NEWS With the 80th Anniversary of the Fascist Anti-Jewish Laws, Italian President Mattarella Sends a Warning Against Racism

mattarellaBy Adam Smulevich

Episodes of racism and xenophobia are increasingly affecting Italy. A few weeks before the 80th anniversary of the promulgation of the Racist Laws through which Fascism segregated Italian Jews from society, the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella chose to mark the anniversary by sending a message to the entire nation.

“The poison of racism is still penetrating our society,” stressed Mattarella. He then added, “The Racial Laws were tested with measures implemented in the African colonies. They led to the ferocious persecution of the Jews and were a preamble for the Holocaust, despite their deep roots in a thousand-year-old Italian civilization. In the same way persecution was unleashed against Roma and Sinti, those monstrous discriminations led to the extermination of the ‘porrajmos’ Gypsies.”

Among the episodes that most affected public opinion was the recent wounding of a one-year-old Roma girl in Rome. According to Mattarella, “Italy cannot become the ‘Far West’ where a man buys a shotgun and shoots from the balcony injuring a one-year-old girl, ruining her health and her future”.

On a much different note were the remarks of the Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, “The alarm about racism is an invention of the Left, Italians are good people, but their patience is almost over.”