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The Race Debate in America and Italy: Shall We Do the Right Thing?

The Race Debate in America and Italy: Shall We Do the Right Thing?

Ottorino Cappelli (June 11, 2008)
A famous scene from Spyke Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989)

While the first African-American clinches the nomination for president, some Italian-Americans join in the Lee-Eastwood feud over racial prejudices in America. At the same time, the race issue surfaces in Italian politics too. How can we contribute?


In an op-ed just published on i-Italy, Maria Laurino asks "Could a majority of Italian-Americans back the African-American presumptive Democratic nominee?"


Meanwhile Bill Dal Cerro, president of the Italic Institute of America, enters the Lee-Eastwood dispute over the portrayal of blacks in American cinema, by saying that  "[Lee's] points about African-Americans are well taken, but, ironically, he does the same thing to Italians in his films."


At the same time, on the other side of the ocean, an outburst of racism in Italy brings up the question: "Have Italians-in-Italy learned any lessons from the troubled story of their own migration?"


We are bound to see more of this over the next months, as a crtitically "colored" presidential election approaches in the U.S. and the race debate surfaces in Italian politics. Could this be the occasion to push the debate about race and ethnicity in America and Italy to a new level? There is no better place than i-Italy to try this.




While we invite everybody to meet the challenge and open-up the discussion, here are a few reading suggestions from the net about the Lee-Eastwood dispute... and more.








Spike Lee Clint Eastwood Row - Top 7

  1. The Hollywood Reporter: Spike Lee Takes Hit Over Portrayal of Italians (June 11, 2008)
  2. The New York Times: Round 2 for Spike Lee vs. Clint Eastwood (June 9, 2008)
  3. Chicago Tribune: Spike Lee, Clint Eastwood (June 10, 2008)
  4. 'We're not on a plantation, Clint.' Spike Lee Hits Back... (June 9, 2008)
  5. Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee Row Over Black Soldiers (June 9, 2008)
  6. New York Magazine: Spike vs. Clint: Spike Strikes Back! Plus... (June 9, 2008)
  7. Dirty Harry Comes Clean (June 6, 2008)

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