As Americans, sometimes we tend to believe we have a monopoly on racism and racist behavior, but the truth of the matter is racism is rampant all over the world (anybody remember Apartheid in South Africa). One of the lastest hotbeds of blatant racism is Italy.
Cecile Kyenge is Italy's first minister of African descent. The amount of disrespect she's had to endure by the racists of her country is something that a lot of African Americans of a certain age can totally relate to. The Daily Beast took a closer look at some of things that Kyenge has experienced since she took office.
Here's a snippet of what was written:
Italy is apparently not quite ready for a mixed race society. At least that would appear to be the case after a horrifying display of blatant racism last weekend in the central Italian city of Cervia. Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, was addressing a crowd of supporters to lay out details of her new integration program, which includes wider rights for immigrants and giving birthright status to babies born on Italian soil. Kyenge, who immigrated to Italy from the Democratic Republic of Congo to study medicine when she was 18 years old, just finished her speech to raucous applause when someone launched several bananas at her from the crowd. Kyenge stoically pretended not to notice the flying fruit, which fell just short of the stage, but the obvious shock of everyone else on stage was apparent. She later tweeted: “With so many people dying of hunger, wasting food like this is so sad.”
The banana assault is just the latest attack against Kyenge, who was appointed as minister of integration under Italy’s new center-left prime minister Enrico Letta in April. Since her appointment, she has been the victim of a horrendous and highly embarrassing hate campaign that has included cyber-bullying and verbal harassment – often launched by Italy’s extreme right politicians who have called her “Zulu” and “Congolese monkey.” Doctored photos of her head superimposed on the bodies of bare breasted indigenous African women have become commonplace on the internet, as are frequent references to Letta’s government as a “bongo-bongo” government thanks to her inclusion, playing on Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” sex scandals.
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