Yesterday, my Italian colleague and friend Filippo Larganà, editor of the popular Piedmont-centric wine blog Sapori del Piemonte, asked me to write a note about the Tuesday evening presidential debate for his site.
Here’s a link to my “op-ed” entitled “Donald Trump and the Partisan Johnny” (in Italian).
For readers who don’t know the works of Beppe Fenoglio, he was one of the most widely read authors of the 20th-century in Italy. His most famous work was his auto-biographical novel Il partigiano Johnny (The Partisan Johnny), the story of an Italian soldier in the Second World War.
After the 1943 armistice with the Allies, Johnny abandoned his post and headed back to his native Piedmont where he joined the partisans fighting German and Fascist armies.
In my post for Filippo’s site, I wrote about how Fenoglio saw Piedmont’s farming culture and its values as the source for the human courage and solidarity that were needed to vanquish the occupying forces.
Piedmontese viticulture grew out of that same culture and humanity.
It’s up to us to draw on those same values as we face the rising but still stoppable racism and racist violence in our own country.
When we find it, we’ll share the human courage and solidarity of those partisans. And perhaps instead of saying, I’m not a racist, but…, we’ll say I’m not a racist, but instead an anti-racist.
Heartfelt thanks to Filippo for letting me share my thoughts with his readers. And special thanks to Strega Off for allowing me to use their photo.
Image courtesy Strega Off, the organizers of an event that celebrates the prestigious Italian Strega literary prize.
Or as John Lewis reminded us: “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and redeem the soul of America.”