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CSJ Responds to Kerry Remark

Commission for Social Justice® Responds to Kerry Remark

Contact: Diane E. Crespy

Washington, D.C., Dec. 3, 1997 -- The Commission for Social Justice® (CSJ) has demanded a public apology from U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) in response to a statement he made on the Imus in the Morning show that was offensive to Italians and Italian Americans.

The Associated Press reported on Nov.13 that, commenting on Iraqi military strength, Kerry said ". . . even the Italians could kick their butts."

"Be advised that your senseless and inane comment. . . is a disgrace not only to Italy. . . but relegated to ridicule the tens of thousands of Italian Americans who gave their lives in defense of our country," CSJ President Angelo R. Bianchi said in a letter to Kerry. Bianchi said that by his statement, Kerry has asserted "a negative stereotype of Italian Americans which certainly is contrary to the principles upon which this nation was founded."

Bianchi requested that Kerry publicly apologize via the media to Italy and Italian Americans for his "insulting" comment. By date of release, there has been no response from Kerry.

CSJ is the anti-defamation arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest, largest, and most demographically diverse organization of Italian-American men and women in North America. The CSJ works to ensure equal concern, treatment, respect, freedom, and opportunity for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, age, or sex.