We are living in a terrible political climate, and now, after the mad terrorist act committed by an Italian citizen of Senegalese origin, it will be even harder to stop the black wave of racism fueled by the Lega.
“A Senegalese Herod,” “Do-gooder terrorism,” “Vendetta for migrants”—such were the headlines in the right-wing newspapers after the foiled plot to hijack a bus full of children, showing their willingness to use language aimed at lighting the fuse of racial hatred. While a bus full of children set of fire is an outrage, at the same time, it’s easy to find buses where passengers with darker skin are at risk every day, everywhere in our beautiful country.
Of course, Interior Minister Salvini is now riding high on the extraordinary level of support he seems to enjoy; as we have seen, he is unwilling to face trial for his crimes, boasts of having committed them and gets away with it. He is the sorcerer’s apprentice who is all the rage on TV talk shows, where they’re treating him like a star—after all, he is the goose who lays the golden eggs, even if they smell a bit rotten.
Now, he wants to take away the citizenship of the would-be terrorist, Ousseynou Sy, and grant citizenship to Ramy Shehata, the 13-year-old from an Egyptian immigrant family who hid his cell phone and managed to call for help. He is a teenager who was born in Italy but doesn’t have citizenship, whose parents have been living in our country since 2001. The Di Maio-Salvini duet seized the propaganda opportunity to grant it to him, in a show of extraordinary hypocrisy.
It’s easy to see past the smokescreen, as the Italian ship Mare Jonio, with its rescue of the shipwrecked migrants and subsequent sequester, shows everyone how things really stand: there are only two choices available to migrants, drowning or ending up in the Libyan detention camps. Even in the Democratic Party, good people are finally waking up and speaking out for human rights, disavowing the Libya policies of former minister Minniti.
To counter the black wave in the streets, there is a strong current of public opinion, responding through the anti-racist demonstrations in Milan and the 50,000 who marched in Padua on Thursday with Father Ciotti against the Mafia and the persecution of immigrants.
It’s not easy to fight outright racism, both in Italy and in Europe, because it is the worst and most powerful card that fascist-like politicians have at their disposal. As everyone can see, gasoline and a lit match are a deadly combination, no matter who’s wielding them or what justifications they claim.
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