Italy Chronicles’ 15,400 Twitter followers are a wonderful source of articles on Italy. While some are average, others are outstanding, such as Wright Thompson’s article for ESPN on racism in Italian football, except the article goes a lot further than looking at racism on the playing field, it takes a long hard look at racism in Italy in general.
After talking to a good few people, including a few Italian racists, Wright Thompson is unsure whether racism in Italy indicates the nation is moving backwards to the time of Mussolini, or whether the racism may be a form of growing pain.
Here’s an excerpt:
Italy is in crisis. I think that’s safe to say. Something new is arising out of something old. I don’t know whether it’s a first breath or a last gasp. James Walston, the professor, thinks all the racial abuse is a sign that Italy has changed, and this is a defiant last stand before a multi-cultural society emerges. Maybe he’s right. I don’t know. Wright Thompson.
If Italy, or racism, interests you, When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly is well worth a few minutes of your time. It’s superb journalism too. Pulitzer Prize material? I don’t know, but it must come pretty close. I hope someone translates it into Italian.
Today, sadly, the news in Italy and elsewhere, is carrying reports of bananas being thrown at Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, in one of a string of racist attacks and slurs aimed at the minister. The situation seems to be worsening, alas.