TORONTO - I read with naked dismay, disdain, and disgust the editorial of March 20th, 2017 with respect to “Cafone-in-Chief” and the “cafonesco (“uncultured peasant behaviour”).
The reason for my reaction? Your paper’s delighting in the phrase and reference coined by Mr. Zucconi.
As a person born a Calabrian peasant in Italy’s 1959, I, like the rest of us from the Southern Italic Peninsula, know all too well, starting with the teachers in elementary school in Calabria, the origin and modern-day use of the word “cafone” in the “Italian” context. “Cafone”: used as a derogatory word, like “Terrone”, by (would-be) Northern Italians against us Southerners, to simply denigrate.
Notwithstanding my current occupation as a constitutional lawyer, I am proud of my peasant roots, family, and culture. Moreover, the use of a racial slur, in the Italian context, historically referring to, and oppressing Southern Italians is neither “cultured” nor “refined” as your piece puts it: it is revealing.
It is clear to this educated “cafone” that the moron Zucconi, and you Mr. Volpe, obviously have more in common with Trump than you may want to consciously like, think, or know. Perhaps that is why he bothers you so much. For me, Trump is yet another inept, incapable politician to made it to the highest office. He is not alone in history. Wrapping him up in the Italian “cafone” wrapper is mind-boggling and offensive to us. [After all, who ever referred to Berlusconi as a “cafone”?].
That an Italian journalist, from Italy, would use that historically repulsive reference is unforgiveable. That an Italo-Canadian paper whose readership is likely “cafone” in the majority, is beyond explanation to not only our dead parents but our living (grand) children.
Mr. Zucconi may as well as, in the American context, used the word “minstrel” with the “N”-word in front of it. Would you then have had the same reaction and approving editorial? You owe your readers an apology. Nothing else can restore your paper’s integrity and credibility.
And, may I also suggest some therapy for Mr. Zucconi, and you.
Rocco Galati is a Constitutional lawyer from Toronto