What’s going on?

17 October 2008 at 12:33 am 3 comments

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

Entry filed under: Italy, Music, Politics.

Around the world in one city Ciao Davide!

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nyc/caribbean ragazza  |  17 October 2008 at 9:11 am

    I saw all this on the news. It is upsetting. It’s like the whole world has gone crazy. Have you heard about the racist stuff going on during the McCain and Palin rallies. Why is this happening in 2008!

    Regarding bilingual education, we struggle with this in the States as well esp. in places like L.A. where Spanish is the number one language spoken among kids.

    Maybe there could be a special class that the foreign kids take but I don’t they should be in a separate classes all day. The kids will never learn the language. Who came up with this plan?

    That said I get why parents of native language speaking kids get pissed when the entire class has to slow down because someone doesn’t speak the language.

    What’s been happening at the rallies? Have they really sunk so low?
    In Canada, I went to school with kids from all over world, some of them were new immigrants. They were always a part of our class even if they took ESL lessons and they picked up English quickly. Separating students in this way is not going to help integration, in my opinion.

  • 2. Jessica, Italy Logue  |  18 October 2008 at 3:53 am

    Italy’s always been known as a bastion of ethnocentrism, but yeah – it seems like things are escalating weirdly in recent months (years?). I can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with Berlusconi, but that could just be my anti-Berlu bias coming through…

    I don’t know if Berlusca is directly responsible for what’s happening but he certainly isn’t doing anything to mitigate the situation. Having AN and Lega Nord in his coalition isn’t helping either. This goverment is hell bent on placing the attention on local crime and immigration so that people get distracted from the real problems, like the economic crisis.

  • 3. nyc/caribbean ragazza  |  18 October 2008 at 11:18 am

    re: the rallies, there have been some supporters of McPalin yelling “Kill Him” about Obama and racial slurs at black members of the media.

    It’s ugly. Even the RNC told McCain and Palin to stop with the rhetoric. (Palin said at a rally Obama doesn’t see America the way they do and that is why he pals around with “terrorists”).

    I haven’t posted about it because I was too angry.

    I hope to god these bottom of the barrel tactics won’t work. I just saw some clips from the rallies on the Huffington Post. No wonder most of them don’t believe in evolution. Their collective brain stopped developing after the Mesozoic Era!


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