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.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
Google DNI
SUPPORTED BY:
Women in news
World Editors Forum
STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
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