The aforementioned notwithstanding, if I counted the number of times one of my students over the past few years told me that I looked like one of the characters from The Sopranos, simply because I look Italian (with my hair, facial features, and clothing preference), I would quickly run out of toes and fingers. I actually had a student once ask me if it was normal for folk from my background to just beat people up who crossed us in any way. I had to bite my tongue in explaining to this youngster that I do not as a standard policy 'beat people up,' and have yet to kill anyone. I remind myself that these attitudes are not an accident, the expression of which has become more frequent over time. They are sadly the product of a collective consciousness of what the purveyors think about an entire group of people--an attitude developed from decades of propagandization by the lever holders of our popular culture.
Maybe this sounds outdated to someone in his/her teens, although I am not that old (the median age in this country), but if I ever dared to act or look like the loser in the above picture during my childhood, exulting in this self-hatred by calling myself a guido/wop/dago (since all of those words really mean the same thing), I could expect to be corrected immediately by my family and peers for purposely caving in to the very worst language and stereotypes that the larger society has of us. Yes, there was the gangster culture when I was a teen, but it never occurred to me to want to live the poor man's version of it, which is what the ethnic stereotypes of Italians on American t.v. revel in showing.