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Italian Americans And Discrimination Essay

967 words - 4 pages

Discrimination in America has mainly publicized certain races, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Middle Eastern, and even Asians. One race that is rarely publicized for its discrimination in America is the Italian Americans.
Many are unaware of the discrimination that Italian Immigrants had to face during their first wave to America, and even today. During their earliest times in America, labor struggles were forced upon them. Just like today with the Mexicans coming to America to make money for their loved ones back home, Italians traveled across seas to make a living to send home to their families. And just like today, many felt the Italians stole jobs away because ...view middle of the document...

According to the Library of Congress on Immigration, New arrivals of the States were not as relieved once they successfully passed Ellis Island. While the many wave of immigrants from the past before the Italians, i.e, Germans, Danish, or Polish, settled in many parts of the country, Italians settled directly in New York City. This was a problem since they were cramped in very small and very tight living environments. In this case diseases were more common, many became very ill and succumbed to death not long after (Billington, 2014).
Despite their home lives were hazardous, their work environments ended up being the relief. Going back to the Labor Struggles, “many Italian Immigrants found jobs as shoe-shiners, masonry, bartending, and barbering, however for women and children often they could only find work in sweatshops in unsafe environments” (Billington, 2014). This was one of the reasons that lead to the Anti-Italianism in America. In the late 19th century the country had fallen into a depression, and many blamed it on Italian Americans for taking their jobs. Sound familiar? According to Immigration information from the Library of Congress
“At the same time, racialist theories circulated in the press, advancing pseudo scientific theories that alleged that “Mediterranean” types were inherently inferior to people of northern European heritage. Drawings and songs caricaturing the new immigrants as childlike, criminal, or subhuman became sadly commonplace. One 1891 cartoon claimed that “If immigration was properly restricted, you would never be troubled with anarchism, socialism, the Mafia and such kindred evils!”” (Billington, 2014).
The comic papers were not the only problem Italians dealt with. Anti-immigrant societies sprang up, the Ku Klux Klan sought out all immigrants, vandalizing and burning Catholic churches. Italians were attacked by mobs on the streets. “In the 1890s alone, more than 20 Italians were lynched” (Salvatore J., 1999).
According to La’Gumina (1999)...

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