IMAGE foe wrong on ‘wop’ origin, wrong on illegals
February 06, 2013 12:13 AM | 1469 views | 8 8 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

At the Cobb County Commission meeting on Jan. 22, a few people spoke against the free federal program, IMAGE, that will perform audits to verify legality of the workforce of contractors and their subcontractors benefiting from taxpayer funded projects. One of the speakers was Rich Pellegrino, who stated that he researched the term “wop” because he had been called this name due to his Italian heritage.

Pellegrino said the term meant “With Out Papers” to refer to the many Italians who came to the United States illegally. That is untrue. There were few illegal aliens of Italian (or Irish) birth that came to the U.S. illegally. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, that term actually means: “Offensive slang used as a disparaging term for a person of Italian birth or descent. Italian dialectal ‘guappo,’ ‘thug,’ from Spanish ‘guapo,’ ‘handsome,’ ‘dashing,’ ‘bully,’ from French dialectal ‘wape,’ ‘rogue,’ from Latin ‘vappa,’ ‘flat wine,’ ‘scoundrel.’”

The Italian and Irish immigrants disparaged as illegal by Pellegrino actually were legal. And the term “guapo” used by Italian immigrants to refer to each other sounded to Americans like the word “wop.” It was not an acronym meaning “without papers.”

Pellegrino also said his research indicates that illegal aliens are a net benefit to the U.S. in terms of taxes, culture and economics. I have extensive research with the opposite conclusion. Illegal aliens cost Georgians over $2.4 billion in state expenses last year.

The indisputable facts are that early immigrants came here legally to work, produce, abide by our laws, pay their share of taxes and assimilate. They did not have free health care, Section 8, food stamps, free school lunches, Earned Income Tax Credits, WIC or welfare for their anchor babies.

I write this letter to honor the memory of my grandparents who escaped the Bolshevik takeover in the Ukraine to come to America and who refused to go on welfare during the Depression.

Remind Cobb Commissioners Helen Goreham, Lisa Cupid and Chairman Tim Lee that your taxes should go to hiring legal workers and that you do not wish to continue to subsidize the illegal workforce of county contractors or subcontractors.

Patricia Henry

east Cobb
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Kevin Foley
February 07, 2013
A Cobb County native up on the origin of racial slurs.

Since you're so concerned, FYI Ms. Henry, many Hispanics and Latinos find the term "illegal alien" offensive.
Pat Henry
February 07, 2013
Another liberal spreading misinformation. I grew up in NJ, and am personally familiar with the origin of the term used by Pellegrino. We lived with and then next door to my grandparents in a neighborhood of many new immigrants; however, Mr. Foley, if you read the letter it quoted the dictionary.

From my grandparents, we learned delayed gratification and to work for our needs. The value of saving money was stressed, citizenship, the value of education and helping each other instead of asking for help from the government.

Our ancestors were sponsored by someone who promised to take care of them should something happen to them.

Above all, these legal immigrants proudly spoke English and became citizens. And your only criticism is that it was written by a Cobb County native?
Devlin Adams
February 08, 2013
Foley, If the shoe fits, wear it. Many of them are here illegally and they are aliens, ergo, they are "illegal aliens".

If that offfends them, they can do one of two thigns. Become a citizen or a legal immigrant, or go back to where they came from. They are not aliens there.

Otherwise, suck up and live with the name YOU earned by crossing our borders illagally.
February 06, 2013
How refreshing to have an intelligent person discuss illegals in this country. I wonder if and when we will wake up.

Politicians, as usual, are the cause of this awful mess. All they want are the votes of the Hispanics.

Nothing will change until we care enough to vote all of the current set of politicians out of office!

Thanks, Pat, for your fine letter.
February 06, 2013
Pelligrino is just like the water that shares his name: transparent and full of gas.

He's just dumb enough to think that his opinion maters.
Or he
February 07, 2013
Was called an appropriate name by his peers - scoundrel, thug, bully.
Marie in Marietta
February 06, 2013
Great letter!
mk- cobb graft
February 06, 2013
Smart letter!! Why can't we have honest, smart people in office?

The more time passes, the clearer it becomes that what's holding Cobb back is the corrupt politics so deeply entrenched by the good ole boy (scratch my back) network.

Cobb County is crippled by dishonest, greedy government.

The illegal labor workforce is neatly housed in South Cobb, while building wealth in East Cobb.

Pat Henry , as many of us, understand this.

Where are the JOBS for Americans??

Why haven't elected officials been working at bringing good quality JOBS to Cobb??

The dirt is seeping out, becoming harder & harder to keep out of public view.

I think Cobb is just as dirty of Dekalb, they've just been slicker in hiding it.

Cobb County Citizens have been 'clucked'!
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