I don’t particularly want to adduce a link between the Cuomo family and curious ideas regarding what constitutes a racial slur but, well, there it is.
In August, CNN host Chris Cuomo was caught on camera having a meltdown over someone calling him “Fredo” in reference to the weak, suppurating member of the Corleone family in the “Godfather” movies.
“‘Fredo’ was from ‘The Godfather.’ He was a weak brother and they use that as an Italian slur — are any of you Italian?” he said during the nuclear-level meltdown. “It’s a f—ing insult to your people. It’s an insult to your f—ing people. It’s like the N-word for us. Is that a cool f—ing thing?”
He’s smart! He’s not dumb like everybody says! He’s smart and he wants respect!
Well, if it’s like the N-word for the Cuomos, his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the Michael Corleone in the family — wasn’t smart enough to avoid saying the actual N-word during a recent Q&A session.
Indeed, in the governor’s remarks during a Tuesday appearance on WAMC-FM, Albany’s public radio, he showed the same level of self-preservation that not-Fredo did — only in the opposite direction.
Cuomo was talking about an Oct. 12 piece in The New York Times by Brent Staples that dealt with the obloquies and indignities visited upon members of the Italian-American community throughout their history.
“They used an expression that southern Italians were called, I believe they were saying southern Italians, Sicilians — I’m half Sicilian — were called, quote-unquote and pardon my language, but I’m just quoting The Times: ‘n—– wops,’ N-word wops, as a derogatory comment,” Cuomo said.
According to the New York Post, Cuomo made sure to clearly enunciate the full racial slur and not just mumble it or anything.
Cuomo didn’t see what the big deal was.
“That was the point of the article, and I directly quoted The New York Times,” Cuomo said at a Sunday event involving infrastructure improvements around Albany International Airport, the Post reported.
“You should ask The New York Times if they think it was appropriate,” he continued after asked to recite it in full by a Post reporter.
“I was just quoting The New York Times — if I quoted the Post I would say, ‘Talk to the Post.’”
The Oct. 12 piece, “How Italians Became ‘White,'” chronicled the injustices the ethnic group faced before its members were finally accepted into American society.
Cuomo critics from the left immediately used the remarks to strike back at the governor.
“There’s no comparison between black people and Italians,” Bertha Lewis, founder of the Black Institute, said. “Because if he actually believed that he would’ve done a far better job in his last two terms with my people.”
State Assemblyman Charles Barron, meanwhile, said that what Cuomo said was “very inappropriate” and “disrespectful.”
“He has enough discriminatory words used against Italians not to use the N-word. You don’t have to throw us into it,” Barron, who is black, said.
Cuomo did have his defenders, mind you. (State Sen. Kevin Parker said he was using the slur in “a very specific, historical context” and what he said may have been “inartful, but it wasn’t inaccurate and he was giving a source of context.”) Overall, however, this didn’t go over too well.
And yet Cuomo seems particularly unconcerned about saying the N-word. It was in a New York Times article, he says! That makes this OK!
Barron — not wrongly — said Cuomo “owes the black community an apology.”
He not only owes one, he owes it posthaste. This isn’t just embarrassing, it’s racist — and it’s time the media called it out for what it is.
That’s doubly true because Cuomo is blaming the media. I thought I remembered this being especially heinous under the Trump administration. Guess not?
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