Racism in Italy

Television news in Italy is incredibly powerful; it condemns and creates public opinion without giving the full story or even considering the merits of a fair trial. The murder of Giovanna Reggiani is a perfect example: an Italian woman is brutally murder and a Roma man is taken in as a prime suspect. News reports point the finger at the Roma people in general and there are widespread calls to stop the flow of migrants from Romania (a full member of the EU) and expel any foreigners (EU and non) that are considered a possible threat to public security. That is potentially some dangerous legislation.

Xenophobia, ignorance and violence towards foreigners (any person deemed to be the ‘Other’ for that matter) are widespread in Italy. It is shocking to see and hear these attitudes in a country that was once the center of culture and learning in the Western world. Although the violence of Giovanna Reggiani’s death was shocking, the mainstream Italian reaction to this traumatic event has revealed the tip of the iceberg when it comes to racism in Italy. This is not to say that there are not more than a few enlightened Italians, but I would argue that this minority is not doing nearly enough to combat the general ignorance that is proliferated by the media.

For more see Everyone: Group for international cooperation on human rights culture