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  • Facebook i-Italy
    After publishing a few articles critical of Trump's Executive Order, our Facebook "likes" remain in equilibrium.
    The most commonly held view of Italian Americans is that they are overwhelmingly conservative. Our social network experience, however, tells us a different, more complex story. In response to the recent presidential executive order, i-Italy has published a series of articles from various contributors who took the side of opposition. Once the posts hit Facebook, we received mixed feedback from our readers. While the hundreds of "likes" and "shares" received in the first 24 hours show that the majority applaud the content, many of the comments and replies suggest otherwise—most defend Trump’s reasoning and argue with the opinions presented in the articles. This proves that not all Italian Americans are of the same mindset. It also reflects a historical shift in public behavior that has already been observed many times in America: liberals tend to constitute a more "silent" majority online (they are content with pressing the "like" button) while conservatives are more vocal and tend to occupy the sphere of public discourse (they use the "comments" tool more frequently).
  • Golden Door - Nuovomondo
    Italian immigrants peering through a window on Ellis Island to catch a glimpse of the New World (From Emanuele Criales's acclaimed film "Golden Door").
    When President Trump signed his Executive Order, I was preparing for my classes, and happened to be working on a lecture and discussion of Emanuele Crialese’s Golden Door (Nuovomondo – in Italian), a film about historical migration from Italy to the U.S. The story follows the travails of an extremely poor Sicilian family, the Mancusos, embarking on the transatlantic journey to reach the U.S. at the time of Mass Migration; it offers its take on concepts that in these days are omnipresent in the public debate: the image of the U.S. as a land of immigrants; the process of vetting those arriving at its boundaries; and the rejection of those deemed “unfit.” Mutatis mutandis, it’s not hard to extrapolate to a Syrian family searching for a new opportunity after much deprivation and suffering in their home country. For those of us living so close to that very statue that lifts its lamp beside the golden door in the New York Bay, the question about where the new world of the Mancuso family, “America,” is heading has never been more pressing.