Are Italian American Mothers Woke?

“I want to congratulate Turning Point because you are creating a change that will affect us for decades.”

                                Rudy Giuliani

Hitler wasn’t woke! Stalin wasn’t woke. Trump isn’t woke! DeSantis isn’t woke. Ben Shapiro isn’t woke. Charlie Kirk isn’t woke. Candace Owens isn’t woke. And a bunch of Moms 4 Liberty and All Lives Matter people aren’t woke. CPAC isn’t woke. And Putin isn’t woke.

Fiorello LaGuardia said it was the God given right of people in America to jay walk as he refused to allow police have their ways (and conservatives of that time). Wow! God given right to be free! I can certainly go deeply into thinking about that. Oh there was a second part of his comment that I dare not leave out to make a point. He did not want Americans and immigrants to wait for the light to change as people did in Nazi Germany. Fiorello LaGuardia counted on the Italian vote and he made his point considering the world situation. I loved it.

We can go more deeply into that and think about all the lives that have been lost as people cross against the light and vehicles plow into them. Queens Boulevard in New York City had lots of those incidents. Saving lives is important for sure, but where is the literature supporting more than using jay walking as an income producer for a city or town? I have read the work of Chris Mancini, a former federal prosecutor in Broward County who critically cites how African Americans ended up in jail over jay walking. Mancini and Evellyn Santos are authors of The Poison Garden which explains about the lynching of Black people in Florida in the 1930s. I want people everywhere to say I woke up this morning and want to watch the trailer of that play which has been filmed and circulated. The play is more important than Hamilton. Chris Mancini shares that in Florida where there probably more hate groups than any other state in the nation and those famous Proud Boys connected with the recent coup, he has reached out for support from Black leaders and he has obtained it, his wife who is co-author is Black, and he anticipates a major lawsuit in Florida so his objective is not entertainment nor profit. This is a different kind of serious business that falls under civil rights.

Hitler got many of his ideas from America including that Black people in Germany would sit on the back of the bus. History matters!

So here I am writing about LaGuardia talking about the same things that anti-woke Americans are talking about. LaGuardia said those things almost ninety years ago. That was then and this is now. LaGuardia was accused of being a “communist” and he did have a strong relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt who was in the opposing party and that was because he resented his fellow Republicans and their platform. Oh Rudy Giuliani isn’t woke.

In my last article about LaGuardia, I wrote about the powerful way that he saved lives during World War I by providing soldiers rapidly with prophylactics. I learned just a few days ago that during World War II our army which was supposed to have our soldiers’ backs had forgotten about what LaGuardia had done as one-third of our soldiers became infected with venereal disease. And now we are reading that conservatives are going to take our contraceptives away. History matters!

Hitler in Los Angeles is a book that I have written powerful stuff about. I also wrote about it under the title Hitler in DC and who could that be?  LaGuardia’s mother was Jewish, but he made it known that his help for Jews was not because of his mother. He noticed the hate against Jews and fought to make the Jewish community stronger.

Immigration laws kept out Jews and Italians and others. Since 1920 it has become illegal to cross our southern border as a law was passed. That was the wall before Trump’s wall. And it kept out people from Southern Europe as well as Jews who were being exterminated in Europe.

And we do not have to go farther than stressing that Vladimir Putin has called Ukraine woke to realize who he is in bed with in America. And he has called Ukrainians fascists as well. We know fascists and potential fascists and the last American potentate has just about all the qualifications including staging a coup against his opposition.

Whether it’s the fight over contraception in this country or the fight to save lives during COVID-19, we see the failure of Republican leadership. Florida is the leader and principally because of its governor who connected his dots immediately with Donald Trump. I go back to one of my questions from a long time ago which is Would Hitler have injected Jews (Blacks, etc. updating things to open up eyes) with COVID-19 cause them to get sick and to die?

Maybe someone should ask that question to Rudy Giuliani, Trump, Tucker Carlson, DeSantis, and others? How about Ben Shapiro just to be fair? These are men urging gun rights, but the taking away of so many lives make me think of a word in Yiddish, perhaps not the most appropriate one, but goniff is a word I learned from my late uncle when we grew up on the Lower East Side in the 1950s. Goniff was taught to me as a “thief” but dishonest and swindler are meanings as well. Men and policies cost those lives in WW I, WW II, under Trump with COVID-19, and the coup attempt on January 6, 2020. I didn’t have my mask in the car yesterday and chose not to purchase food or go to the bank. I would not inject anyone with COVID-19. And I do not wish to become a statistic!

And finishing up with Italian mothers here and now. Did you know those things about Fiorello LaGuardia? Did he display wokeness throughout his life and was he (with his own faults) a person to emulate today? Or are some or more or most Italian mothers and their children going to tell me what a mother once told me (in replying to learning English) which is I hope that my children never grow up to be woke and never fight for the justice of people. Maybe that woman who spoke to me about the study of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French came from a family that came here on The Mayflower? Or maybe she was taking a page from Donald Trump and his attack on a Republican candidate who happened to speak Spanish during his campaign? Do you even remember Jeb Bush?

A bottle of white a bottle of red in your favorite Italian restaurant? The Salvadoran waiter where I frequent most asks “calamari” when I sit down to order and I order red. Have Italian mothers read “It Happened in Italy” by Elizabeth Bettina who learned how Italians saved the lives of Jews in Campagna, Italy during The Holocaust? We have to look out for each other and nobody has the right to diminish anyone else in Florida or elsewhere. I have already alluded to the remarks of Ben Shapiro in Tel Aviv.

Mangia bene but learn much more about those Trump years which went from Make America Great Again to Keep America Great, the latter falling apart and now becoming Save America. It is his closest supporters that are leading US toward replace the Jews and people of color, hundreds of thousands of deaths during COVID-19, and an attack on The Capitol where police were saying goodbye to their loved ones before resuming the struggle to save our democracy (all law enforcement should be able to go home to their loved ones as well as all of US). How on earth any veterans group can host any of Trump’s major supporters in any state shocks me.

Fiorello LaGuardia who hated being called “dago” and who fought for the “Little Man” in America was on his way to becoming president of the United States. The long list of landmarks that he developed in New York City in conjunction with President Roosevelt made New York City great, He fought corruption before becoming mayor and did it aggressively as Hizzoner. Trump, in my opinion, has been the worst thing for America since Jim Crow. Italians would have supported LaGuardia over Trump any day. Grazie, ciao, va bene!