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Italian people

Italian Americans & "Whiteness"

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Italian Americans & "Whiteness"

Journalist to construction boss, 1890s: "Is an Italian a white man?" 

Construction boss:"No sir, an Italian is a Dago."

(taken from Louise DeSalvo's, "Color: White/Complexion: Dark")

In 2002, NYC DJ Chuck Nice, a black man, said: "Italians are niggaz with short memories" (Guglielmo & Salerno 1). The Italian American claim of "whiteness" has been a contentious issue in the United States, going far back before DJ Nice's comment. It began back in Europe with sayings like, "Europe ends at Naples. Calabria, Sicily, and all the rest belong to Africa."

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