Mafia – Saviano’s Authentic Grit in the NYT

“When I was a teenager here, kids used to shoot dogs in the head.”

Roberto Saviano, writes an opinion editorial in the New York Times of January 24, 2010 opening with power, grit and the reality of why African immigrants are rioting in Italy.  Contrary to public perception, the riots are against the mafia, who control the jobs, wages, housing and security. He writes, “The only ones who have courage to rebel against them (mafia) are the Africans.”  Understanding the nuances on the ground is essential.  Saviano says, “The Rosarno riots were not about attacking the law, but about gaining access to the law.”

Newspapers offer fewer and fewer op-eds because the majority of space is obligated to contract columnists, who opinions are known just by reading their name.  Saviano, author of “Gomorrah: A Personal Journey Into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System”, on the other hand – is shocking, riveting, relevant.  His writing is blunt and true.  Op-ed pages would be revitalized with more authentic writings like Saviano.  A stark reality rarely exposed.

By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, D.C.


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