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April 2, 2009

Are you (we) stupid or what?

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Can Obama save Uncle Sam's bank? He seems to think so. What do you think?

Solving global and national crises requires accurate and timely information. Television news and information programming is little help in that regard.

March 14, 2009

Sharks and Mobsters: 2 Oft-told Tales

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Tony's Macaroni and Mama Soprano's Gravy were given to me some years ago by an Italian American somebody in the business in California. They were promotional materials for the Sopranos HBO series. As with so much else about negative Italian and Italian American stereotyping it is self-inflicted and in this case at least, maybe you are what you eat.

Seeing the Pattern of Italian Stereotypes in slights, sites, and sights of all kinds

January 28, 2009

Remembrance of Jews past, but never lost

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase - ballpoint pen on graphed memo pad paper
I brought my camera and two of my daughters with me when I visited Auschwitz (Oswiecem) in the spring of 1997. After passing under the Arbeit Macht Frei portal I could not bring myself to photograph anything, but I did scribble this shoe that stood in a pile of "personal effects."

Being reminded of International Holocaust Remembrance Day makes me recall many things... past present and future..

January 21, 2009

My Best Wishes to Mr. President Barack Hussein Obama

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
I wasn't invited to be part of the entourage when President-elect Barack Hussein Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. retraced part of Abe Lincoln's 1861 "Inauguration Train" trip from Philadelphia to Washington DC, but I had made the journey many times before and witnessed the spreading rust and crumble along the route. Maybe the next time I ride Amtrak to The Nation's Capital, I'll start seeing something different. I sure hope so.

Now that Barack Hussein Obama has become the 44th President of the United States of America and, incidentally, the newest tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, it seems that...

December 26, 2008

From Luigi Barzini to Karl Rove (Oh, Vergogna America!)

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
This is the top shelf of one of the Italian and Italian-themed book cases in the office library I share with my wife now that she is also semi-retired. In the center are my 1977 Harper & Row Book Club Edition of "O America: When you and I were young" as well my 1964 eighth printing of "The Italians: A Full-Length Portrait featuring their Manners and Morals" by Luigi Barzini. In the interests of journalistic integrity I must admit that I rearranged them for this "Main Illustration" because they were actually on the left hand side of the shelf. I also moved Ignazio Silone's "Bread and Wine" as well as Carlo Levi's "Christ Stopped at Eboli" closer to Barzini and editorially placed Gay Talese's "Unto the Sons" and "Honor thy Father" further away. Finally, I left Pietro Di Donato's "Christ in Concrete" and my collection of Mario Puzo's books where they always sit on the shelf. As Luigi might say, "C'e una cosa italiana."

I was thinking about writing a blog about the work of Luigi Barzini and decided not to as I assumed there would be little of further value to say after the recent symposium about...

November 22, 2008

Italicity: Who, What, Where, When and How's Italian

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
One of the ways I can connect to my distant Italian roots is cooking Italian. In this instance I am preparing my half-Sicilian version of broccoli rape.

Piero Bassetti's expansive notion of Italicity not only raises not only great expectations but also many important questions that must be addressed before its potential can be...

November 12, 2008

Obamania or Obamaphobia: Italians in a Post-Bush America

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
I was trying to figure out an appropriate image for this article from what I had handy that would adequately symbolize the relationship between iconic Italians and equally iconic Obamaniacs. I finally settled on this one. My sister-in-law had given me the Taoromina statue as a gift after her visit to Sicily and my wife wore the Obama button during the campaign after we stopped supporting John Edwards. I don't think we had any Edwards buttons even though we had sent him money. The lighting wasn't very good on my file cabinet, but as a fortuitous accident the image nicely symbolizes the hazy relationship between the President-elect Barack Obama and the future of Italian America's politics.

Italian American intellectuals and Italians in Italy might have given great support to Barack Obama's historic Presidential triumph but Italian American voters, at least those in...

October 31, 2008

"Obama" ends in a Vowel

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
I didn't have handy an appropriate image of the nastily divisive United States Presidential campaign but a beautiful rainbow after a storm is always nice.

With the United States Presidential Election Campaign about to end, I am sure that we will be barraged in the mass and not so mass media by last minute appeals to ethnic,...

October 9, 2008

Racism/Razzismo Part III: Lest We Forget: Racism Will Make Victims of Us All

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
These are images of my Sicilian-born grandfather Gerolimo Cangelosi. One is him as a child with his father and the other is a portrait of him as a rather handsome young man. I never met him but my mother told me he was a good father who started out in business by selling watermelon by the slice on the streets of Manhattan, and that he also helped to build (dig) the Panama Canal. He became a successful businessman and landlord in Brooklyn.

This essay is the third, and last, in my series alluding to the similarities between Bensonhurst 1989 and Italy 2008. It was the second article I wrote for The Brooklyn Free Press...

October 9, 2008

Racism/Razzismo Part II: Yusuf Hawkins and the Closing of the American Mind

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
This is a summer evening scene of a peaceful, well-kept, and otherwise "insular" street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. In 1989 the neighborhood's reputation was forever stained by a small group of racist young men.

This was the first of two articles I wrote in The Brooklyn Free Press shortly after Yusuf Hawkins' murder in the summer of 1989. Although it concerns his brutal slaying by a...

October 7, 2008

Bensonhurst and Italia: Racism and Razzismo Part I

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Pedestrian in Rome near the Central Station

The 1989 murder of Afro-American Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn became the icon of Italian American intolerance. Recently there has been a disturbing convergence of real...

September 23, 2008

Politics and Corruption have Deep Roots

Jerry Krase
Jerry Krase
Politics and Corruption seem to have the same democratic roots.

When a New York City Assemblyman is indicted for "Putting his Office Up for Sale" we should explore the roots of the problem and its solution.

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