Hollywood's one-two punch on stereotypes
Burt Constable is an excellent journalist; however, his checklist of literal "mob hits" in his recent article on the Outfit displays what our institute has long called the Hollywood/Media Axis, to wit: Tinsel Town acts as the unofficial PR firm of Italian thugs (i.e., gives them publicity in films like "The Irishman"), which in turn inspires journalists to dredge up reams of print-type and photos on them, pumping up their bad reputations even more. It's a one-two punch.
A few years ago, James Whitey Bulger, the king of Boston crime, was finally caught and convicted. His press coverage didn't receive a fraction of the hype given in 1992 to John Gotti, who became Time magazine's cover boy. Why? Bulger was Irish.
In 1984, a group of gangsters killed 13 of their rivals in a warehouse on a cold February day, surpassing Chicago's St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The public doesn't know about this. Why? The gangsters were Asian.
Hollywood needs to stop its endless assembly line of Italian mob movies, and journalists need to widen the spotlight on organized crime, not lower the beam on Italians.
It's the only way to start balancing the picture when it comes to Italian American history -- a history which includes heroic American labor leaders like Luigi Antonini, Lou Fraina, Arturo Giovannitti, Carlo Tresca and Angela Bambace, all of whom nobly represented the common working people.
Bill Dal Cerro, Senior Analyst
Italic Institute of America