TORONTO – I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry as I read an opinion piece on the President Trump – Former FBI Director James Comey saga written by the Star’s Entertainment Columnist, Vinay Menon. It appeared in the Star’s April 13, 2018 edition
I wanted to laugh at all those “self-hating Italians” in Canada who have convinced themselves that everyone now views them as “mainstream”. They have become “somebody[else]”.
Well, apparently not as far as Vinay Menon is concerned. Here’s a snippet from Menon’s critique, of a book he had not read, citing Comey’s characterization of Trump’s behaviour as mob-like: “he is operating with organized crime instincts and has turned the White House into an outpost of Sicilian menace”.
This is 2018. Vinay Menon is the epitome of that “cultured somebody else”. Me, I just thought that Comey’s quotes (taken from a book not yet available for sale) were referencing New York’s criminal elements.
You know, the ones in the United States.
I am now waiting for the book to hit (no pun intended, I am just a poor immigrant boy – Italian, mind you – struggling to learn the language) the stands.
Maybe the book contains a description of Sicilian menace, or, better still, some scientific correlation between organized crime instincts and whatever the Sicilian menace is in Menon’s world.
Mr. Menon claims to have a Bachelor’s degree in Science. He has probably observed Sicilians up close and had occasion to study their DNA, so his studied observations must be more than a gratuitous “drive-by smear”.
It’s 2018. My laughter is turning to tears. Maybe, just maybe, Menon’s scientific and social analysis is so compelling that he is extrapolating conclusions applicable to anyone who is Italian. After all, we share the same 4,000 year old history.
Is it possible that a writer for a publication that presents itself as a model for a progressive, inclusive, forward-looking, arch-typically contemporary Canadian society would lapse into a condescending dismissiveness about the worth of one of Toronto’s oldest communities?
Apparently, yes. It must be ingrained.
No, I say to myself, it must be the result of contact with “apple-polishers” who delight in putting down the contribution made by their ancestors to the development Western Civilization.
You know, the same ones who say the Italian community “doesn’t exist” because they are too timid to speak up. I think I will look up the origins of Menon to boost my spirits. It should be a brief study.