Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Chicago Police Dept. Says No to "Dagos"

Well, at least they did back in the Roaring '20s. And you thought discrimination against IAs was a recent phenomenon that started with the Sopranos.

In Chicago, an 85-year-old memo from then-Police Commissioner Michael Hughes to the then-Mayor William Everett Dever has surfaced, proving that discrimination against IAs has been going on for decades, and probably since the beginning of time. The Mayor had the gall to suggest the Police Department use three-wheel motorcycles and to hire more Italian-Americans. What the hell was he thinking?

Check out the story here.

Here are some tasty tidbits from the memo:

"Nothing I can presently think of would do more to ruin the Chicago Police Department than to implement the use of three-wheel motorcycles and to start hiring Dagos in large numbers," wrote Commissioner Michael Hughes to Mayor William Everett Dever on May 26, 1923.

And then there's this:

"The department has been very fortunate in being able to recruit in the main Irishmen from overseas and narrow backs, and should stick with success."

But my favorite quote from the story is this one:

Former [Italian American Police Association of Illinois] President Ralph DeBartolo, now a chief with the Cook County sheriff's police, went further:

"I'd like to know where the grave of the guy who wrote that memo is, so I can go piss on it," he said.

Just make sure you're standing downwind.