Criticism of Tony Soprano’s Identity Politics

Tony Soprano, HBO’s iconic series about organized crime syndicates in northern New Jersey, tends to fictional antiheroes, cigars, strip clubs and boys teasing teeth or even “hack mara” because they disrespected their wives or a “made man”. Given an envelope (in cash) of its daughter or considered “light”. But most episodes offer something deeper than the violent Italian-American soap opera.

One episode in particular that really resonates today is Season 4, Episode 3, “Christopher.” That episode rarely portrayed the character of Christopher Moltisanti, although his co-star, Michael Imperioli, co-wrote the story and wrote the teleplay. Rather, the story revolves around an American Indian protest at the Columbus Day Parade in Newark, New Jersey. Critics have called it one of the worst episodes in the series, probably because it was politically and culturally ahead of its time (late September 2002).

The episode begins with Tony’s crew discussing the upcoming protest outside Satriel’s Pork Store, one of their main hangouts. Many of these wise men are annoyed because they identify themselves as Italians and think of Christopher Columbus as an Italian hero. The only character in the conversation, actually born in Italy, is Furio Guenta, a native of Columbus in northern Italy, whose people complicate matters by mentioning that he likes South Italians and dislikes Sicilians.

Tony’s concealer (number two) Silvio Dante and a few crews mixed it up with some Indian protesters and were defeated if the police did not intervene as expected. Tony punishes Seal for disturbing their “business” and losing face but agrees to a behind-the-scenes deal at Seal’s request to show some leadership in the matter.

As part of that effort, Tony ends up in a stable where two of his criminal accomplices, a Jewish character named Hash Rabkin and a character named Ruben “The Cuban”, almost fight despite being friends for decades and sharing an enduring hatred. . Of Columbus. Reuben, as you can see, mistakenly equated Columbus with a certain short, brown-haired and clothed, Austrian-born boy, with a little mustache and a serious voice who tried to destroy all the “people” of Hash.

Yet Hash sets up Tony with the head of the fictional “Mohank” clan and the CEO of his big casino. The chief promised to quell the protest because, like Tony, he saw it as bad for business. Many of its customers from East Boston and Providence are identified as Italian. When Seal informs the chief that he does not look like an Indian, the chief responds that he had a “racial awakening” when he learns that his “grandmother next to my father, his mother is a quarter mohank”. (In other words, he is as Indian as Elizabeth Warren.)

Although it appears that the main protesters do not control and Seal’s backup plan will not work to “reveal” that Iron Ice Cody is not a real-Indian because no one cares, just as no one cares about the actor James Can, who He has played the role of Sony Godfather, Was not Italian. The unspoken irony of all this is that Cody’s family, who were born in Louisiana as Espera Oscar de Corti, come from Sicily and southern Italy!

Apparently to correct, the chief invited Tony, Seal and Christopher to his casino for free food, drink and gambling. But the whole thing was a ploy to ask Botanhole Tony to sing at Frankie Valley’s main casino for a week.

All of this sets the climax of the episode, coming back from the casino. Seal and Christopher are upset when they realize they missed the Columbus Day Parade while playing Blackjack, which the Indians successfully disrupted. When Christopher suggests that they just “slap” the Indian protest leader, Tony starts a fantastic explosive-laden revolt.

You can read it for yourself here, but the gist of it is that we are all Americans and being an American means like Gary Cooper, a “strong, silent type” who did what he had to do instead of crying that he was something “poor Texas” – Irish illiterate background or whatever “.

Tony then explains that all the bad things that have happened in the past are the cost of drowning, the water under the bridge. It doesn’t matter that Seal’s grandparents “got spit” because they came from southern Italy. Seal has a good life, a hot wife, a prosperous business (Bada Bing), and “a smart kid from Lacawanna College” because he’s not Italian, but “you’re you, ‘because you’re smart,’ because whatever you are.” The good things in life “don’t come from Columbus, or Godfather, or Chef… Bowardi.”

In general, Tony Soprano is not a role model for classic liberals because he makes a living by renting the economy through deception and coercion. But in this scene he reminds Americans that they are first and foremost individual people, second Americans, and who really cares about the rest? As I have shown Poverty of slavery, Everyone in the world has at least one slave and at least one descendant of a slave. What our ancestors did to each other is clearly not our fault. This is how we treat each other today and can use it A lot Of improvement

Robert E. Right

Robert E.  Right

Robert E. Wright is a Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.

He is the author (or co-editor) of more than two dozen major books, book series and edited collections, including AIER. Best of Thomas Payne (2021) and Financial exclusion (2019). He has also written numerous articles for (including) important journals, including American Economic Review, Business History Review, Independent review, Journal of Private Enterprise, Money reviewAnd Southern Economic Review.

Since taking his PhD, Robert has taught business, economics and policy courses at Augustana University, NYU’s Stern School of Business, Temple University, University of Virginia and elsewhere. History from SUNY Buffalo in 1997.

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