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December 21, 2011

Sodom versus Gomorra

Jerry Krase

In the second of a series of commentaries by Italian-American intellectuals on Roberto Saviano's recent talk about Mafia at the New York University, Jerry Krase “agree(s)...

September 20, 2011

(Re)Making Meaning of 9/11: A Decade Later

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
When the Twin Towers fell, many New Yorkers felt the need to visually express their grief. Here on 7th Avenue in Park Slope one car owner used his rear window as a canvas.

To try to make meaning out of 9/11, every year since 2001 I have retraced my steps to re-photograph how my neighbors displayed their feelings about the tragedy. As time has passed...

August 5, 2011

From Bensonhurst to Oslo and Beyond

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Last year I walked around in Oslo, and as I have done in so many other places, I tried to visually capture the commonplace aspects of local neighborhoods there. This was a place where migrants from many different places had created a home. Anders Behring Breivik and I probably have different takes on this scene.

Negative, or at least puzzled, reactions to visibly different newcomers is universal. Whether in America, Italy or Norway, learning how to see difference positively as part of all...

June 28, 2011

The "Right" to Marry

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Wedding Photo Montmartre, Paris, June 2011

Everyone is talking about the new New York State law that gives non-heterosexual couples the right to get married, but the belated law is really about recognizing homosexuals as...

January 27, 2011

Anti-Italian Bias: Surreal or Not Surreal, That is the Question

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
A parrot on the bird feeder in your backyard after a snow storm in Brooklyn, New York is surreal. Mob round-ups, Silvio Berlusconi's antics, and "Jersey Shore" are not.

When they are covered in the media, Italians and Italian Americans are usually the butts of their own jokes and for some of us this is not a laughing matter. Fighting back is like...

December 6, 2010

WikiLeaks Revelation: the More Italy Changes... You Can Guess the Rest

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
I didn't have a picture handy of Silvio Berlusconi with his allegedly very close friend Vladimir Putin, so I thought one taken in Vlad's "Lennongrad" hometown (Leningrad/St. Petersburg) while I was there for a conference might be equally informative and ultimately damaging.

I am beginning to get tired of hearing about the incompetence of the American Diplomatic Corps and US Intelligence Agencies as it seems to me that I have already heard (and...

November 6, 2010

Andrew Cuomo: Coffee, Tea, or Cappuccino?

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
In the end, we are what we eat.

Given the unfortunate hot breakfast drink metaphors "Tea Party" and "Coffee Party" that have been brewed to simplify the already simple-minded partisan political debate in...

October 13, 2010

Blame it on Columbus

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Marching in the Columbus Day Parade requires a commitment that up until the present time I have been unable to make. I did however march in the Turkish Day Parade in 2005, but that was more of a courtesy than a commitment. It's not that I have a problem with Cristobal Colon himself or El Dia del la Raza but you never know who's going to show up in the crowd of spectators or marching on Fifth Avenue.

This year's reflection on the Columbus Day Parade in New York City has become much more problematic as at least one of the Italian American characters who was proudly marching in...

August 20, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque: Ramadan Mobarak!

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
The Christian Cross had become a tourist attraction at Ground Zero as will the Cordoba House Cultural Islamic Center and Mosque, he said hopefully. As did Yakov Smirnoff on his mural -- "The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act but by the size of the heart."

I wrote this a few weeks ago but the intolerance is growing so I added a new note about "Park51," "Cordoba House," "the Islamic cultural, community center," and, of course "place...

June 12, 2010

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, Vote for the Guy Whose Name Ends in “O.”

Jerry Krase
Andrew Cuomo & Rick Lazio

Two (or perhaps three) people with Italian-sounding last names are simultaneously running for governor of the State of New York. This means that Italian American voters will have...

May 6, 2010

Obama and Political Color Blindness – Not!

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Racist toys such as this "Jolly N----- Dentist" mechanical bank were common in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I keep it around with some more and less celebratory artifacts to remind myself of how far we have come... or perhaps not.

Readers of i-italy have long been interested in the fortunes of Barack Obama. Here is an unfortunate update (to which a couple of unfortunately Italian Americans have contributed)..

March 22, 2010

Explaining American Politics Again: The Health of Democracy

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
People protesting against their own interests somewhere (everywhere) in America.

It is difficult to explain why, in reference to the passage of HR3962 "The Affordable Health Care for America Act," so many people who will actually benefit from it protested...

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