The death of Abba in Milan, the aggression of the Ghanaian student in Parma, or that of the young Chinese in Rome were not enough, to put an end to the violence against migrants that spread in different Italian cities, a direct consequence of the culture of fear towards the foreigner . This is confirmed by the latest assault against an Albanian boy from 19 years in Genoa, last Wednesday.
The young man had denounced the attacker in the days before for "racist threats" in the local carabinieri station, but the complaint was not enough to guarantee his safety and protect his rights. The aggressor beat him savagely to the point of sending him into a coma at the cry of "dirty Albanian".
The episodes of racism that occurred in the last month have been labeled in different ways, downgrading them into isolated facts that do not reflect the position of the majority of the Italian society. The most serious question related to these episodes is the deafness of the institutions, which seems almost an indirect justification for very serious acts that fall into oblivion after a few days.
Italian society is changing but now it is time to become aware of this change and no longer use indifference as a weapon of fear. It is no longer enough to say "I am not a racist, but ... but ...". All together we must start to talk and listen to each other for a better common future, without turning our heads away. To live in a more cohesive society and to give a strong message to the most frightened, it is necessary to make a shared journey.
How will we justify to our children an Italy imbued with racism, if we do not contribute to improving it ?!
"We wanted arms and men arrived," said Max Frisch. Just read Gian Antonio Stella's bestseller, "When the Albanians were us", to better understand the world of this sentence. In a society overwhelmed by rapid change and disorientation, we need more than ever to listen and understand each other.
To decide who we want to be, we need to remember who we were, writes Stella, recovering a historical memory that seems to have been lost: When the 'Albanians' we were, we emigrated illegally to hundreds of thousands, lynching us like job thieves, accusing us of being all mafia and criminals;
When the 'Albanians' were us, they sold our children to wanderers, ran the white traffic, sowed anarchist terror by killing heads of state and poor passersby and we were so dirty that the third-class waiting room was forbidden to us;
When the 'Albanians' were us, centuries of hunger, ignorance and infamous stereotypes weighed on us; When the 'Albanians' were us it was only yesterday!
Gian Antonio Stella does nothing but reveal the other side of the great Italian emigration with the tragedies and discrimination suffered by entire generations. Quell'Italia removed to remember only the "uncles of America" enriched and winning.
An indispensable testimony in order not to forget how the arrival of the Italian emigrants with their bundles, their women and their children, was welcomed by the racists of the time with the same scream that is spreading in different cities, today, at a distance more of 100 years.
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