Buddy’s Blog 1/09/2014
We received a book recently at our offices for review. It is a book I recommend for all of Italian heritage to read. “Explorers Emigrants Citizens: A Visual History of the Italian American Experience from the Collections of the Library of Congress.”
It is about the many contributions of Italian Americans to this great country - discovered by an Italian and named after an Italian. It will make you proud that you are of Italian heritage.
The authors Linda Barrett Osborne, who is Italian American, and Paolo Battaglia have selected 500 images related to the rich history of Italian Americans from the Library of Congress’ photographs, maps, posters, letters, films and recordings. The collection presented is well done but this is not the reason I have chosen to comment on their fine work. Rather, I would like to discuss the gentleman who wrote the foreword to this book... Martin Scorsese, the noted film director and producer.
Mr. Scorsese taints this otherwise wonderful presentation of accomplishment and pride. Why he was selected to contribute the foreword I will never know. Is there a movie he ever chose to portray his heritage in a positive light? I know of none. He has had every opportunity to show his ethnic pride but has taken the approach to make his Italian American characters thugs, criminals and the earth’s low lives. In Scorsese’s latest movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Mr. Scorsese has allowed and glorified the word “guinea” to be used in the movie. I find this offensive and a total lack of consideration for his own family heritage. Mr. Scorsese has now introduced an ethnic slur on Italian Americans to an entire new generation of young people. It is the young people that are going out to see this new movie, and most of them have never heard the word “guinea” referred to as Italian Americans. Mr. Scorsese, in his film career, has gone out of his way to denigrate Italians and Italian Americans alike.
His contribution to this book continues his slight and neglect for not once does he use the word “pride” in his writing... pride of his grandparents and their sacrifice to create a better life for not only themselves but ultimately Scorsese himself. In my eyes, Martin Scorsese is a fake. Here he has every opportunity to write about his heritage with respect and pride, which would be a perfect introduction to the book. He chooses to quote Nathaniel Hawthorne rather than introduce an Italian scholar, writer or giant of industry. Here, he immediately tries to distance himself from his heritage when he refers to his children as American. No kidding! I am American too, but I am respectful and filled with great pride for the efforts of my grandparents. Not like Martin Scorsese, who would rather demean and gutterize a great heritage.