Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a nationally observed holiday in the U.S.
The commemoration has different meanings for different people. For me personally, it’s a day to reflect on love and hate, mercy and accountability, healing and division, what came before us and what lies ahead… We’ve come a long way but we sure have a long way to go. That’s the way I see it.
There couldn’t be a better day to stand up for and stand by what I believe in my heart and what I have written here on my blog, Do Bianchi — a diary of my life, my family, my work, and my thoughts.
Last week, I began receiving a tide of messages from wine trade colleagues informing me that a California-based importer of Italian wines had repeatedly made reference to me as “the asshole blogger” and “blogger stronzo” who has led a “conspiracy” against a Friulian winemaker (blogger stronzo means literally turd blogger in Italian, the equivalent of asshole blogger). The importer in question is now importing the Friulian winemaker’s wines.
I’m not going to post any links here to the importer’s blog or social media. And I’ve been told that he has subsequently removed the references to me.
But in case you’re wondering about the Friulian winemaker and in case you missed the firestorm that followed, here’s the 2013 post that provides the backstory. In the comment thread, you’ll find that the winemaker in question is very open about his political views and ideology. I’ll leave it at that.
One of my California-based wine trade colleagues wrote a Facebook post about the importer’s visit to his shop.
“I see a young colleague is importing said winemaker’s wines to the States again,” he writes in conclusion, “and he’s bitching via social media that those who ‘boycotted’ the wines are ‘assholes.’ I’m a big boy and am OK with my status as an asshole, but only ask that you refer to me as Dottore Asshole.”
Like my colleague, I don’t mind being called an “asshole blogger” when the epithet is used against me because of something I believe in and have written about here on my blog.
Amen. So be it. If being an asshole means standing up for and standing by what I believe to be right, then feel free to call me an asshole. I can live with that. I couldn’t and can’t live with not standing up for and standing by what I believe in.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!