Getting Thanksgiving Right – Redux
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2008
In The Good Shepherd, Robert DeNiro’s film about how the CIA was founded through old, mostly WASP networks at Yale, Matt Damon (playing a CIA operative) visits Joe Pesci (playing a Mafia figure) in a Miami café. They work out an agreement that the mob will help the U.S. government take out Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro. Then Pesci – curious about the stiff WASP sitting in front of him – leans across the table:
“Lemme ask you a question. Italians, we got the Church, we got family. The Irish, they have their homeland. The Jews, they have their tradition. Even the n*****s got their music. What do you people have?”
(Damon): “The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.”
Things are no longer thus for ethnic Americans, partly because there are so many of them in the CIA, FBI, and the government generally that, it would be difficult for America to function without them. But there is still a warning here. For a large swath of us now, some formerly on the margins, America has become our religion.