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Cécile Kyenge: Italy’s First Black Minister Compared to an Orangutan


Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, has said the country is not particularly racist despite receiving a barrage of racist and sexist insults since becoming one of seven women in the new government.

Despite her denial of the obvious, the racial insults continue to pile on.  Now an Italian senator, Roberto Calderoli, has compared minister Kyenge to an orangutan.

According to the BBC:

“Roberto Calderoli, from the anti-immigration Northern League, told a rally that the success of Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge encouraged ‘illegal immigrants’ to come to Italy.

“Ms. Kyenge is an Italian citizen born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the latest in a series of rows over racism in Italy.

‘”I love animals – bears and wolves, as everyone knows – but when I see the pictures of Kyenge I cannot but think of, even if I’m not saying she is one, the features of an orangutan,’ Calderoli said in a speech to a rally in the northern city of Treviso on Saturday.

“He also said Ms. Kyenge should be a minister ‘in her own country.’

“Calderoli who is also a senate vice-president of the Northern League political party is not the only member of his party to make very personal and vitriolic statements about Kyenge.

According to the Guardian:

“Mario Borghezio, a member of the European parliament for the league, said in April that Kyenge wanted to “impose her tribal traditions from the Congo” and branded Letta’s coalition a “bongo bongo” government. “She seems like a great housekeeper but not a government minister.”

In June a local councillor for the League was ejected from the party after she posted a message on Facebook suggesting Kyenge should be raped. Referring to an alleged attempted rape in Genoa, Dolores Valandro wrote: “Why does no one rape her, so she can understand what the victim of this atrocious crime felt?”

What people are saying

4 thoughts on “Cécile Kyenge: Italy’s First Black Minister Compared to an Orangutan

  1. Mobetta Jenkem says:

    This is positively outrageous!

    Orangutans demand an apology NOW!

  2. Sista Nyarai says:

    Well done sis Cecile for brushing off this ignorance. It says much about his fear of you , a black woman. That is his problem. you have work to do and you getting on with it. These white males are nobodies who want to raise their profile on your back. You just shook him off. we don't want his apology. we wanyt NOTHING from such an ignoramus! Peace xx

  3. We need to stop taking the "high road" every time harsh actions are imposed upon us. We need to let the world know she has a country behind her and that she does not fight alone.

  4. Farntella Graham says:

    we not suppose to be no minister in their countries. by placing a Black person in that position, it makes it easier for them to be in africa. italy has nothing to offer us but we have everything to offer them. "italian gold?" italy has no gold. the commonwealth? it is no longer about sharing the wealth of africa with the colonizers. the sun has set over the british empire. if they call her a monkey, I almost don;t blame them. she has no business ruling in italy just as they have no business rulling or trying to rule africans. think about it.

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