22-26 Jan 2018

Italian politician wants to protect the white race

On January 15 an Italian politician, a candidate for regional elections in Lombardy, stated that "the white race is at risk". He has been criticized, but the controversy could ultimately help his election campaign.

Ingrid Colanicchia
Ingrid Colanicchia MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
Italian politician wants to protect the white race - NewsMavens
Attilio Fontana. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

Yes, Attilio Fontana's provocative statements have stirred up a controversy. But this does not mean that racist speech is universally condemned in Italy. 

Highly disturbing statements have been made -- and tolerated -- in the political sphere lately, especially when the migration issue is concerned. This is a step towards the normalization of racist discourse -- a threat that closely concerns many European countries, and of which every citizen should be wary.

race, politics

Details from the story:

  • On January 15 Attilio Fontana, the center-right candidate for regional elections in Lombardy, declared that "the white race is at risk".
  • It is not the first time that an Italian politician openly expresses openly racist opinions
  • The worst offenders belong to Matteo Salvini's party, La Lega. In 2013, Roberto Calderoli -- then vice-president of the Senate, insulted Cécile Kyenge -- then Minister for integration -- comparing her to an orangutan.
  • The structure of the discourse and the lexicon used by members of La Lega owe a lot to the repertoire of National Socialism: from zoological metaphors used to de-humanize foreigners to the myth of "blood and soil".
Only relevant news in your inbox.

Our top picks in your inbox -- the best stories from Europe's front pages, selected by top women editors.

Google DNI
Women in news
World Editors Forum
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA
Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
Core team_
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna or Lea will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy