Antonello Guerrera Profile picture
Jul 30, 2018 28 tweets 15 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Daisy Osakue, a young talented Italian athlete, (👇🏻) was the case today in #Italy. There is a long recent list of allegedly racially-motivated attacks. Was Daisy attacked because she is black? Is #Italy racist? Or is #Italy becoming more racist, given the new government? THREAD
First of all, I must say that I will try to handle this thorny subject as much sensitive and deep as possible, trying to avoid easy and superficial simplifications, despite it is not simple given the Twitter shortness. But I will try to do my best.
1. There is a very common saying in #Italy: “Italiani brava gente”, which means “Italians are good people”. This motto spread easily after the Second World War. It was mainly a way for Italians to subtly distance themselves from the German Nazis, former allies. But is this true?
2. IMHO, I’ve always found this motto pathetic. #Italy never committed such atrocities or genocide like the Nazis but:
- Hitler’s Germany was Italy’s main ally
- Italy contributed to send jews & other minorities to Nazi lagers
- Italy approved racial laws discriminating the Jews
3. I think this is a highly generalizing motto which doesn’t explain reality. However, many Italians were raised with the “Italians are good people” saying. From this point of view, Italians usually consider themselves no racist at all and very welcoming and helpful people
4. Is this true? Many 80s and 90s #Italy movies (especially “comedies”), for instance, are full of racial, xenophobic and homophobic stereotypes. People used to laugh if a black person is called “Africa” or a gay person is called “fag”. And it still sounds funny to many Italians.
5. I am saying this because I think that the racism and the xenophobic instincts rising up nowadays in Italy find a very fertile ground in the culture of the past. It happened that even comedies or funny movies in #Italy used to discriminate any minority.
6. But at that time nobody used to care. Politically correct was just a alien, economy was (just apparently) in good shape and Italians felt themselves really optimistic and financially secure. So such #racism instincts were considered just a “joke”.
7. However, everything has deeply changed since the 2008 financial crisis and the huge waves of migrants arriving at #Italy shores. Day after day more and more Italians sounded angry and much more intolerant. A blessing for xenophobic leaders like the now deputy PM Matteo Salvini
8. Of course many many other Italians are tolerant and very helpful people, helping migrants and people in need every day. However, at the same time, deputy PM and Interior minister Salvini almost every day verbally attacks migrants or minorities like Roma. This can be dangerous.
9. I usually post this video, in which Salvini calls for a “mass cleansing, street by street”. He usually attacks migrants. As a minister he also called for profiling Roma people (“unfortunately we’ll have too keep those with Italian citizenship” he added)
10. Is Salvini’s (almost daily) harsh rethoric fostering the growing racist and xenophobic sentiments among Italians? Of course there is no clear link to it. However, the rising of allegedly racial-motivated attacks are jusy frightening. Here comes a recent list of them.
11. Caserta, June 11th 2018. Two Malian guys immigrated to #Italy are attacked by a few people with air guns from a car and get shot. According to the victims, the aggressors were singing the praises of Interior minister Matteo Salvini.…
12. Naples, June 20th. Konate, a young Malian immigrant, is injured by a few people shooting him in the belly with a pellet gun while retirning home after his work at a restaurant.…
13. Forlì, July 5th. An Ivorian man is injured by air gun shots from a running car.
14. Latina, July 11th. Two African migrants get shot at a bus stop, still from a running car…
15. Rome, July 17th. A Roma child is wounded after being shot with an air gun. Some days later, the shooter is found. He justifies himself saying that “he was just doing some training with the new gun, no intention of shooting anyone”
16. Vicenza, July 26th. An Italian man shoots an African builder while working. He justify himself stating that he was “taking aim at a pigeon”
17. Partinico (Sicily), an African migrant gets beaten up by Italian men yelling “Go back to your country, dirty nigger”…
18. Roseto (Abruzzo), July 30th. An Italian-Senegalese man tries to renew his health card at a local hospital. An employed tells him: “Go away, this is not a veterinary office”
19. And do you remember the racial motivated shootings in #Macerata by fascist Luca Traini in February 2018?…
20. Despite so many (at least) worrying episodes, the two #Italy deputy PMs (and respectively LEAGUE and M5S leaders) Salvini and Di Maio reacted dismissing any “racism emergency” in Italy, also labelling the outcry as tactics to attack the government…
21. Last Saturday night in Aprilia, near Rome, a few Italian guys chased a 43 y.o. Moroccan man. They suspected he was a burglar. It is still unclear what happened later. However the Moroccan man was found dead shortly after. THREAD ENDS.…
Ps. Earlier I have corrected the tweet #9 (👇🏻) because I inaccurately reported the exact words of Salvini. In the video he does not say “ethnic cleansing” but “mass cleansing”, as correctly written in my previous embedded tweet. Thanks for the attention.
Resuming the thread and answering my first questions: are Italians racist? Is #Italy becoming more racist? A simple answer would be generalising. But two things look quite sure:
1) Racially motivated attacks look on the rise
2) Minister Salvini's words on migrants are often harsh
Critics of minister Salvini point out that his harsh and sometimes offensive and xenophobic words on migrants may stir up dangerous emotions in the most intolerant Italians who may feel themeselves more legitimate to attack migrants if their demonization is so "istitutionalised".
Personally, I have been tweeting on the rise of xenophobia in #Italy well before Salvini and M5S forming a government. This is a 2017 @repubblica poll.
Question: "Are migrants a danger to public order & security?"
Answer: 46% replied "Yes, very much"
That's why Salvini and Di Maio's comments ("there is no #racism emergency in #Italy", "critics are politically motivated" etc) may sound at least surreal. The trend of such alleged racially-motivated attacks, whatever the causes are, seems pretty evident and needs to be analysed.

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More from @antoguerrera

May 30, 2018
How #Italy has plunged into the maybe worst political crisis of its recent history and why this man below, one of the most xenophobic & eurosceptic leaders, Matteo Salvini, is the real winner so far and might become the game changer of Italian politics in the future. THREAD 🇮🇹
1. Let's start from the second point. Why a far right leader like Salvini, who distinguished himself in the past for his rash and violent attacks against migrants and Europe, is supposed to gain more votes and getting more and more decisive in the next months? Let's see.
2. First reason of all: the worldwide populist Zeitgeist. Ok, but there are many more specific reasons related to Italy and what happened in the last few months. In a few words, Salvini has won all his political bets, so far. And he is getting more and more influential.
Read 34 tweets
May 14, 2018
Hello all, as this can be a crucial day for the new (populist) #Italy government I am now going to tweet a short thread on it, focusing especially on the (almost ready) M5S-LEGA agenda. At least 70 billions of additional debt are expected. How will Europe react? THREAD 🇮🇹
1. As I have been personally saying since the first election results (see here ) and despite a broad general skepticism on it in #Italy, a LEGA-M5S government was the only possible, given the circumstances after the vote. So, now we are very close to it.
2. Five Stars Movement (M5S) leader Di Maio and LEGA leader Salvini have been negotiating for days on a coalition contract (like in Germany). There have reportedly agreed on many points (we'll see later). But the big hurdle is: who is going to be the new Prime Minister?
Read 34 tweets
Apr 5, 2018
What is going on in #Italy after March 4th elections and the subsequent political deadlock? A quick and concise update on the thrilling party negatiotions/talks that officially started yesterday. Thread coming up shortly. 🇮🇹
1. Here I am (sorry I had to get some food at the 24h supermarket 😊). Well, the deadlock stays but there are some very interesting news that, at least, keep new elections at bay for now. And, beside the M5S-LEGA populist liaison, there is a new potential alliance at sight
2. But let’s go through it. The first thing is that M5S populist and young leader Di Maio has explicitly opened to an alliance either with right-wing LEGA or with centre-left PD (Renzi’s party). “Let’s make a coalition pact like in Germany” Di Maio said.
Read 17 tweets
Mar 30, 2018
Yesterday a big anti-terrorism operation took place in #Italy. Several suspect terrorists allegedly linked to ISIS have been detained or are wanted. They’re connected to Anis Amri, the perpetrator of 2016 Berlin terrorist attack, were allegedly planning to attack Italy 👉🏻THREAD
1. Everything started with the arrest on Wednesday of Elmahdi Halili, 23 years old, a guy born in Italy of Moroccan origin and living near Turin. He had been already arrested a few years ago for terrorist propaganda, he is the writer of the 1st Italian known ISIS manifesto
2. This time something was different though. Halili seemed to have upgraded his terrorist linked activity: in fact he allegedly turned into a jihadist recruiter, according to prosecutors, “raising” a dozen of potential terrorists to prepare a terrorist attack, likely in #Italy
Read 17 tweets
Mar 14, 2018
Hello all. Sorry for the late hour, but I wanted to give you just some quick updates on #Italy’s political deadlock. As I had hinted here in the past, despite many discarded it in the 1st place, a sort of “populist” collaboration between LEGA and M5S is more likely
I tell you why
1. Today LEGA leader Salvini and M5S leader Di Maio had a phone call. It is the 1st actual, concrete contact between the two after #Italyelection2018, after pretending to ignore each other. It was “a frank and kind call”, they said. But what did they discuss on the phone?
2. Well, according to official statements, they primarily discussed the question of the two Parliaments speakers (House of reps + Senate, it is the first stel after elections), stressing the fact that the matter is “unrelated” to the formation of a potential government
Read 23 tweets
Mar 4, 2018
Hello all, I will shortly start a live-tweeting on #ItalyElection2018 night. I will try to keep you posted with all the latest news, exit polls, vote projections until late (tomorrow morning shift, ouch)🇮🇹
Meanwhile, here you can find a guide to the vote
1. Turnout at 7 pm estimated at 57%. Not so much for #Italy standards. Not a good news for Renzi, in theory.
2. The Constitutional referendum turnout at 7 pm had a similar trend. Then (in 2016) the final turnout was 68,48%. If it stays so also today, it would be the lowest turnout in Italy republican history
In fact, it was 75% in 2013, 81% in 2008, 84% in 2006
Read 38 tweets

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