What I do, I do alone. That’s the Sicilian way. That’s Omerta. Omerta isn’t a mafia oath of silence like so many people believe. It has nothing to do with Cosa Nostra. It’s something else, related but different. To understand Omerta, you must understand Sicily. You must understand that Sicily has suffered through invasions and occupations for 2,000 years. That teaches a hard lesson—that the state is the enemy. For a Sicilian to look to the state for justice is to be a fool, to be called infame… A renegade rat.
You want justice served? You want vengeance taken? You want honor restored? Then you do it yourself. That’s Omerta. When blood cries for blood, you answer the call. And you answer it alone.
I was at boarding school in Switzerland before I figured it all out. Lots of rich girls, European bluebloods. I was 15 when they explained it to me. They called me “Sicilian” and made it sound like a curse. They used words like dirty and oily. They called me “Mafia Princess”… Until then, when people said Mafia, or Cosa Nostra, or the mob… They were talking about me. They were talking about my family.
Right…so I see a few people confused and questioning why some people are a bit upset that an Anglo looking actress was cast as the Sicilian, Helena Bertinelli on Arrow tonight…
Just to be clear….for those who don’t actually know? Live and learn.
Racial tension is actually a huge cultural problem in Italy. There is history of discrimination between the Northern part of the country and the Southern part of the country, in part, due to the racism that the Northern people had against people from Africa.
To this day, Southern Italians, and particularly Sicilians, face a stigma from the Northern part of the country for not being “white” enough. This is an actual thing. That happens. Sicilians, in particular, were seen as being lower class because many of them, at one point, shared blood with people of color. Specifically, with African people. It’s also not a coincidence that the majority of the poverty in the country occurred in the South.
The Mob actually developed, in part, out of these kinds of dynamics and was influenced, in part, by this poverty that was taking place due to discrimination. Cultural appearance played a part of this and caused a great deal of tension.
So yes…the physical appearance of the actress playing Helena mattered. And no…the CW network and more specifically the producers of Arrow didn’t pass the test. They failed.
This is an actual thing. Skin color actually contributes a great deal to discrimination in this culture. The darker and less “white” looking people were considered too “African” and were considered “dirty.” The contempt that the Northern part of the country had for Black people and any influence they might have over the people was a cultural touchstone.
Want to see what I mean? Ask an older generation Sicilian person where their olive skin comes from. Just watch how quickly that older person will bend over backwards to try and tell you that they don’t share blood with people of color. The paranoia of being associated with being Black in this culture is an actual thing to the point that many older generation Italian-Americans will now get extremely angry if you suggest that their lineage might connect them to Africans. The racism that exists in this culture due to the paranoia of being associated with people of color runs deep. DEEP. So yeah…casting an Anglo actress in this role is a thing. Live and learn, people.
Interesting, I did not know that.
Day 05: Favorite Arch: No Man’s Land
I’m not really sure if this is my favorite or if I’ve just read it the most. Also sorry this one isn’t as nice as the others. I just realized I missed a day <3
r.i.p belly window …………………….i kid………….., commissions for pick up at the shows tagged are now open. Cya guys at Arizona this weekend. ill shall be wandering and doing commissions as well. Please email me for a meet up.
thanks ken for the picture.