Archive for 17 October 2008

What’s going on?

Ciao Bloggisti

Let me talk about something serious for once. I know most of you read these blogs because you’re fascinated by Italy. And I get it. I really do. It’s one of the reasons I moved here. The picturesque towns, the history, culture, the food. But over the last two months, a lot of things have been happening in the Bel Paese that have really started to get me worried:

September 2008

– 19 year old Abdul William Guibre, born in Burkina Faso but raised in Italy, was beaten to death by the owners of a Milan bar because he was suspected of stealing a package of cookies. The attackers shouted insults like, “We going to kill you you dirty n******!”

– a Chinese man was beaten up during an unprovoked attack in Rome

– AC Milan’s goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati announced he was a Fascist

– upon leaving school for the afternoon a 22 year old Ghanian student was mistaken for a drug dealer and was savagely beaten up and insulted with racial epithets by civic police in Parma

– six African immigrants were shot and killed in Castel Volturno. The attack was apparently ordered by the Neapolitan mafia.

October 2008

– during a World Cup qualifying match in Bulgaria, Italian fans set a Bulgarian flag on fire during the national anthem and made fascist salutes

– Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano met with Pope Benedict XVI and called for the Church and State to work together to combat racism

– the lower house of parliament approved a plan to create separate classes for immigrant children. Foreign students would have to take a special exam before being allowed to attend classes with Italian pupils

– Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah, the best-selling exposé of the Neapolitan mafia, vowed to leave Italy after an assassination plot was recently uncovered

Pretty disturbing stuff. I didn’t want to get you down before the weekend but I believe it’s important to share this information. I know it’s a particular, complicated moment for the world in general but these things cannot and should not be happening here in the 21st century. Despite all this, I still haven’t lost hope in the Italian people.

Let me leave you with the words and music of two great men, Mahatma Gandhi and Marvin Gaye

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” Mahatma Gandhi

17 October 2008 at 12:33 am 3 comments


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