Saturday, October 18, 2008
We believe that the time is long overdue for the establishment of a "Sons of Lombardy" type of group in America. "Sons of Lombardy" is just a reference point, as the name should refer to all of our people, and not just adult males. We can only guess at the regional demographics, but Missouri and Northern California, and possibly Oregon, should be the focal points. We estimate that perhaps 100,000 immigrants, from Lombardia and Ticino, have migrated to America since it's founding. That would equal many more descendants by this time. The only heartbeat for "Lombardian America" right now are the small remnants of Milanese in Missouri (St. Louis), the Ticinese groups in California, and us here. Ticinese, or Italian Swiss, are of our people. They have their own indentiy, but it's like a provincial one, like Brescia or Bergamo. They speak the same dialect: "Lombard."
Lombardi nel Mondo's North American Regional Council has made little or no effort to reach out to Americans of Lombardian descent. Their website is in Italian only and is very difficult to navigate. Not to mention their unusual URL, which is slow, erratic, and seems to be offline very often. I was just about to place their link here now, but it's offline yet again! Their board of directors is made up of Italian male nationals ONLY. I have no idea of what they hope to accomplish? They do work on the Milan-Chicago Sister City Committee, but that's economics only. What about us Lombardians!? They do write about our history on this continent, but they basically ignore US! There is amazing technology available, like Facebook, YouTube, Blog Talk Radio, etc. They don't even have a simple blog or message board! I state these facts and complaints advisably, as I hope to inspire all of us to make some changes.
As you may already know, we here are heavily involved with the Padanian-American League, and are unable, and unwilling, to take on this endeavor all by ourselves. We can, however, be a voice for our community and culture here. Even though we are "Bresciani nel Mondo" in name, we are also "Camuni nel Mondo" and "Lombardi nel Mondo" in this region. As I see it, there are two choices. 1) Try to push for changes within the North American Regional Council; or 2) Begin to develop our own institution. Since the council exists, and presumably has funding from the regional government of Lombardia, I think we should try to reform their policy first.
One workable example of what we're talking about is the Tuscan American Association. They do receive funding from the regional government in Toscana, Italy. They at least have a website in English (and Italian). Even then, they have none of the interactive web infrastructure that we mentioned, which is a negative. However, their council has both Italians AND Americans on it! I mean, it would be silly for a heritage association to exist in America, via and by an overseas country, in which there are no Americans! What would be the point?? Not to mention actually ignoring the Americans, and still write the history of our ancestors here. Makes zero sense.
An exact google search (with quotes) of "Lombard Americans" shows only three results, which is now four as of the publishing of this entry. It's a start. We would prefer "Lombardian American" (with no hyphenation in this case). As stated earlier, "Lombard" is of the ancient tribe. For example, one wouldn't call modern day Tuscans... "Etruscans." If people of "Sicilia" are "Sicilians" (in English), then people of Lombardia are Lombardians. They're not called "Sicani" (an ancient tribe on the island), and we're not specifically "Lombards" of ancient times.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Between 1850 and 1930, about 20,000 Italian-Swiss immigrants from Ticino, migrated to California. There was a well known quote, by a very well respected California politician of that time, which reflected how these people were absolute "model citizens." I checked, but unfortunately I don't have that quote handy right now. Perhaps someone out there can help us out with that. A good percentage of those immigrants came from the Maggia Valley in Ticino.
Well, Marvel Comics, a long time publisher of comic books, chose the name "Maggia" for another purpose. From Wikipedia (Maggia page):
"The Maggia is a fictional international crime syndicate that has appeared in various comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The organization exists in Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe. Its structure is somewhat similar to the Mafia (which is itself almost never referred to in Marvel stories), but the Maggia differs in that it frequently hires supervillains and mad scientists to work for them. The characters Count Nefaria and his daughter Madame Masque have both been leaders of an important Maggia family.
The Nefaria family
This group bears little resemblance to the rest of the Maggia. The late Italian nobleman, Count Luchino Nefaria, a scientific genius, was the world's most powerful Maggia leader until his initial defeat by the Avengers. Afterwards he moved his base of operations to the New York City area, and then imprisoned Washington, D.C. within an impenetrable force-dome and held it for ransom. After his defeat and capture, his daughter Giulietta, also known as Whitney Frost, succeeded him as family head and led an unsuccessful attempt to capture the advanced weaponry of Tony Stark. She was eventually succeeded by a costumed criminal, the Masked Marauder, who demanded complete control of New York City or else he would detonate a nuclear device there. After his capture, the family again apparently came under control of Whitney Frost, by then known as Madame Masque. Contrary to standard Maggia practice, the Nefaria family, principally consisting of men under 40, has employed futuristic weaponry and even robots (like the Dreadnoughts), as well as costumed super-powered agents (Unicorn, Whiplash, Gladiator, etc.), and has launched open attacks on society. Its leader is always known as "Big M." There are many other Maggia "families" in the United States and Europe which do not employ superhuman agents. With both Count Nefaria and Madame Masque now pursuing separate agendas, it is not known who, if anyone, currently heads the Nefaria Family.
Luchino Nefaria is a wealthy Italian aristocrat, who while a traditionalist also desires greater wealth and power, driving him to join the criminal organisation the Maggia.
Madame Masque was born as Giulietta Nefaria, the daughter of the master criminal Count Luchino Nefaria, in Rome, Italy. She accepted her father's offer to become a professional criminal mastermind and was trained by him in strategy, criminal activities, and combat. She turned out to be a brilliant student and when her father was imprisoned, she became the new Big M, the leader of the Nefaria family of the Maggia."
The Maggia Valley is a district of the Swiss Canton of Ticino, and within it is the municipality of Maggia. It has an identity and a people of it's own. It has a coat of arms. Marvel Comics has no business whatsoever in "using" it's name in this slanderous manner.
There are corners of southern, northern, and eastern Europe, where the root stock population has a very serious organized crime problem within the native population. Northern Italy, Rome, Ticino, and Maggia are NOT in that short list..... AT ALL.
Many unfair stereotypes do have at least some grain of truth to them. In this case, there isn't a grain or even a single speck of truth. Shame on Marvel Comics for using and slandering the peaceful Maggia Valley and it's people.