UNICO National President Andre' DiMino today thanked and congratulated Borough of Point Pleasant elected officials for "taking a stand" against the ethnic-bashing MTV show, "Jersey Shore" and approving a resolution condemning both Viacom and MTV for their intentional misrepresentations of the Jersey Shore and the Italian American community.
The resolution, passed at last night's meeting, "urges these corporate citizens to cease and desist from utilizing ethnic stereotypes to achieve monetary gains."
"On behalf of UNICO members across the country, as well as the many, many Italian Americans, non-Italian Americans and citizens of New Jersey who support our opposition to MTV's disgraceful series Jersey Shore and all that it portrays and represents, I express to you and the other council members our thanks and congratulations for this Resolution," DiMino wrote in a statement to Point Pleasant Borough. "It is very gratifying to see that there are progressive and forthright elected officials, such as yourselves, who will stand up for what is right and will respond to the concerns of your constituents and neighbors."
"As National President of UNICO, I will be pleased to advise everyone that you were the first government entity to respond to our Call to Action to take a stand against bias in all forms," DiMino said. "I applaud your leadership and concern." In particular, DiMino thanked Borough Council President Susan Rogers and Councilmembers Toni DePaola and Bill Dikun. Rogers and DePaola are both members of UNICO, who helped champion the measure and also participated in UNICO's anti-bias summit focusing on Jersey Shore earlier this month at Seaside Heights.
At the same time, DiMino noted that two members---Councilmen Christopher Leitner and Jack McHugh both objected to the ordinance---Leitner, an attorney, abstained, while McHugh voted against the measure. Both Leitner and McHugh raised objections to the measure. (A third member, Mitch Remig, cited a conflict of interest and abstained.)
"It's amazing that both Leitner and McHugh lack the courage and moral fiber to support a non-binding resolution against bias," DiMino said. "Their actions are reprehensible and represent a slap in the face to not only Italian Americans but anyone who has ever experienced stereotyping, ethnic bashing and discrimination. They should be embarrassed and held accountable by the electorate for their actions."
DiMino has made more than 39 major media appearances in leading UNICO National's crusade against "Jersey Shore." The campaign has thus far resulted in Domino's Pizza, T-Mobile, Dell, Palm and Zappos withdrawing their advertisements from the show.
UNICO's Call to Action, assembled by its Anti-Bias Committee embodies the following measures:
First, any effective effort at fighting bias requires unity. Becoming part of an anti-bias coalition such as the The Italian American One Voice Coalition (www.iaonevoicecoalition.org) is a must. Each of us needs to be involved in calls for action, whether it's through emails, letters in the papers, blogging, phone calls, and if need be, demonstrations. Second, be vigilant. Read the papers, surf the net, watch television and be aware of bias issues as they arise. Bring them to our attention via the One Voice coalition. Third, take the time to talk to someone dear to you, or better, a young person, about what it all means for them and their future in this country.
And last, petition, call, and write your Mayor or local leader and oppose giving film permits to race-baiting, ethnic-bashing, stereotyping programs like MTV's "Jersey Shore."
UNICO National, the nation's largest Italian American service organization, with local chapters throughout the United States, was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1922. Its' volunteer members support charitable, educational, and community service projects while promoting Italian heritage and combating negative stereotyping. For information or to join UNICO National call 973-808-0035 or visit www.unico.org.