Italy’s first black minister Cecile Kyenge is finally speaking out about the almost daily racial slurs she has faced since becoming integration minister. She is demanding an apology from the leader of the Northern League after members of the party staged a walkout when she arrived for a meeting in the northern town of Cantu near Como.
According to Euronews:
“It was the last straw for the integration minister who joined Enrico Letta’s government in April. Since then she has faced almost daily racial slurs.
“‘I call on the leader of the Northern League after recent events, after the attacks of recent days to say something, to make a strong statement about what happened, especially to guarantee my presence at another meeting which they are holding. In the absence of him responding, I cannot guarantee my presence at that meeting,’ she said.
“Earlier, a Northern League official likened her to a gorilla in a Facebook post. The leader of the party stopped short of an apology.
“‘The league does not make personal attacks, but fights against policy proposals such as her proposal on citizenship for foreigners – a big error,’ said Roberto Maroni leader Northern League.”
Kyenge recently responded via Twitter after bananas were thrown at her while she was making a speech.
Kyenge responded to the gesture on Twitter, calling it “sad” and a waste of food.
“The courage and optimism to change things has to come above all from the bottom up to reach the institutions,” she said, the Guardian reports.
According to Reuters.com:
“Some of Italy’s top politicians on Saturday rallied behind the country’s first black minister, a target of racist slurs since her appointment in April, after a spectator threw bananas at her while she was making a speech.
“Kyenge, who is originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, was appearing at a political rally in Cervia in central Italy on Friday, when someone in the audience threw bananas towards the stage, narrowly missing it.
“Kyenge has faced almost daily racial slurs and threats since joining the government. Earlier this month a senator from the anti-immigration Northern League party likened her to an orangutan and only apologized after a storm of criticism.”