DOI link for Introduction
Italians are niggaz with short memories. In late June 2002, Chuck Nice, an African American deejay at WAXQ-FM in New York City casually made this remark on-air while hosting an early morning talk show. Within days, a response came back. The Order of the Sons of Italy in America, the oldest and largest organization of Italian Americans in the United States, announced that it was "puzzled by such a statement and the station's refusal to do an on-air apology. Some Italian American organizations responded, but they did so in defensive journalistic essays that refocused the debate from Italian American racism to media defamation of Italians with portrayals of criminality. Southern Italy was more than a geographical space with flexible boundaries, it was a metaphor for anarchy, rebellion, poverty, and the lack of "civilization." This chapter presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book.