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Johnsonville Ad Offensive


Sheboygan Times, May 21, 2015

Considering the amazing achievements Americans of Italian heritage have made in the Midwest, it comes as a shock to see the current TV ad for Johnsonville sausage featuring a criminally-inclined slob, wearing gold chains and a "dago" T-shirt, asking his clean-cut neighbor to hide a gun for him.

Pardon us for not finding this witty. In truth, this grossly unfunny image merely reinforces a well-worn bigotry made powerful by endless Hollywood mob movies namely, that Americans with Italian surnames are either criminal, unsavory, or just plain stupid and unworthy of any respect whatsoever.

In fact, explorer Enrico Tonti assisted LaSalle in his travels through the Great Lakes. Father Samuel Mazzuchelli wrote the first book detailing the Chippewa language. And, in modern times, actor Mark Ruffalo is an Academy Award nominee and highly intelligent citizen-activist.

The recent Johnsonville sausage ad reduces the achievements of all three men to mud. Let's hope the misguided "hipster" ad and the people who dreamed up this ad learn the lesson that prejudice just isn't funny. No one's ethnicity should be reduced to mere sausage.

Bill Dal Cerro
Midwest Office
Italic Institute of America

 
 

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