Philadelphia targets Mario Lanza

Oct 17, 2020 9207

BY: Robert Petrone

Flags In South Philadelphia's Mario Lanza Park Bearing Image of The Tenor Were Replaced with an Image of a Bird. Attorney Robert Petrone reports this week, the flags in South Philadelphia's Mario Lanza Park bearing the esteemed Philadelphia tenor's face were replaced with flags with a cartoon bird on it.

Petrone wants to do something about it. "I propose the below letter be sent to Friends of Mario Lanza Park signed by whoever tells me to affix their name," he says. His email address is robertpetrone@yahoo.com. Here is the text of his letter.

Dear Ms. Mell,

It has come to the attention of the Italian-American residents of Philadelphia that Mario Lanza's image has been removed from the flags adorning the park that is named in his honor. We the undersigned are appalled that this was done without consideration for the community, during a time when we are in great pain at the recent and repeated removal of the likenesses of Italian-American icons all over the city, including (1) the removal of the statue of the first and only Italian-American mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo, whose administration as Chief of Police integrated the police force by putting both African-American and Caucasian officers together in the same squad cars and promoting the first officers of color to administrative positions, (2) the boxing up of the statue of the first civil rights activist of the Americas, Christopher Columbus, at Marconi Plaza, and (3) the obliteration of the names of Columbus and many prominent Italian-Americans at the base of the Columbus monument at Penn's Landing.

Despite that misguided historical revisionists have slandered Mayor Rizzo and Christopher Columbus of late -- slander that has been debunked categorically of late -- no such slander has ever been levied against Mario Lanza. There can be no other reason for the continuation of this course of conduct than blatant Italophobia.

That Friends of Mario Lanza Park, entrusted as stewards of the park and its contents, would be so insensitive to the community in this regard, is unforgivable. Our community demands that Mario Lanza's likeness be restored immediately.

Sincerely

SOURCE: Primo Magazine

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