suspected by ethnicity of potential loyalty to Italy, were put in internment camps in the U.S. and Canada. Thousands more Italian citizens in the U.S., suspected of loyalty to Italy, were placed under surveillance. Joe DiMaggio's father, who lived in San Francisco, had his boat and house confiscated. Unlike Japanese Americans, Italian Americans and Italian Canadians never received reparations from their respective governments, but President Bill Clinton made a public declaration admitting the U.S. government's misjudgement in the internment.
Because of Benito Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopia and Italy's alliance with Nazi Germany, in the United Kingdom popular feeling developed against all the Italians in the country. The steamship SS Arandora Star was torpedoed by German submarines on 2 July 1940 off the coast of Ireland. This resulted in the deaths of 446 British-Italians who were being deported as enemy aliens.
During and after World War II, much British propaganda was directed against Italian military performance, usually expressing a stereotype of the "incompetent Italian soldier". Historians have documented that the Italian Army suffered defeats due to its being poorly prepared for major combat as a result of Mussolini's refusal to heed warnings by Italian Army commanders. Objective World War II accounts show that, despite having to rely in many cases on outdated weapons, Italian troops frequently fought with great valor and distinction, especially well trained and equipped units such as the Bersaglieri, Folgore and Alpini.
The German soldier has impressed the world, however the Italian Bersagliere soldier has impressed the German soldier.
Bias includes both implicit assumptions, evident in Knox's title The Sources of Italy's Defeat in 1940: Bluff or Institutionalized Incompetence?, and the selective use of sources. Also see Sullivan's The Italian Armed Forces. Sims, in The Fighter Pilot, ignored the Italians, while D'Este in World War II in the Mediterranean shaped his reader's image of Italians by citing a German comment that Italy's surrender was "the basest treachery". Further, he discussed Allied and German commanders but ignored Messe, who commanded the Italian First Army, which held off both the U.S. Second Corps and the British Eighth Army in Tunisia.
In his article, Anglo-American Bias and the Italo-Greek War (1994), Sadkovich writes:
Knox and other Anglo-American historians have not only selectively used Italian sources, they have gleaned negative observations and racist slurs and comments from British, American, and German sources and then presented them as objective depictions of Italian political and military leaders, a game that if played in reverse would yield some interesting results regarding German, American, and British competence.
Sadkovich also states that
such a fixation on Germany and such denigrations of Italians not only distort analysis, they also reinforce the misunderstandings and myths that have grown up around the Greek theater and allow historians to lament and debate the impact of the Italo-Greek conflict on the British and German war efforts, yet dismiss as unimportant its impact on the Italian war effort. Because Anglo-American authors start from the assumption that Italy's war effort was secondary in importance to that of Germany, they implicitly, if unconsciously, deny even the possibility of a 'parallel war' long before Italian setbacks in late 1940, because they define Italian policy as subordinate to German from the very beginning of the war. Alan Levine even goes most authors one better by dismissing the whole Mediterranean theater as irrelevant, but only after duly scolding Mussolini for 'his imbecilic attack on Greece'.
Former Italian communities once thrived in Italy's African colonies of Eritrea, Somalia and Libya, and in the areas at the borders of the Kingdom of Italy. In the aftermath of the end of imperial colonies and other political changes, many ethnic Italians were violently expelled from these areas, or left under threat of violence.
Some minor forms of antiitalianism showed up in Ethiopia and Somalia in the late 1940s, as happened with the Somali nationalist rebellion against the Italian colonial administration that culminated in violent confrontation in January 1948 (it:Eccidio di Mogadiscio). 54 Italians (mostly women and children) died in the ensuing political riots in Mogadishu and several coastal towns.
National organizations which have been active in combatting media stereotyping and defamation of Italian Americans are: Order Sons of Italy in America, Unico National, National Italian American Foundation and the Italic Institute of America. Four Internet-based organizations are: Annotico Report, the Italian-American Discussion Network, ItalianAware and the Italian American One Voice Coalition.
Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church, its clergy and its adherents. At various points after the Reformation, some majority Protestant states, including England, Prussia, and even Scotland made anti-Catholicism and opposition to the Pope and Catholic rituals major political themes, and the anti-Catholic sentiment which resulted from it frequently lead to religious discrimination against Catholic individuals (often derogatorily referred to in Anglophone Protestant countries as "papists" or "Romanists"). Historian John Wolffe identifies four types of anti-Catholicism: constitutional-national, theological, popular and socio-cultural.Historically, Catholics who lived in Protestant countries were frequently suspected of conspiring against the state in furtherance of papal interests. Support for the alien pope led to allegations that they lacked loyalty to the state. In majority Protestant countries with large scale immigration, such as the United States and Australia, suspicion of Catholic immigrants or discrimination against them often overlapped or was conflated with nativism, xenophobia, and ethnocentric or racist sentiments (i.e. anti-Italianism, anti-Irish sentiment, Hispanophobia, anti-Quebec sentiment, anti-Polish sentiment).
In the Early modern period, the Catholic Church struggled to maintain its traditional religious and political role in the face of rising secular powers in Catholic countries. As a result of these struggles, a hostile attitude towards the considerable political, social, spiritual and religious power of the Pope and the clergy arose in the form of anti-clericalism. The Inquisition was a favorite target of attack. Anti-clerical forces gained strength after 1789 in some primarily Catholic nations, such as France, Spain and Mexico. Political parties formed that expressed a hostile attitude towards the considerable political, social, spiritual and religious power of the Catholic Church in the form of anti-clericalism, attacks on the power of the pope to name bishops, and international orders, especially the Jesuits.Erwin, Mississippi
Erwin is an unincorporated community in Washington County, Mississippi, United States.
It is located on the north shore of Lake Washington.
The Erwin House is located there, and dates back to 1830. It is the oldest extant structure in Washington County, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.As part of a widespread Anti-Italianism, vigilante mobs attacked Italians in Mississippi, and in 1901, murders took place in Erwin.François de Noailles
François de Noailles, (2 July 1519 – 19 September 1585) Papal Prothonotary, made Bishop of Dax in 1556, was French ambassador in Venice in the 1560s, and French ambassador of Charles IX to the Ottoman Empire from 1571 to 1575.François was one of three brothers who served as French diplomats, three of the 19 children of Louis de Noailles and Catherine de Pierre-Buffière. He was born on 2 July 1519 at the Château de Noillac.
Within the context of a Franco-Ottoman alliance, and the obtention of special trading and diplomatic privileges between France and the Ottoman Empire since 1535-1536, François de Noailles endeavoured to maintain the diplomatic monopoly of France with the Ottoman Empire, in order to have economic and political leverage in the Mediterranean, against Spain and Italian city-states.After the Battle of Lepanto, he tried to mitigate the impact of the Christian victory over the Turk, claiming that overall not much ground had been gained over the Ottomans.François de Noailles, Bishop of Dax, was a pro-Huguenot. In 1574, François de Noailles worked at obtaining the support of the Ottoman ruler Selim II in favour of William of Orange and the Dutch rebellion. Selim II sent his support through a messenger, who endeavoured to put the Dutch in contact with the rebellious Moriscos of Spain and the pirates of Algiers. Selim also sent a great fleet which conquered Tunis in October 1574, thus succeeding in reducing Spanish pressure on the Dutch, and leading to negotiations at the Conference of Breda.François died at Bayonne on the 19 or 20 September 1585.History of the Italians in Mississippi
The immense obstacles that these Italian immigrants faced in assimilating into the broader society were far from easy, while also attempting to preserve their identity, culture, and traditions in a new land. Italian immigrants are responsible for developing and contributing to the region now known as Mississippi.Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act (Pub.L. 68–139, 43 Stat. 153, enacted May 26, 1924), was a United States federal law that prevented immigration from Asia, set quotas on the number of immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere, and provided funding and an enforcement mechanism to carry out the longstanding ban on other immigrants.
The 1924 act supplanted earlier acts to effectively ban all immigration from Asia and set a total immigration quota of 165,000 for countries outside the Western Hemisphere, an 80% reduction from the pre-World War I average. Quotas for specific countries were based on 2% of the U.S. population from that country as recorded in 1890. As a result, populations poorly represented in 1890 were prevented from immigrating in proportionate numbers—especially affecting Italians, Jews, Greeks, Poles and other Slavs. According to the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian, the purpose of the act was "to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity." Congressional opposition was minimal.
A key element of the act was its provisions for enforcement. The act provided funding and legal instructions to courts of deportation for immigrants whose national quotas were exceeded. The act was revised in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and replaced by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.Italianism
Italianism may refer to:
Italian loanwords and musical terms used in English
ItalianizationJ. Carrol Naish
J. Carrol Naish (born Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish; January 21, 1896 – January 24, 1973) was an American actor. He appeared in about 200 films during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Naish received two Oscar nominations for his performances in the films Sahara (1943) and A Medal for Benny (1945), the latter of which also earned him a Golden Globe. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.Jean Papire Masson
Jean Papire Masson Latin: Papirius (1544, in Saint-Germain-Laval, Loire – 1611) was a French humanist historian, known also as a geographer, biographer, literary critic and jurist.Life with Luigi
Life with Luigi is an American radio situation comedy series which began September 21, 1948, on CBS Radio and broadcast its final episode on March 3, 1953.
The action centered on Luigi Basco and his experiences as a newly arrived Italian immigrant in Chicago. Many episodes took place at the night school classes that Luigi attended with other immigrants from different countries. Another common theme involved Luigi's landlord/sponsor, Pasquale, scheming to get Luigi to marry his obese daughter. Perennial character actor and two-time Academy Award nominee J. Carrol Naish played Luigi.Life with Luigi was created by Cy Howard, who had earlier created the hit radio comedy, My Friend Irma. The working title was The Little Immigrant, echoed in the sign-off of each episode, "Your lovin-a son-a, Luigi Basco, the li'l immigrant." Other characters on the show included Pasquale (Alan Reed), another Italian immigrant who is always trying to trap Luigi into marrying his daughter Rosa (Jody Gilbert); native Chicagoan Jimmy (Gil Stratton), Luigi's young business associate; Miss Spaulding (Mary Shipp), Luigi's night school teacher and ideal woman; and Schultz (Hans Conried), a German immigrant and fellow student in Luigi's citizenship class. Each episode used the framing device of Luigi narrating a letter to his mother back in Italy.The show was popular, successfully competing with Bob Hope's The Pepsodent Show. For most of its run, Life with Luigi aired at 9 pm on Tuesdays. Despite an estimated 30% share of the audience in its timeslot, the show was without a sponsor until Wrigley's Gum bought it in 1950, continuing till the show ended in 1953.List of anti-cultural, anti-national, and anti-ethnic terms
The following is a list of anti-cultural, anti-national, and anti-ethnic terms, where "anti-cultural" means sentiments of hostility towards a particular culture, "anti-national" refers to sentiments of hostility towards a particular state or other national administrative entity, and "anti-ethnic" refers to ethnic hatred or sentiments of hostility towards an ethnic group.
The use of all of these terms is controversial, as they tend to be used prominently in local rhetorical appeals to fallacy—namely the natural confusion between politically directed opposition and ethnically directed hostility, often deliberately disregarding this distinction for propaganda purposes.
These discriminatory attitudes are similar in nature to various religion-based hostile movements, such as Christianophobia and Anti-Catholicism, based on the mixture of xenophobia and ideological/political opposition.Marconi Plaza, Philadelphia
Marconi Plaza is an urban park square located in South Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Plaza was named to recognize the 20th Century cultural identity in Philadelphia of the surrounding Italian-American enclave neighborhood and became the designation location of the annual Columbus Day Parade.
Marconi Plaza has two main halves, East and West, which are divided in the middle by Broad Street. It is located at the most southern end of the city and within the northern border of the Sports Complex Special Services District. The park plaza is accessible via the Oregon Avenue Station of the Broad Street Subway.
Boundaries of Marconi Plaza Neighborhood:
The urban park plaza itself, from which the neighborhood derives its name(Marconi East and "Marco" Marconi West), is a 19-acre (77,000 m2) rectangular park. The Roman styled plaza is divided in the center by Broad Street and is bordered by 13th Street, 15th Street, Bigler Street, and Oregon Avenue.Our Lady of Pompeii Church (Manhattan)
Our Lady of Pompeii Church, or more formally, the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Pompeii, is a Catholic parish church located in the South Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, in the United States. The church is staffed by Scalabrini Fathers, while the Our Lady of Pompeii School is staffed by Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The church was founded in 1892 as a national parish to serve Italian-American immigrants who settled in Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the American counterpart to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei in Italy and a shrine in its own right. The church has resided at its present location since 1926, when construction on its current edifice began. While it has remained a largely Italian American parish, the church has come to incorporate many other immigrant groups.Robert Yerkes
Robert Mearns Yerkes (; May 26, 1876 – February 3, 1956) was an American psychologist, ethologist, eugenicist and primatologist best known for his work in intelligence testing and in the field of comparative psychology.
Yerkes was a pioneer in the study both of human and primate intelligence and of the social behavior of gorillas and chimpanzees. Along with John D. Dodson, Yerkes developed the Yerkes-Dodson law relating arousal to performance.
As time went on, however, Yerkes began to propagate his support for eugenics in the 1910s and 1920s. His works are largely considered biased toward outmoded racialist theories by modern anthropologists and academics.He also served on the board of trustees of Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1921-1925.Sacco and Vanzetti
Nicola Sacco (April 22, 1891 – August 23, 1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (June 11, 1888 – August 23, 1927) were Italian-born American anarchists who were controversially convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the April 15, 1920 armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. Seven years later, they were electrocuted in the electric chair at Charlestown State Prison. Both men adhered to an anarchist movement.
After a few hours' deliberation on July 14, 1921, the jury convicted Sacco and Vanzetti of first-degree murder and they were sentenced to death by the trial judge. Anti-Italianism and anti-immigrant bias were suspected as having heavily influenced the verdict. A series of appeals followed, funded largely by the private Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee. The appeals were based on recanted testimony, conflicting ballistics evidence, a prejudicial pre-trial statement by the jury foreman, and a confession by an alleged participant in the robbery. All appeals were denied by trial judge Webster Thayer and also later denied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. By 1926, the case had drawn worldwide attention. As details of the trial and the men's suspected innocence became known, Sacco and Vanzetti became the center of one of the largest causes célèbres in modern history. In 1927, protests on their behalf were held in every major city in North America and Europe, as well as in Tokyo, Sydney, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, and Auckland.Celebrated writers, artists, and academics pleaded for their pardon or for a new trial. Harvard law professor and future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter argued for their innocence in a widely read Atlantic Monthly article that was later published in book form. The two were scheduled to die in April 1927, accelerating the outcry. Responding to a massive influx of telegrams urging their pardon, Massachusetts governor Alvan T. Fuller appointed a three-man commission to investigate the case. After weeks of secret deliberation that included interviews with the judge, lawyers, and several witnesses, the commission upheld the verdict. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in the electric chair just after midnight on August 23, 1927. Subsequent riots destroyed property in Paris, London, and other cities.
Investigations in the aftermath of the executions continued throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The publication of the men's letters, containing eloquent professions of innocence, intensified belief in their wrongful execution. Additional ballistics tests and incriminating statements by the men's acquaintances have clouded the case. On August 23, 1977—the 50th anniversary of the executions—Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names".Unico National
UNICO National is a service organization of Italian Americans established in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1922 to "engage in charitable works, support higher education, and perform patriotic deeds". According to its website, it is the "largest Italian American service organization in the USA". At that time of its founding, the trial of anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti was in the news, and many stories fostered a belief that Italian Americans were loyal primarily to their homeland. UNICO was founded to show that Italian Americans were loyal to America first and held no allegiance to Italy except through cultural traditions.
Unico is the Italian word for "unique", chosen to represent the one-of-a-kind nature of the organization. The word has since become a backronym which stands for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, Opportunity.Vigilante
A vigilante (, ; Spanish: [bixiˈlante]; Portuguese: [viʒiˈlɐ̃t(ɨ)], [viʒiˈlɐ̃tʃi] - Italian, Spanish and Portuguese for watchman) - is a civilian or organization acting in a law enforcement capacity (or in the pursuit of self-perceived justice) without legal authority.Wop
Wop is a pejorative slur for Italians or people of Italian descent.