On February 26, 2009, Sliwa launched into an anti-Italian rant on his talk radio show while reading a story about the Italian American Museum in NY receiving a Federal grant. Sliwa said:
“Uh, the Italian-American Museum in Little Italy? What the hell is that? I mean, what do you need an Italian-American Museum in Little Italy for?”
“And plus, what do we need to be spending federal tax dollars? You go to the Italian-American Museum, you make a contribution. Or, you have an enforcer there from the Genovese, Gambino, Lucchese, Colombo, Bonanno crime families who forces you to pay a contribution.”
“[I could] swing a dead cat” over his head “and every fifth person” he’d hit would be in “organized crime.”
(According to The Annotico Report, Sliwa’s declaration of “every fifth person” translates into having close to 100,000 people in organized crime on Staten Island.)
Sliwa, who is of Italian-Polish heritage, has made a career off of bashing Italian-Americans and implying that all Italian-Americans are involved in organized crime. The most recent example of this is declaring that lifestyle magazine Mob Candy is a front for mafia money-laundering. Sliwa has also come under fire for racism against Indian-American Bobby Jindal, and for the implied racism seen in his personal tour of the South Bronx.
Sliwa then traveled to Staten Island and apologized for his viciously racist commentary at the Arrochar Friendship Club in South Beach. An “Italian grandma”, Mrs. Cammarata, then paddled Sliwa and shoved soap in his mouth. Sliwa finished off his mea culpa routine by taking a tour of the Italian American Museum.