Bananas Hurled at Italy's First Black Cabinet Minister Cecile Kyenge in Racist Attack
Bananas Hurled at Italy’s First Black Cabinet Minister Cecile Kyenge in Racist Attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The racist attacks against Italy’s first black cabinet minister Cecile Kyenge continues as bananas were hurled at her during a rally Friday. Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge was speaking at a Democratic Party rally when an unidentified spectator hurled bananas at her, missing the stage.

Shocking cases of abuse have multiplied against Kyenge, an Italian citizen born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, climaxing earlier this month with a member of the anti-immigration Northern League party who likened her to an orangutan.

Kyenge, who has refused to rise to the bait or write Italy off as racist, immediately reacted to the banana attack by slamming it as “a waste of food”.

Social networks lit up with reactions, and ministers and politicians took to Twitter to voice their anger and support for Kyenge.  Italy’s environment minister Andrea Orlando expressed “utter indignation for the wretched act”, while the agriculture minister, Nunzia De Girolamo, said “Kyenge has shown that faced with idiotic and violent acts, sometimes the best weapon is irony.”

At a rally for the Left Ecology and Freedom (SEL) party on Saturday, where she was received with warm applause, Kyenge said she was “proud to be Italian.”

“I do not believe the problem lies with me. There are some people who are not happy, who are showing their discontent, and it is my job to listen to that discontent,” she told journalists. “I have to draw out the better side of Italy.” Source: The Local

Before the banana-throwing incident, members of the right wing Forza Nuova group left mannequins covered in fake blood at the site of the rally in Cervia, in protest against Cecile Kyenge’s proposal to grant citizenship to anyone born on Italian soil. Reuters reports, “immigration kills” was written on leaflets accompanying the dummies. That was the slogan used by Forza Nuova in the past when referring to murders committed by immigrants in Italy.