It is irrefutable that Paolo Di Canio is a self-proclaimed fascist.
That’s not me saying it, he boasted about it.
So it’s all the more surprising that senior management in Sunderland football club can’t find the links to Di Canio’s own words and verify them for themselves.
However, as a public service, I will help those incapable or unwilling to see the bleeding obvious.
Carl Packman tackles the issue of Italian fascism and racism straight on, Can you be a fascist, Paolo Di Canio, without being a racist?
Bonnie Greer is succinct, Stupidity and Anti-Semitism, Thy Name Is Legion.
Even the right-wing Torygraph, for once, can spot this fascist:
“Di Canio, though a wonderfully gifted former footballer, is a fascist. That’s not a slur or a smear, but a statement of fact. “I’m a fascist, not a racist,” is how the new Duce of the North East describes himself.
He has a tattoo with DVX on his shoulder, the symbol of the former Italian dictator. In his autobiography he wrote “I think he [Mussolini] was a deeply misunderstood individual. He deceived people. His actions were often vile. But all this was motivated by a higher purpose. He was basically a very principled individual.”
And in 2005 he was banned for giving a straight-arm fascist salute to Lazio fans after scoring in his side’s 3-1 win over bitter rivals Roma.
Alessandra Mussolini, the former dictator’s granddaughter, praised Di Canio, saying “How nice that Roman salute was. It delighted me so much … I shall write him a thank-you note.”
Paolo di Canio is obviously a complex character. From what I’ve read about him, his attraction to fascism is as much historical as it is political.
In an in-depth article for the Independent in 2011, an associate of Di Canio’s is quoted as saying “Paolo is not, and has never been, a bad person, or an ideological fascist. Certain things he has said and done – like the salute with the Lazio fans – have to do with his psychological history, particularly his former compulsive tendencies and pronounced mood swings.”
All of which may be true. But he’s a fascist all the same.”[My emphasis.]