Despite multiple racist attacks — including a banana-throwing incident at a recent political rally — Italy’s first black is defending her adopted homeland, insisting the country is not racist.
“Italy is not racist, it is not xenophobic,” Integration Minister Cécile Kyenge said during a recent conference. “There are episodes of racism, but this doesn’t allow you to label an entire country.”
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kyenge joined the Italian Cabinet on April 27th and “has been greeted in her official duties with strong anti-immigrant and even racist pushback, including epithets and slurs,” reports Arab News.
An eye doctor who is now an Italian citizen, she was likened to an orangutan by a senior party member of the far right Northern League and had bananas thrown at her at a recent political rally. Far-right militants even hung nooses in a town where she was due to speak earlier this month.
Kyenge said “that acts of racism directed at her and other immigrants stem from ‘a lack of memory’ in young Italians, who have forgotten that Italy is a ‘nation of immigration and of emigration.'”
We admire her strength and courage!
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