Even as Europe’s insolvent peripheral states accelerate their implosion into Keynesian singularities due to their stubborn refusal to do “the right thing” and quit the artificial currency union in order to preserve Deutsche Bank’s $72.8 trillion derivative house of cards from collapsing on itself, they have become experts at scapegoating their problems on the most ridiculous of objects, be it the weather (although the US is even better in that regard) , (f)austerity (but not the unsustainable build up in credit that was the problem to begin with), or just resorting to that most generic of angry nation fall backs: racism, and blaming those who are “different.” Sadly, it is another instance of racism that makes the Italian headlines over the weekend, which like two weeks ago, involves the country’s first black minister of Congolese origin, Cecile Kyenge, who then was compared to an orangutan by a member of the Northern League Party and then was greeted on a city tour with nooses on lampposts.
This time, Kyenge was speaking at a Democratic Party rally on Friday when an unidentified spectator threw bananas at her, missing the stage but sparking reactions of disgust from across the country. Because it is somehow her fault that Italy, whose debt/GDP is over 130% and surging, was betrayed by Goldman emissary not once, not twice, not three times, but at least four documented times. And it is somehow her fault that this man is now in charge of Europe’s printing presses and nobody seems to mind.
At least Kyenge had a humorous reaction to this latest racial incident even as outrage spread across Italy:
Kyenge, who has refused to rise to the bait or write Italy off as racist, immediately reacted to the banana attack by slamming it as “a waste of food.”
Social networks lit up with reactions, and ministers and political bigs took to Twitter to voice their anger and support for Kyenge.
Italy’s environment minister Andrea Orlando expressed “utter indignation for the wretched act”, while the agriculture minister, Nunzia De Girolamo, said “Kyenge has shown that faced with idiotic and violent acts, sometimes the best weapon is irony.”
At a rally for the Left Ecology and Freedom (SEL) party on Saturday, where she was received with warm applause, Kyenge said she was “proud to be Italian.”
“I do not believe the problem lies with me. There are some people who are not happy, who are showing their discontent, and it is my job to listen to that discontent,” she told journalists. “I have to draw out the better side of Italy.”
Supporters called for Kyenge to stand firm and continue the fight to eradicate racism.
Tensions were running high even before the banana incident, after members of the country’s right-wing Forza Nuova association left life-size dolls doused in fake blood at the rally.
The group was protesting over Kyenge’s campaign to help children born in Italy to foreign parents obtain citizenship more easily. Forza Nuova denied it had anything to do with the fruit incident.
Italy, which for decades was a land of emigration, has relatively little experience in dealing with immigration.
Luckily, for now the minister, and the country, have the option to laugh at these increasingly more frequent racially-motivated incidents. But what happens when a local version of the Greek Golden Dawn appears on the stage, and a takes more radical, and violent, approach to foreigners, as well as toward politics? What happens when one, or two, or more people are injured or worse in hate crimes by a population that is increasingly desperate for any glimmer of hope, and instead only finds an all time high stock market (benefiting Margio Drahi’s interests if nobody else’s) and so resorts to the only natural outlet that Europe has known best for centuries – attacking those who are “different.”
Hopefully we won’t find out for a long time. Sadly, it seems the time for racial, and other, distractions from the middle-classed plunder is drawing closer by the day.