During something as serious as the Coronavirus, one would think that rules of respect and compassion apply; however, in the past week, both a national news organization (Associated Press in New York) and a local news radio station (WBBM Radio in Chicago) saw fit to run stories on the “dark side” of the Coronavirus (as if the crisis isn’t dark enough)—namely, how so-called “organized crime” in both Italy and the United States is waiting in the wings, salivating at the chance to take advantage of both nations’ suffering.
The death rate in Italy has surpassed 15,000. Families are hurting. Italian hospitals are at a breaking point. And yet, the mainstream media sees nothing wrong in promulgating a gross stereotype beloved by Hollywood.
The only Italian names I see in this crisis are (Dr.) Fauci, (Governor) Cuomo, and (House Speaker) Pelosi. References to “organized crime” are a total slur against such heroes in our midst. And, in Italy, let’s not forget that the main hero during a previous Asian pandemic (SARS) was Dr. Carlo Urbani, who not only identified the virus but died fighting to eradicate it.
The Coronavirus is awful enough. When will this “anti-Italian virus” end?
Incidentally, as a side-note: Dr. Fauci was asked at a press conference the other day who he would pick to play him in an eventual movie. Fauci joked, “Brad Pitt.” I get it: Americans still revere the blue-eyed, blonde-haired image as the ultimate ideal of beauty in our culture, male or female, though Rudolph Valentino set the original American male movie standard back in the 1920s.
The question I would have asked is, “When they make a movie about this crisis, how will Hollywood change your last name?” Ditto for Cuomo or Pelosi.
If there is another image which Americans hold dear, it’s the one which refuses to show Italian Americans in an heroic light via cultural propaganda.
Don’t forget the 1996 film “City Hall,” where Al Pacino played a Greek mayor of New York (though Rudy Giuliani was mayor at the time), Danny Aiello played a corrupt Italian American politician (though the character was based on NY Borough President Donald Manes, who was Jewish), and a young African American child is gunned down in the streets by an Italian hoodlum (though young African American children currently being gunned down in droves in Chicago are killed by black gang-bangers, not Italian thugs).
This is what is meant by the term, “Hollywood magic!” -BDC