English Ethics Politics

About Berlusconi’s “Suntanned Obama” Remark

I am deeply amazed by and profoundly at unease with the reaction to yesterday’s remark (“joke”) by Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, who has characterized US President-elect Barack Obama as “youthful, handsome and suntanned”.

Plenty of Italian people (presumably, not among Berlusconi’s core voters) have taken upon themselves to apologize for that phrase, for example commenting to this blog on the New York Times.

Now, Berlusconi is prone to gaffes of all sorts and he’s definitely way too much of a jester but…how can his words be interpreted as “racism” when Berlusconi himself has been trying for years to look more youthful, more handsome and definitely more suntanned than he is in reality?

To me, Berlusconi’s remarks display no racism at all, rather a deep feeling of envy.

ps some people have organized a demo in Rome to protest Berlusconi’s words. Ironically, apart from an uncertain command of the English language, all they have shown is their absolute ignorance of American culture, where blackface is considered a sign of racism indeed.

Blackface against racism???
Blackface against racism???

2 replies on “About Berlusconi’s “Suntanned Obama” Remark”

Is it not the target of the comment that is the ultimate arbiter in these matters – i.e. if Mr Obama perceives it to be banter “in poor taste” as opposed to “racist abuse” then that’s what it is?

Do not try to reflect your or anyone else’s “righteous indignation”!

Like you, I believe that it was generally an attempt at a light-hearted witicism!

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