The Birth of a Godfather
Letter to the Editor,
In his zeal to venerate The Godfather, Mark Seal ignores the source
of the film's enduring appeal.
It's the bigotry, stupid.
This sordid crime story spawned a billion-dollar industry
dedicated to the proposition that all Italians are either mafiosi
or in some way connected to the Mob.
FBI statistics indicate only 0.00782 percent of Italian-Americans
have any criminal associations,
yet a national Zogby poll reveals that 74 percent of Americans
believe most Italians have ties to the Mob.
Though al-Qaeda slaughtered some 3,000 people on 9/11,
Hollywood eschews anti-Arab stereotypes
but revels in such Godfather-inspired fare as The Sopranos,
Casino, GoodFellas, Married to the Mob and Analyze This.
DreamWorks Animation even introduced anti-Italian bigotry
to children via Shark Tale,
a cartoon movie featuring Robert De Niro as a murderous piscine Godfather
named Don Lino.
Truth be told,
The Godfather has been as toxic to Italian-Americans
as The Birth of a Nation was to African-Americans.
Rosario A. Iaconis,
The Italic Institute of America,
Floral Park, New York