More vile abuse for Italy’s first black minister Cecile Kyenge

Cristiano Za Garibaldi says his comments were ‘in bad taste and offensive’

Italy’s minister for integration Cecile Kyenge. Photograph: AFP

Italy’s minister for integration Cecile Kyenge. Photograph: AFP

 

 

 


An Italian politician has likened the country’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, to a prostitute in the latest of a barrage of racist insults that has shed light on resistance in Italy to racial integration.

Cristiano Za Garibaldi, the right-wing deputy mayor of Diano Marina in Liguria, suggested on his Facebook page that Ms Kyenge frequented an area used by prostitutes, many of whom are black.

He wrote that it was unlikely he would meet Ms Kyenge because “I don’t hang out at night on the Rettilineo di Ceriale,” the name of the road in question.

Ms Kyenge (48), who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and moved to Italy 30 years ago, has grown accustomed to the intolerance of right-wing Italian politicians, notably Roberto Calderoli, a former government minister with the Northern League party, who compared her to an orangutan in July.

Reaction
Since being appointed minister for integration in April, Ms Kyenge has pushed for a law granting Italian citizenship to the children born in Italy to immigrants, and more recently suggested second homes in Italy could be rented out to the homeless.

That provoked Mr Za Garibaldi’s comments, as well as an even stronger reaction from respected northern Italian winemaker, Fulvio Bressan, who allegedly called Ms Kyenge a “dirty black monkey” on his Facebook page last week, prompting a debate in the wine world about boycotting his wines.

In May, Northern League member and European MEP Mario Borghezio predicted Ms Kyenge would force “tribal conditions” on Italy and create a “bongo bongo” government. Africans, he added, had “not produced great genes”.

In June a local councillor for the Northern League called for Ms Kyenge to be raped, so she would understand the seriousness of the attempted rape of two women in Genoa by a Somali.

Bananas were thrown at Ms Kyenge during a public speech in July.

Mr Za Garibaldi has admitted his comments were “in bad taste and offensive”, adding he had made them because he was under stress from having to pay high taxes in Italy.

“This is the umpteenth episode in a constant attack that is not only targeted at me, but anyone in this country dares to think differently,” said Ms Kyenge. – (Copyright: Guardian News & Media 2013)

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.