Saturday, November 8, 2008

Italy Blushes about Berlusconi's "Suntan" Remark

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi put his foot in his mouth on Thursday when he commented to Russia's President Medvedev that Barack Obama was "young, handsome, and suntanned." Italian newspapers and liberals are in an uproar, but Berlusconi says they lack a sense of humor. Berlusconi is not exactly known for his tact. Among many social and political gaffes, in the past he has compared a German European Parliament member to a Nazi concentration camp guard. Some say that this latest comment is just one manifestation of the underlying racism in modern-day Italy. Let's hope that the recent Catholic-Muslim summit at the Vatican and the election of Obama in the U.S. will help to eliminate that prejudice.