February 01, 2017

Jerry's Ink


There isn't a single immigrant – from anywhere in the world – who wants to come to live and work in our country who is as great a threat to the United States of America as Donald Trump.

Make that Steve Bannon. Donald Trump is turning out to be a dope/puppet who is being controlled by Steve Bannon.

As Max Boot wrote in his column yesterday:

"White House senior strategist Stephen Bannon, whose 'Breitbart' website showcases 'alt-right' racists, anti-Semites, misogynists and xenophobes, simply underscores how arbitrary and irrational Trump's executive order actually is."

I didn't vote for Trump, but I wanted to give him all the support that a good American should give a president. I'm not a whiney liberal who – from the minute the election returns came in – ran to the streets shrieking, "He's not my president!"

But after just a few weeks, let me say I'm ready to go to the streets shrieking about Steve Bannon: "HE'S NOT MY PRESIDENT!"

Keeping immigrants out of this country is the work of idiots.

Banning Muslims is idiocy.

ISIS terrorists are like mad dogs. If you show them fear, they will attack you. Trump, with his latest anti-Muslim executive order, has shown fear.

His ban on Muslims can't cover a Muslim kid born here in the United States, living somewhere in Jersey, who is reading today on the internet that Trump is fearful about Muslims and is banning Muslims. ISIS is talking to him. That kid is more likely to harm us than any Muslim we vet who wants to come live here.

Take a look at your cell phone. Can't do without it?

Well, if Trump were president when a Syrian immigrant named Abdulfattah Jandalias tried to come to America, he would have stopped him. Abdulfattah "John" Jandalias grew up in Homs, Syria. And he was Steve Jobs' biological father. If he were denied entry to the U.S. when he got here, there would be no Steve Jobs. No Apple. No iPhone.

I'm a child of immigrants. So are you. My dad's father, Genaro, came from Naples around the turn of the century. He was a fisherman and the word I heard, as a child, was that he had "jumped ship." That means he was an illegal.

In those days, a lot of Italian men signed on to work on a ship and when the ship docked in New York or Boston or San Francisco or New Orleans, they simply walked off and started a new life. "He jumped ship" was a phrase I heard a lot when I was a kid.

My grandfather was one of the four million Italians who entered the United States around that time. No other ethnic group had sent so many immigrants in such a short time. He left a few things behind in Italy: poverty, cholera and malaria.

My grandfather Genaro would wake up early in the morning and, no matter what the time of year or the weather conditions, he would go to Coney Island, strip down to his bathing suit, tie a large burlap sack around his waist, and plunge into the icy waters of the Atlantic to collect mussels. He would empty the mussels into a rickety wagon and walk the streets of Brooklyn shouting, "Mussels, mussels, fresh mussels. Three cents a pound." This is how he was able to care for his wife and seven children.

My mom's father, Pepe (Joseph), was a tiny man (under five feet) who came over from Naples in 1914 with his wife and two children. All his life he dragged a heavy wooden pushcart on his back through the streets of Brooklyn, selling fruit and vegetables.

All of the people in my neighborhood were unskilled laborers working construction jobs and breaking their backs as longshoremen. Italian immigrants were called dagos, wops and guineas. They were all suspected of being, at the very least, thieves, and at the very worst, members of the Mafia. In New Orleans, they lynched 10 Italians whose only crime was that they were Italians.

They were heroes. My grandparents, my parents were heroes. They came to this country to work.

In The Hamptons, more and more Hispanics are working behind the counters of stores, cooking and waitressing, bartending, landscaping, working in construction, etc. Go for breakfast at Estia's in Sag Harbor.

It's one of the best restaurants in The Hamptons. The staff is all Hispanic. They are a delight. Their smiles make the whole place sparkle and their warm, helpful, cheerful attitude will make your day. They belong here as much as my grandparents belonged here a hundred years ago.

Let's celebrate them. They, along with so many others like them, bought in to the American dream. They made the United States the greatest country in the world.

Trump/Bannon, with all their executive orders, can never be allowed to change that.

If you wish to comment on "Jerry's Ink" please send your message to jerry@dfjp.com.

  1. print email
    January 31, 2017 | 01:47 PM

    Bravo to you and Boot! And, To our Italian heritage. This is a Country of Immigrants!


    Bob Kerr

    Bob Kerr
  2. print email
    January 31, 2017 | 06:49 PM

    Jerry, I totally support your views. Thanks for speaking up.

    Jim Lang
  3. print email
    New York City ... The One and Only
    January 31, 2017 | 06:53 PM

    Good for you Jerry. The very thing that makes our beloved NYC and its environs so great is the sheer diversity of our people - with all their hopes, dreams, and unique contributions at hand. And if we ever lose that, we'll just be "another" town on the map.

    Bill Crandall
  4. print email
    January 31, 2017 | 11:09 PM

    Is TRUMP your President?

  5. print email
    Jerry's editorial this week
    February 02, 2017 | 02:36 AM

    Just a thank you for writing it -- the USA should never forget that we are basically a nation of immigrants who made this country what we are today. Not bad!

    Bob Legenhausen
  6. print email
    Hey would you like some Knockwurst
    February 06, 2017 | 03:57 AM

    Where would all the good food be if we did not have our immigrants. Just Mayo on bread with cheese...give me a Hebrew National anyday...dark mustard.

Reader Feedback Submission
Use this form to submit Reader Feedback.
* required value
Your Name*




Site Search

2107 Capeletti Front Tile
Gurney's Inn