Re: An Anonymous Reader—A REALLY Anonymous Reader—Doesn’t Believe Italians Have Really Assimilated (which was Re: Vincent Chiarello’s article Italian-Americans Accepted the Challenge Of Americanism—Why Can’t Hispanics?)
From: John Tyler [Email him]
I know many Italian Americans. Most of them are good patriotic Americans who love America. They support America whether it be war, sports, or any event, America comes first. I am not saying that they do not congregate together or that they don’t love keeping their culture. They do that just like the Hispanics do. But it’s not the same.
Italian Americans have learned English and they also proudly fly the American flag . If at all anyone is affected by their culture, it is because the outsider is made to feel welcome and also part of their family. Nothing is forced on the outsider, I can personally attest to that.
Most of them are good Catholics, although sadly that number is dwindling. They have a sense of right and wrong and working hard—except for the few Mafia gangsters we have all heard of.
I personally know an Ellis Island Italian immigrant who came to this country. She learned English before she came here and has several American flags in her house. Not one Italian flag! To her America is Heaven and she proudly calls this her country and home. She cooks Italian food for family and friends and follows Italian traditions during Christmas, but she told me that her loyalty is always to this great country that welcomed her with open arms and made her the person she is today.
Of course she despises illegals, because she does not see them as people who want to call America their home, but people who just want to get welfare benefits.
She even told me that she has been in this country for more than sixty years and she does not get any of the benefits that these illegals demand. She also does not approve of their open disdain of Americans and their unwillingness to learn English and assimilate.
Hispanics, on the other hand, seem to have almost no loyalty or gratitude to the US. Even though they are born here, they are Colombian or Mexican (Hispanic) first and they do not consider themselves American (Eva Longoria is a good example of that and her family has been in the States for nearly 200 years).
So my message to this anonymous reader: do not insult Italian Americans. It'a an insult to them to compare them or any of the assimilated European groups that came before the disastrous 1965 Immigration Act to Hispanics.
See previous letters from John Tyler.