This week, our local newspaper, Newsday, lit my fuse with a 4-part series on Sonny Franzese, “American Gangster.”
Of course, the real headline should be “Italian American Gangster,” but that would have been too provocative. Still, the editors managed to make the point with enough Mafia lore and a full page critique of The Godfather by their Mafia icon Franzese before he died at age 103, just days ago.
In fact, Newsday covered his funeral with a half-page and photo. All told, the Long Island newspaper, which serves 3 million residents, devoted some fifteen full tabloid pages to this Mob guttersnipe last week. Their motivation was that Franzese was a local wise-guy who had given them an exclusive interview from his nursing home wheelchair. Newsday editors have a disturbing obsession with La Cosa Nostra. Don’t complain to them about it because they won’t print your letter.
The media always finds old Italic mobsters with the same relish as it finds old Nazis. Journalists have no qualms immortalizing guys like Franzese despite their “shortcomings.” (Back in 2002, Newsday dedicated nine full pages to John Gotti’s funeral. It could have been a lot more had Gotti lived on Long Island instead of in Queens.) Rumor has it that Franzese whacked “40-50” people, which would make him a serial killer – right? Newsday honored him with a photo of his flag-draped coffin, while elsewhere we are informed that Franzese avoided serving his country in WW II by being dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army for “homicidal tendencies.” Still, the reader is led to believe that Franzese was a man of honor who spent most of his life in prison defending the media-celebrated Code of Omerta`. Anyone who doesn’t see how the mainstream media has been brainwashed by Hollywood is hopelessly deluded.
Every group in this country has dirty laundry. Only Italian Americans allow theirs to be continually put on display. Where is the media’s call for an end to Chinese disease production? Climate Change or pandemic – which is the greater threat today? Why isn’t the media spotlighting obscene sanitary practices in China’s food and homeopathic production? Why does Islam get a free pass when its fratricidal Sunni vs Shi’ite wars are wreaking havoc in the Middle East and Europe? Why are Hindu Americans not haunted by their motherland’s deplorable cast system and anti-Muslim pogroms? Why isn’t African American baby-daddy culture lambasted for destroying its own young? When will Jews ever see their perverts and criminals immortalized in Hollywood on a regular basis?
Why not expose other truths? The Syrian civil war is not a political bloodbath. It’s an Islamic kill-fest pitting Assad’s Shi’ites against his Sunni rebels. Why aren’t the mullahs, imams, and other clergy of this “religion of peace” pleading to stop the carnage? Why must Greeks defend their homeland against millions of Sunni refugees egged on to violate the border by Sunni Turkey? Shouldn’t Islam take care of its own? Why are selfless American soldiers battling to save Afghan women from Taliban slavery? Our protected groups in this country should hang out their dirty laundry.
Perhaps, if the media and government exposed a truthful version of our pampered minorities, instead of wasting their time on Jurassic Italian American scum, we could shame these “vulnerable” minorities into redirecting their self-righteousness inward.
Instead of mobilizing their efforts to stop the carnage of Muslims in India, American Hindus have succeeded in getting Hank Azaria (a Jew) to stop voicing the “insulting” character of Apu on The Simpsons. (Meanwhile paesano Joe Mantegna has no problem voicing that of Fat Tony “the mobster.”)
Shouldn’t Chinese Americans protest the wholesale destruction of Muslim Uighar culture in Red China instead of complaining about Harvard limiting their enrollment applications?
Let our southern Anglos and Scots concede the wholesale rape their ancestors perpetrated on slave women over the centuries to produce a Black community that has on average 20% White DNA. Maybe they can explain real Southern “manhood” to the Epsteins and Weinsteins!
I can go down the list of absent-minded groups that avoid displaying their dirty laundry while crucifying Christopher Columbus and vilifying the 99.9% of Italian Americans whose sweat and ingenuity opened these continents and help build and defend them…
…but I won’t. -JLM