Italian American New Yorkers weighed in Tuesday on Chris Cuomo’s claim that “Fredo” is an ethnic slur — and while they said it’s insulting, the agreement was that anyone who likens it to the N-word is stunad.
“If anything, when we call somebody ‘Fredo’ it’s like [to say they’re] stupid,” said a worker at Bensonhurst bakery Villabate Alba, who gave her name as Angela. “If somebody were to call me ‘Fredo,’ I would be like, ‘OK, you too.’ … Not like the N-word. That’s another level.”
A worker at S.A.S. Italian Records on 18th Avenue said that any insult meant by the “Godfather” reference was tied to Fredo being a turncoat.
“Fredo means a backstabber, a person who went against his own kind. He went against his brother,” said Sergio Conte, 54. “If I was black and somebody called me the N-word, I would flip out. I’d be in anger.”
Cuomo, the host of a prime-time CNN news show and kid brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, flipped out Sunday when an agitator called him “Fredo,” in a reference to slow-on-the-uptake “Godfather” character Fredo Corleone.
“I’ll f–king throw you down these stairs like a f–king punk,” railed Cuomo, 49, in the caught-on-video meltdown. “I’ll f–king wreck your s–t.”
Sergio’s nephew argued that the angrier Cuomo got over one perceived ethnic stereotype, the more he fell into another.
“Most Italians think they have to have this tough-guy attitude,” said Matthew Conte, 22. “But when you’re like Chris Cuomo, who’s in the public eye, you have to be more careful about things like that.
“You can’t constantly be playing this tough guy role,” he said. “Not everybody is Tony Soprano.”
Even those who investigated — and participated in — organized crime panned Cuomo for taking the bait.
“It took a page right out of Fredo’s book,” said one retired police source who investigated the mob for years. “If he was more like Michael [Corleone] he would’ve dealt with it quietly later, and there would’ve been no fingerprints.”
One mob associate told The Post, “That sounds like the rant of a 20-year-old hothead, not somebody who’s a professional and has his own family … It almost sounds like this guy hit a raw nerve.”
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