Bananas Thrown At Italy’s First Black Minister


Cecile Kyenge, the Congolese born, Italian citizen and Immigration minister, was on stage when bananas were thrown at her.  They missed their intended target landing between the first and second row according to what Kyenge spokesman, Cosimo Torlo told CNN.  The man who threw the bananas ran off and has yet to be identified.  Torlo said security would be increased around Kyenge but downplayed the incident.  Since her appointment in April, she has had to endure a number of racist taunts and threats.  A couple of weeks ago Italian senator Roberto Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigration, Northern League Party said, “I love animals, bears and wolves as everyone knows but when I see pictures of Kyenge, I cannot but think of, even if I’m not saying she is one, the features of an orangutan.”  He later apologized. Kyenge has also been called a “Congolese monkey” and the “black anti-Italian”  Fortunately, there are decent people within the Italian government who have been incensed by this racist behavior. According to BBC News, Environment Minister Andrea Orlando said on Twitter that he felt, the “utmost indignation” over the incident. Gianni Alemanno, the former mayor of Rome said “another shameful and disgraceful gesture.  Now let’s just isolate the idiots.”  I address this story to show all Americans what we don’t want to emulate in our need to address immigration reform.  What has happened to Kyenge is completely unacceptable and all Italians should be up in arms.  However, once again, the Europeans have shown their true colors.  Underlying all of the warmth and open-mindedness, is what made Europe the killing field it once was.  We as Americans should be showing how much better we are than that.  We are a country of immigrants; every single one of us.  Other than Native Americans and African-Americans, we all arrived by choice.  Therefore, no one in this country should be anti-immigrant.  They are here for the very same reason we are here, to seek out a better life.  We are still the last, best hope for the world.  We are Americans and need to be proud of that but we also to accept and embrace those who want to share in our Democracy.  And anytime anyone needs to see what we don’t want to be, just look at the example of Cecile Kyenge.

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