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.