A Reader Explains The Meaning of "Wop" To Joe Guzzardi; He Comments
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11/09/06 - A Reader Writes About Microloans And The Market

From: [Name Withheld]

Re: J R's Saturday Forum Letter: A Reader Calls Guzzardi A "Wop" And A "Racist"

Wop means "With Out Papers" J R is, in effect, referring to illegal aliens…something Guzzardi is not.

And unlike today's Mexicans, Italians without papers that arrived in the U.S. in the early 20th Century were sent back to Italy.

Unfortunately, the slur "Wop" stuck to an undeserved segment of our legal immigrant history.

Joe Guzzardi comments: I am amazed I did not know this. Of course, my family and all their friends were legal immigrants and therefore had appropriate papers. And, as you can imagine, "Wop" never came up in conversations around the house. I may have been in my early teens before I ever heard the word.

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