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THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

 

By far and above all else, the single greatest honor and privilege granted to me for my entire lifetime was my uniquely exquisite good fortune of being born in the United States of America……I am blessed with a total “liberty to” and “freedom from” that is found nowhere else on planet earth.  I am the proud premiere product of a harsh history that befell generations of immigrants from my ancestral homeland.  Their painfully slow but steady journey to equality of opportunity and societal acceptance is not a unique Italian-American cohort’s experience.  Many other striving cohorts of people representing various ethnic/racial/religious/gender/cultural groupings have slowly progressed to and are yet continuing to strive to be an equal partner in the great and wonderful American crucible….  The ever-ongoing voyage to attain the United States’ brand of Americanization has sailed over perilous rough seas and through diverging turbulent winds, but has never lost its ultimate triumphant course towards that equality of opportunity to all. The Italian-American immigrant experience represent one of many cohorts of people seeking liberty and freedom through a common integration and amalgamation to become the greatest nation ever to exist. “We the People” have descended from out of many cohorts to achieve one – “E Pluribus Unum.”

HISTORICAL ROOTS

During the years 1497 to 1504, Amerigo Vespucci corrected the erroneous maps of Cristoforo Colombo and discovered the actual continental land masses of “New Worlds”, rather than a new sea route to India.   Giovanni Caboto explored the north-eastern coast of the United States and claimed the land as a “New England”.  In 1524, Giovanni Verrazzano explored the entire Atlantic coast of what was to become a future USA.  Yearning for an economic goal of Empire-Dominance, various European Kingdoms sought to colonize these lands by military force, and fought bloody “ownership” wars.  Tribes of 90 Million native inhabitants were living in an advanced Stone Age Cultures where horses had been hunted to extinction, the wheel had not yet been invented, and European diseases were unknown.

Spain, in 1519, was the first European Kingdom to colonize the land mass of North America. Over 200 years later, one group of North American English colonists, organized as “patriots”, sought a life of individual liberty and personal property ownership, unencumbered and free of despotic totalitarian kingly authority.  Those to be known as future “American” patriots sacrificed, suffered, and yet strove to desperately battle in a bloody rebellion — to overthrow generational totalitarian kingly rule forevermore.  Indeed, a small colony fought its way to become the greatest world power ever to exist on our planet.  Their restrained representational democracy, guaranteed to citizens within the “Great American Experiment”, has been a proven success. Their unique philosophical concept may be called “constitutionalism” or conservatism as opposed to popular media’s and institutional academia’s focus on today’s “modernism” or progressivism.

American forefathers sought a continuing evolutionary societal change, to improve the human condition and preserve freedom and justice in a never seen before evolving cultural unity, a yet ongoing process.  That ideal would become a guiding philosophical concept, a strictly “American” cultural way of life.  Their admittedly slow but steady process and progress in equalization of economic opportunity within a multi-cultural melting pot set a shining historical example for the rest of the entire world to follow.  In America, there has been and continues on — an ever-self-correcting bumpy evolution for the benefit of cultural equality advancement by and through a constitutionally-based ideology of liberty, equality of opportunity, social law and justice, and individualism in an entrepreneurial capitalistic republic.  Ever since 1871, America has been a global economic superpower.  Today, America, the land of opportunity, boasts the greatest per capita wealth in the entire world, and the greatest per capita wealth in all earth-time.  America is “The” world leader in science, technology, industry, military defense, and humanism.

Yes, albeit unhurried and at times imperceptive, America’s uniquely deliberate progress in obtaining a peaceful mixed cultural unity with equality of opportunity has indeed been a bumpy road, but a path blazed with a feverishly determined eventual goal of equal economic opportunity for all.

However, there is a “mistake mankind keeps making, century after century: believing that personal gain is made by crushing others”. – Marcus Tullius Cicero.  The fundamental basis for one cohort of Man to systematically prejudice another cohort of Man’s immediate and future generation are, and always have been throughout history, a dire selfish desire to protect and preserve one dominant cohort’s immediate life-style and economic supremacy for posterity, an oppressive systemic prejudicial advantage — a dynamic competitive Money/economic advantage levied by one cohort over another:

In ancient Venice, Sephardic Jews were segregated to a section of the city known as the “ghetto”; and since they could not be identified by skin color, they were mandated to wear red hats should they venture out of their prejudicially segregated and gated section.  Generational opportunity for gaining economic advancement was thereby severely restricted; lending Money for interest was selectively and prejudicially prosecuted, and occasionally deemed a mortal sin known as “usury”.  A harsh history of systemic ethnic/racial prejudice assured a wealthy class of Venetians dynamic competitive economic advantage for generations to come.

Sad to say, but, as noted by Cicero, Man’s world history has repeatedly shown that in order for one cohort of Man to safeguard a personal property of economic success from generation to generation, that cohort considered the enactment of a prejudicial political-economic-generational dominance to be vitally necessary.  Generational Money/economic dominance, the root cause societal prejudices, was unfortunately accomplished by taking away or destroying the potential economic competitive advantage of some other cohort of Man.  There have, unfortunately, also been many instances in the past history of the United States where one cohort of Man, to safeguard and preserve a fragile personal property of economic success, insidiously took away or destroyed the economic competitive advantage of another cohort of Man. This repeated, ugly, non-American-ideal strategy, albeit ultimately rejected, became known as systemic prejudice.  For example:

“No Italians Allowed” headlined a posted proclamation, which continued with, “On May 28, 1888, council passed a resolution to the effect that parties receiving the contract for paving E. Washington St. shall bind themselves not to employ any Italian labor.”  This was at a time in American evolutionary cultural advancement when work done by immigrant Italians was, by mandate, confined to manual labor, a systemic prejudicial suppression, rigidly enforced because financially successful immigrants were especially feared. The educated and financially successful immigrants could and would eventually destroy their opposing cohort’s dynamic economic competitive advantage of systemic prejudice.  Money-economics is and always was the true but unspoken basis for systemic prejudice. Immigrants were first ostensibly distrusted and feared for their dominating religions, then despised for their popular social customs; but these were just politically-motivated cover-ups, attempts to hide the prejudicial inhibition of that horribly frightening potential immigrant economic power and political influence.

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

With the exception of a mass hanging sentence carried out on convicted Native Americans in 1862, the most massive one-time public lynching of law-abiding residents in United States history took place in New Orleans on March 14, 1891:

After nine Italian immigrants had been duly tried and then duly acquitted — found not guilty of murdering police chief David Hennessey by a locally appointed jury in New Orleans – a prejudicial lawless lynch mob refused to accept the verdict.  The criminally violent mob broke into a holding cell, assaulted and beat those nine, plus two other Italian-Americans who just happened to be there. The local Democratic Party legislative bodies turned their heads, looked away, and failed to acknowledge the lawless riotous mob.  The eleven battered men were next gathered together by the violent mob, and then all hung by their necks, lynched en masse. To make things worse, this horrific event was followed by mass arrests of Italians throughout New Orleans and attacks against Italians nationwide.  Two days later, on March 16, 1891 The New York Times printed that the “Lynched Men” were simply lowly “sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins”.  Just one day later, that same newspaper printed, “Lynch Law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans”.  Louisiana Democratic Party Governor John Parker commented that Italians were: “Just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits — lawless, and treacherous.”   That governor’s good friend and eventual founder of the progressive party, Theodore Roosevelt, in a March 21, 1891 “Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Anna Roosevelt”, commented: “Monday we dined at the Camerons; various “dago diplomats” were present, all much wrought up by the lynching of the Italians in New Orleans. Personally, I think it rather a good thing, and said so.”

At that time in America, Italians were considered to be some variant of a supposed mythical “Black Race”, mostly because Italian immigrants were willing to work along-side with Afro-Americans. During the latter half of WWII, a powerful and real threat of world-wide Fascism and the enlistment of tens of thousands of former Mussolini supporting Italians into the U.S. Army converted that popular image of Italians to “White” — especially when forty thousand men from the former Italian Army aided the allies on the beaches of Normandie, while a total of over one million Italo-Americans served in WWII.  As a true genetic fact, there is only one race of Man – the “Human Race”.

In 1892, a Republican Party President, Benjamin Harrison, who had campaigned on protecting African-American voting rights, attempted to appease the increasingly angry Italian immigrants protesting the lynching of those eleven individuals in New Orleans.  President Harrison mystified factually known history by ignoring the actual American continental discovery voyages of Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni da Verrazzano by proclaiming a United States of America’s land mass discovery “Christopher Columbus Discovery Day” – as a one-time-only national holiday in recognition of Italian-American contributions to the USA.  Ida B. Wells, one of the founders of the NAACP, demanded reparation payment from governmental authorities in return for not upholding the law in regard to private and public lynch mob hangings.  During her famous 1900 speech in Chicago, “Lynch Law in America”, Wells stated: “While the United States cannot protect, she can pay. This she has done, and it is certain will have to do again in the case of the recent lynching of Italians in Louisiana.”

October 12, “Christopher Columbus Day” continued to be unofficially celebrated by Italian-Americans, especially those living in the North-Eastern United States.  Extensive political lobbying by a State Senator, the first Italian-American to be elected to public office in Rhode Island, through his affiliations as President of the New England Region of  “The Sons of Italy in America” and as 4th Degree Knight in the “Knights of Columbus” along with the politically powerful New York division of the “Knights of Columbus” eventually persuaded the President Roosevelt Administration to declare “Columbus Day” a national federal holiday in 1934.

PATIENCE AND PRESEVERENCE

When an economically dominant cohort of Man’s prejudicial denial of economic opportunity cannot be justified by delusion, anxiety for emotional security seeks out other “ego defense mechanisms”.  Reaction formation or an active acting out of horrible events becomes justified to reduce conflict between the suppressing cohort’s Id and Super Ego:

70% of the “hang ’em from a tree” lawless vigilante lynch mob hangings throughout the United States at the turn of the 19th to the 20th Century involved Afro-Americans, and for a fractional remainder, 15% or half of the rest of the violent lynch mob hangings were perpetrated on immigrated Italian-Americans. The law of the land looked with a politically-directed blind eye to never see that horrible and overtly sinful practice.  Republican Party President Ulysses S. Grant had signed a civil rights act in 1871, but Southern Democrats politically ignored that “Ku Klux Klan Act”.  During the year of 1890, over 20 Italo-Americans were lynched.  In 1911, 146 Italian-American women were killed in the “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory” fire.  Banned from admission to existing American Unions, some Italo-Americans formed independent workers’ unions.  In 1914, by order of the Democratic Party Woodrow Wilson Administration, the Colorado National Guard burned down a tent city of striking American workers.  Two women and eleven children died – all Italian-Americans

First introduced in 1922 by Republican Party Representative Leonidas Dyer, a Federal “Anti-Lynching Bill”, written for “American Blacks” and “Italian-Americans”, was defeated by a Democratic Party filibuster in the Senate.  “Italian-American” East Harlem Republican Party congressional legislator Vito Marcantonio successfully sponsored bills to eliminate the “Poll Tax” and to make lynching a federal crime in the late 1930’s.  He was one of the greatest champions of civil rights for both Italian-Americans and Afro-Americans.  Finally, in 2020, Republican President Donald Trump officially proclaimed “Lynching” a national federal “Hate Crime”.

During WWII, the Democratic President Roosevelt Administration first labeled 695,000 legally immigrated per Ellis Island decree “Italian-Americans” as “Alien Americans”.  That same Democratic Party administration then constructed internment or concentration camps in the USA. A total of over 2,500 people bearing Italian ancestry were placed in wartime concentration camps in Texas and New Jersey alone.   The overall ethnic percentages in sinful prejudicial confinement held 95% “American Asians” and 5% “Italian-Americans”. Concentration camp internment offered a second wind to a reactive and subversive sub-culture of organized crime that had already existed and thrived during the 1920-1933 “Prohibition Era” in the United States. The Italian Mafia was thus unfortunately spurred into acceptance in and among a prejudicially downtrodden immigrant community, from the descendants of the “Bel Paese”.

Immigration has ‘Made America Great’……. “Through this golden door has come millions of men and women.  These families came here to work.  Others came to America and [after] often, harrowing conditions.  They didn’t ask what this country could do for them, but what they could do to make this refuge the greatest home of freedom in history.  They brought with them the courage and the values of family, work, and freedom. Let us pledge to each other that we can make America Great Again.” –  Republican Party President Ronald Reagan.

THE PADRONE ERA

The Italian-American “Padrone Era” began shortly after a bloody American Civil War tragically left an enormous number of young American men dead and disabled in its wake. The United States Congress and Senate sought a political solution for an immediate need to increase that lost manpower in the work-force, and enacted the Immigration Act of 1864, which allowed for the mass emigration of groups of workers and large group labor contracts.  Novel emigration business firms arose, such as the “American Emigrant Company” (AEC).

To facilitate this migratory economic process, a “Padrone” or overseer system evolved while simultaneously creating unique opportunities for “Italian Immigration Agents”.   Unfortunately, Man’s political history has proven time after time that no good deed goes unpunished.  Those Italian-American overseer agents adopted a system to control their fellow Italian immigrants similar to an extortionist “Camorra” organization that already existed in Italy.  Corrupt economic arrangements among agents in Italy and Italian-American agents in the USA set up a scheme to “human traffic” large groups of Italian immigrant workers, made up of 80% “contradini” or farm laborers and 20% craftsmen, mostly from the “Mezzogiorno” (Southern Italy).

The corrupt middle-administrator Padroni contractually provided: transportation from Italy to America, resettlement in inadequate housing, jobs to American labor-employee groups, and “bank” saving accounts for the immigrants — which were controlled by the Padroni.  The contracted Italian immigrants labored as indentured servants for various employers.  Most of the jobs consisted of working in coal mines, physically laying track for building the U.S. railway system, and farming in a plantation-like environment.  In 1910, textile mills in Massachusetts and Rhode Island employed 20,000 Italian-Americans.  Some, who were contracted to farm labor, found their environment bounded by barbed wire fences that were patrolled by armed guards, akin to concentration camps.  Women were forced into prostitution and children forced to work selling newspapers and fruit when not shining shoes for flipped pocket change.  Those wicked and immoral contracts varied in time allotments from one to seven years.  Over that time and often longer, the Padroni extracted advance payments and various “Fees” directly from the paychecks of the indentured workers.  Unfortunately, this horrid arrangement was, for the overwhelming majority of Italian immigrants, their one and only chance for sustained survival in a foreign country whose customs and language were totally unknown. Note Bene –That fruitful, brighter future seeking Italian immigrant was not “cafone”, as has been too often pejoratively stated and scripted — Economically, working for a Padrone in Italy paid about eight dollars per week, while working for a Padrone in America paid about eighteen dollars per week – before deductions per contract and then some. Signing a contract was an unexpected golden window of opportunity for an impoverished Italian to provide a better life for his family, and well worth the honorable laborers’ calculated risk.  The Italian immigrants possessed a clear insight into their unfortunate situation:  They politically advanced a bill to stop their involuntary servitude and abolish the system of human trafficking through the passage, on June 23, 1874, of “The Padrone Act”.  By 1885, importing contract labor became illegal.  Then, in 1886, Celso Caesar Moreno convinced Massachusetts U.S. Congressman Henry Lovering to “End Italian Slavery” and “stop nefarious traffic in Human Flesh” by passing legislation to totally and permanently ban “contract labor” “per se”, both imported and domestic.  This proposal was referred to the “committee on labor”.

The teaching and learning of lessons concerning what was at one time necessary for survival for a cohort of people is not a condemnation of U.S. History – both understanding and appreciating the past are positive reinforcements — proof of progress and improvements that have been made and will continue to be made projected into the future.  U.S. History is a truly wonderful and inspirational tale to tell. “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” — Marcus Tullius Cicero.   It might be fitting to close this era in the Italian-American experience with some words found in the American Declaration of Independence, words copied from what was originally spoken by a friend of constitutional-framer Thomas Jefferson. Per Filippo Mazzei: “Tutti gli uomani sono, per natura, equalmente liberi e indipendenti” – all men are, by nature, equally free and independent.

BOUNDLESS HOPE FOR A NEW START

The famous plaque on the great standing-tall American symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, features Emma Lazarus’s “New Colossus” sonnet:

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

Nonetheless, in the early 1900’s, over a quarter million “wretched refuse emigrants” were immediately turned away and placed back on their original transport ships when they failed to pass the infamous administratively enforced guard-gated health inspection processing at the Ellis Island immigration portal of entry at New York Harbor.

That pre-port Ellis Island stop, a stop so short of New York proper’s “golden door”, proved for some of Mankind to be an initial pause at an “Island of Hope”; for others, the immigration center at Ellis Island proved to be a final termination at Man’s so named “Island of Tears” – L’isola dell Lagrime.  The migratory economics of the day teased and twisted previous and then future ethics of Man, Money, and Medicine:    During the first years of the 20th Century, America yearned for laborers in flower-blossoming industrial sweatshops.  Immigration policies remained, in general, freely open — if one could pass the health inspection.  For the emigrants who survived the treacherous trans-Atlantic voyage, but did not pass that health examination, “deportation” raised its ugly head as a feared, hated, and despised newly-learned American word. An immigrant’s first introdution to the healthcare delivery system of the “New World” consisted of a brief 30-second evaluation by a physician to determine possible need for deportation due to “health reasons”.  Examining physicians routinely placed white “X” chalk marks on the left shoulder portion of whatever garment an emigrant happened to be wearing; and one out of every five emigrants at the Ellis Island center received that chalk mark, a dire omen that one might very likely be ordered to stand in a deportation line.

William Williams, the intermittent Commissioner of the Ellis Island facility from 1902 to 1914, stated that USA immigration should open only for “potentially productive USA residents”.  His more evolved prejudicial economically suppressive ethnic health philosophy readily transferred to the admission policy at the Ellis Island Hospital, which was not administratively organized to be, or ever intended to be the “Hospital for the World”.   Deportation procedures became quickly and quietly arranged for all those who prejudicially did not show a “mythological potential” for future productivity in America.  Many hospitalized patients were eventually released to immigrate into New York and beyond; but the remainder were deported. The dismal consequences arising from limited and rationed healthcare access affecting select groups of individuals in the face of medically effective but extremely expensive technological advances in medical science had to be accounted for by a new believable mythological ethic of the day.  Of course, the hopes, wishes, and desires of impacted people to prolong their lifetime and improve their health beyond historically set goals by way of newly-found Medical Technologies tore at that sacrificial myth of mores, a myth that was hypnotically touted to be progressive-politically mandated by the overbearing will of the many.

TEMPORARY SET-BACKS

Before the time of the infamous 1929 Wall Street fiasco, Man’s migratory economics took the opportunity to twist the ethics of national prejudice once again.  Previous fiscally successful immigrants became jobless and cluttered Ghetto-dwellers in big American cities.  The migratory economics of that intercity crowding and joblessness promoted an economic “correction”, a systemic prejudicial eugenics movement: An overly ambitious Moses Brown Prep School graduate attended Haverford College and then sought a psychology degree at Clark University. This psychologist, Mr. Henry H. Goddard, championed a despicable eugenic suppression of economic advancement.   In 1912, he and two laymen assistants utilized a fraudulent intelligence testing program to determine a “scientific” need for deportation.  Mr. Goddard’s methodology veered totally apart from the flash rush to judgment “healthy versus not healthy” determinations formerly made by the physicians on Ellis Island.  Mr. Goddard defiantly publicized intentionally flawed data that included such criteria as head circumference, facial width, and facial expression to “medically prove” “genetic inferiority”. He then introduced a prejudicial vocabulary into the American Medical literature, by adding the words “moron”, “imbecile”, and “idiot”.  The affected population cohorts included mostly Jews, Slavs, and Italians who, after their successful previous emigrations, had been quite productive in their pejoratively termed “sweatshop” industrial employments.  Suddenly, that same genetic stock, obviously related to the previous cohorts of accomplished-proven Southern and Eastern Europeans, were, for systemic prejudicial migratory economic suppression reasons, being considered a “genetically inferior” “immigrant menace”. The immigration center immediately determined that 80% of these aforementioned potentially productive emigrants were somehow suddenly genetically mentally deficient, apparently based on their national origin, and then “scientifically proven” by a mathematical data analysis that utilized totally invalid and criminally falsified “Medical” criteria.

Thus, the migratory economics of systemic prejudice officially introduced “Racism” into the 20th Century as an accepted American political agenda item. Admittedly, this was not in any way near as horrid or shameful as the original U.S. Naturalization Law of 1790, which restricted the granting of naturalization citizenship solely to “free” (non-indentured) and “white-only” immigrants of good character, and also restricted “natural born citizenship” to foreign-born children of fathers (only) who had been resident citizens of the United States.  Once again, a prejudicial line of radical reasoning revealed a hidden harbinger of economically-driven hate utilized for one select cohort’s economic advantage over another, and sadly reset a dire course for American society to follow.

Democratic President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) had the opportunity, but looked the other way and chose to not oppose systemic prejudicial segregation practices that championed a generational societal impoverishment such as separate schooling, use of separate public toilets and drinking fountains, and separate entrances to some stores for people of color.  After a special Whitehouse screening of the racist movie Birth of a Nation, which revived the Ku Klux Klan, President Wilson remarked, “It is like writing history with lightening; and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” The 1857 Dred Scot decision was negated in 1886, allowing American citizens of color to vote; but Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) legalized separate accommodations. The 1886 Chinese Exclusion Scott Act was also passed during the same term of Democratic President Grover Cleveland.  Not until three-quarters of a Century later, during the term of Republican Party President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower, the SCOTUS — Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. (1954) – outlawed school segregation, to be followed ten years later by the Democratic Party President John Kennedy’s legacy Civil Rights Act of 1964.

TRUTH TRIUMPHS OVER TIME

Not unexpectedly for the “Twenties” era, the USA Congress overwhelmingly responded to that indecent bit of supposed ethical but painfully obvious prejudicial actions at Ellis Island with the passage of equally biased immigration legislation. 1921 saw the passage of the Emergency Quota Act. This was at a time when the American economy was soaring to the point in 1926 where unemployment was at 1% and the USA was responsible for 23% of the world economy. The Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 further restricted immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, particularly Jews, Italians, and Slavs. That legislation passed with majority votes from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and then formally, shamefully, and morally sinfully introduced and frankly validated painful “racial” or “national origin” bias into American law. The supposed mythical excuse for “primary intent” of the despicable law rested in limiting immigration from Southern Europe and Eastern Europe “to preserve the ideal of American homogeneity”.  However, the Act also significantly limited immigration from Arab and African lands; the Act completely excluded immigration from Asian nations. After a dire reasoning battle of conflicting forked tongued mythologies, Republican President Calvin Coolidge, officially and disingenuously, signed that overtly “racially restrictive” Act into law in the very same year that he, President Coolidge, officially and insincerely to the political point of naiveté, dedicated the Statue of Liberty as a permanent “American National Monument”.  “Systemic Racism” unfortunately once again became an accepted component of the American legal justice system and executive cultural ecology.  That inconsistent forked-tongue of satin legislation set the table for a divisive political banquet that would eventually serve up institutional racism, victimization philosophies, and structural poverty, albeit forty years later, starting after 1963.  This type of prejudicial cultural isolationism spoiled the traditional strength of the migratory economics associated with immigration.

However, the Italian-American cohort’s experience has valiantly triumphed and overcome all those historically prejudicial forces.  Continued inspired action for attainment has overcome feelings of victimization and hopeless oppression of achievement.  Triumphs for millions of people comprising minority cohorts in achieving the “American Dream” have repeatedly defeated failures.  Their combined secret to success attainment, well beyond that of a psychologically stagnant local population, laid and still lays in a fortitude and willingness to educate oneself, fully integrate into the general population, and then migrate further on to where an economically viable and feasible job opportunities exist.  Along the way, the Italian-American cohort has strived to learn, master, and utilize skills from any available apprenticeship for vocational and/or academic training. In conjunction with overt positive rejection of failure, they have utilized individually repeated attempts at risk-taking entrepreneurial enterprises.

Frustrated naysayers must become enlightened to see and behold the vision recorded by Dante Alighieri: When his path came to an apparent end in the forest of life, “I looked up and saw its shoulders brightened with the rays” of hope and light.  Creative human imagination knows no end.  The USA reigns as the foremost world power, a sovereign nation developed and made great by the descendants of former slaves, indentured servants, immigrants, and indigenous natives – new-comers to imperialistic power all, and all bearing an ancestral gene pool of risk-takers, get-goers, and doers — all striving to be the best of the very best in their continual pursuits of happiness.  There is a uniquely refreshing revitalization of happiness in those pursuits, for “the laborious yet joyous attempts put forth towards winning are far more thrilling than the joy of having won” — Ralzak.

Our United States of America, is (not are) a geo-political nation that is neither defined by the geography of its landmass, nor is our country in any way defined by any particular cohort of cognitive reasoning Homo sapiens.  A miraculously God-sent amalgamating melting pot for all human orientation types, races, religions, and nationalities, our America is defined by a cherished continuing and courageously defended core of values and ideals, by a fundamental constitutional root of common law that embraces individual “freedom to try” as an idyllic way of life, as the joy of life, as the penultimate “art of living” in a Democratic Constitutional Republic.  Looking, searching, and sifting through the entire past history of Man’s existence on planet earth, I could not possibly have chosen a better time or finer place in this great world for myself to have been humbly born, to have honorably worked for my daily bread, and to have accomplished much more……I am eternally grateful to have proudly lived out my fulfilling, privileged, enchantingly thrilling, and uniquely spectacular “United States — AMERICAN” way of life….

TRUTH TRIUMPHS OVER TIME

Not unexpectedly for the “Twenties” era, the USA Congress overwhelmingly responded to that indecent bit of supposed ethical but painfully obvious prejudicial actions at Ellis Island with the passage of equally biased immigration legislation. 1921 saw the passage of the Emergency Quota Act. This was at a time when the American economy was soaring to the point in 1926 where unemployment was at 1% and the USA was responsible for 23% of the world economy. The Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 further restricted immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, particularly Jews, Italians, and Slavs. That legislation passed with majority votes from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and then formally, shamefully, and morally sinfully introduced and frankly validated painful “racial” or “national origin” bias into American law. The supposed mythical excuse for “primary intent” of the despicable law rested in limiting immigration from Southern Europe and Eastern Europe “to preserve the ideal of American homogeneity”.  However, the Act also significantly limited immigration from Arab and African lands; the Act completely excluded immigration from Asian nations. After a dire reasoning battle of conflicting forked tongued mythologies, Republican President Calvin Coolidge, officially and disingenuously, signed that overtly “racially restrictive” Act into law in the very same year that he, President Coolidge, officially and insincerely to the political point of naiveté, dedicated the Statue of Liberty as a permanent “American National Monument”.  “Systemic Racism” unfortunately once again became an accepted component of the American legal justice system and executive cultural ecology.  That inconsistent forked-tongue of satin legislation set the table for a divisive political banquet that would eventually serve up institutional racism, victimization philosophies, and structural poverty, albeit forty years later, starting after 1963.  This type of prejudicial cultural isolationism spoiled the traditional strength of the migratory economics associated with immigration.

However, the Italian-American cohort’s experience has valiantly triumphed and overcome all those historically prejudicial forces.  Continued inspired action for attainment has overcome feelings of victimization and hopeless oppression of achievement.  Triumphs for millions of people comprising minority cohorts in achieving the “American Dream” have repeatedly defeated failures.  Their combined secret to success attainment, well beyond that of a psychologically stagnant local population, laid and still lays in a fortitude and willingness to educate oneself, fully integrate into the general population, and then migrate further on to where an economically viable and feasible job opportunities exist.  Along the way, the Italian-American cohort has strived to learn, master, and utilize skills from any available apprenticeship for vocational and/or academic training. In conjunction with overt positive rejection of failure, they have utilized individually repeated attempts at risk-taking entrepreneurial enterprises.

Frustrated naysayers must become enlightened to see and behold the vision recorded by Dante Alighieri: When his path came to an apparent end in the forest of life, “I looked up and saw its shoulders brightened with the rays” of hope and light.  Creative human imagination knows no end.  The USA reigns as the foremost world power, a sovereign nation developed and made great by the descendants of former slaves, indentured servants, immigrants, and indigenous natives – new-comers to imperialistic power all, and all bearing an ancestral gene pool of risk-takers, get-goers, and doers — all striving to be the best of the very best in their continual pursuits of happiness.  There is a uniquely refreshing revitalization of happiness in those pursuits, for “the laborious yet joyous attempts put forth towards winning are far more thrilling than the joy of having won” — Ralzak.

Our United States of America, is (not are) a geo-political nation that is neither defined by the geography of its landmass, nor is our country in any way defined by any particular cohort of cognitive reasoning Homo sapiens.  A miraculously God-sent amalgamating melting pot for all human orientation types, races, religions, and nationalities, our America is defined by a cherished continuing and courageously defended core of values and ideals, by a fundamental constitutional root of common law that embraces individual “freedom to try” as an idyllic way of life, as the joy of life, as the penultimate “art of living” in a Democratic Constitutional Republic.  Looking, searching, and sifting through the entire past history of Man’s existence on planet earth, I could not possibly have chosen a better time or finer place in this great world for myself to have been humbly born, to have honorably worked for my daily bread, and to have accomplished much more……I am eternally grateful to have proudly lived out my fulfilling, privileged, enchantingly thrilling, and uniquely spectacular “United States — AMERICAN” way of life….

— Ralph John DiLibero, MD