In the “And for good measure department,” I’m adding to my list of what gets my knickers in a bunch — along with stupidity, and misogyny — is Italian bashing.
And leave it to my old pal Rush Limbaugh to set me off again. Well, Rush and some colleagues of mine who pointed out the faux pas (how do you say that in Italian?) that the mouth that roared unleashed at Italians after reading my take on Limbaugh’s attack of Sandra Fluke.
The “greaseball” comment was made about former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine late last year, and puts one more nail in Rush Limbaugh’s oversized casket.
A colleague brought to my attention what the over-pompous, portly pundit said in a broadcast about Corzine: “I mean, he’s got Italian greaseball, whatever, 16. He’s lathered it on there; he’s slicked it back. He’s probably got a souped-up ’57 Chevy outside waiting for him to drive him away.”
Why would Rush make this comment from the get go? Why did it take Italians (you and me both) more than a month to demand an apology; and why didn’t the Italian comment get the same uproar in the press as (hold your ears again kiddies), the “slut” remark did?
What’s wrong with the whole picture? What’s wrong with Italians for not blaring their indignation and shouting their affront to the rafters? Why didn’t sponsors pull ad spots faster than an unraveling fork full of spaghetti? Why don’t Italians command the same respect as every other ethnic group?
Again, Rush abused his right to freedom of speech.
Do Italians not deserve the same respect as everyone else? Wasn’t Don Imus fired because of his offensive comment aimed at the African-American girls on that basketball team in New Jersey? So why isn’t Rush canned because of his anti-Italian banter?
But what is most shocking is the lack of outcry. Not a voice was raised, just a slight whimper from the Italian-American One Voice Coalition. In fact, I would hazard that in this instance women ranked a bit higher than the Italians on the affront stage, because at least sponsors actually pulled ads and rock stars detached their songs after the Fluke slur. But who pulled what and distanced themselves from after the “greaseball” remark? No one — that’s who.
As an Italian-American, I find it disturbing that there was no outcry against his remark — or any Italian bashing for that matter. Even more disturbing is that fellow Italians didn’t unplug Rush at the very moment his comments were aired.
Not for Nuthin, but the time has come for my fellow Italian-Americans to start kicking up our heals and putting up a ruckus whenever disparaging comments are made against our culture. Our amazing culture that gave the world opera, art, science, fantastic food, pastry, and vino. How dull this world would be without the music of Vincenzo Bellini, the sculpture of Giuseppe Sanmartino, or the genius of da Vinci and Ettore Majorana. And, of course, the prose of Joanna DelBuono!