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Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Attilio Fontana. Wikicommons
this story is part of the 22-26 Jan 2018 Weekly Hindsight Read the hindsight

Italian politician wants to protect the white race

Ingrid Colanicchia recommended by Ingrid Colanicchia MicroMega, Italy

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.

Italy Aha moments

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".

ALSO IN THE WEEKLY HINDSIGHT 22-26 Jan 2018
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