International Racism: Bananas Thrown At Italy’s First Black Minster

July 31, 2013  |  

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Just the other day I was visiting Clutch reading about racism in Egypt. Apparently, black Egyptians whether immigrants or Nubians (the native people of Egypt) feel they are often face discrimination. I found that particularly disheartening because  not only had I just visited Egypt and been assured, by Arab Egyptians, that such a thing didn’t exist there; it also seemed that if there were one place in the world where racism wouldn’t be an issue, it would be in Egypt. After all, there is undeniable proof that the ancient Egyptians who were able to accomplish astounding feats, even by today’s standards, were black. But alas, they still endure racism. It makes you wonder, as one Clutch commenter mentioned, is there any place in the world where black people aren’t demonized? (I’ll let you think on that one.)

So, I guess it’s no surprise that Italy’s first black minister, Integration minister Cecile Kyenge, would also experience racism.

As we’ve reported before, Kyenge has been a  target of racism since her appointment in April. But it all came to a head when Kyenge, a woman born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was giving a speech on a campaign to make it easier for immigrants to gain Italian citizenship.

This campaign has angered several members of a right-winged group called Forza Nuova. At the site of the rally the group left mannequins covered in fake blood. They were protesting Kyenge’s efforts to make anyone born on Italian soil a citizen.

Pamphlets that contained the phrase “Immigration Kills” also accompanied the dummies.

While Kyenge was speaking the group threw bananas that missed the stage.

Kyenge responded to the racially motivated incident on Twitter, calling it sad and a waste of food. She also said, “The courage and optimism to change things has to come above all from the bottom up to reach the institutions.”

Several of Kyenge’s colleagues stepped forward to publicly condemn the actions as well.

The Veneto region governor, Luca Zaia had this to say:

“Throwing bananas, personal insults … acts like these play no part in the civilized and democratic discussion needed between the minister and those who don’t share her opinion,”

Make no mistake, though acts of racism are nothing new for blacks living all over the world, we still have a right and a duty even to be outraged by these heinous incidents.

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