Was Al Capone Racist?

It’s hard to say whether Al Capone was racist. Lack of evidence would suggest no. But also, the time he lived in, and some of his actions, would suggest yes. As I said, it’s hard to say. The man was a criminal, and a very ruthless one at that. The amount of harm he caused to others was very significant and saying that it’s “part of the business” doesn’t make it any better. And in these attacks, he didn’t discriminate by race who he would attack, but those that he attacked the hardest were simply those that stood against him. He did, however, hire and employ black people in some of his businesses and even in his home. But that doesn’t exactly turn the needle to “no.”

He Acted Bigoted as a Defense Mechanism

Being the child of Italian immigrants, Capone had a slightly darker skin tone and Italians faced hard discrimination at that time since they weren’t considered “white”. This got him habitual taunts by white children who would say he looked like a black person (they likely used another term that we won’t be writing here). This resulted in Capone acting bigoted against black people so that he wouldn’t be considered black. The argument that that he didn’t really feel that way, he just acted that way so he wouldn’t get made fun of is rather weak. Point goes to “yes.”

He Employed Black People

Al Capone was a criminal, yes, but he was also a businessman, being the owner of many businesses like a club, a casino, a brothel, the list goes on. At some of his establishments, he hired black musicians to play jazz, serve the customers, and there were black sex workers in some of his brothels. That may give him points to the “no” side, but this was something that just made business sense. Remember, he was a businessman. Black music was liked by his customers, and black labor was cheaper. So, the point might swing to “yes” again. But he did employ a black woman who was the cook in his home that later said that he was kind to her and paid her well. His black butler was also a loyal friend and said he was respectful to him. Point inches back to “no.”

It’s Just the Times

Racism in Al Capone’s time was just a lot more unchecked than it is today. Don’t assume that Al Capone wouldn’t be canceled by a Twitter mob if he were alive today. Many people, if not most people, were racist at the time. To top it off, mobsters, including the Italian mobsters, were notoriously racist. Think of it this way: if Al Capone had had a daughter, would he have allowed her to marry a black man? Probably not. Al Capone did have a son, however, Al “Sonny” Capone Jr. and, guess what, he didn’t marry a black woman either. Point goes to “yes.” And the conclusion remains at “maybe.”

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy
Weird Known Fact ® 2024 All Rights Reserved.