Racism in Italy and Soccer

11 Dec

Just today I saw this article in which Manchester United player Louis Saha says he expects racist taunts from Rome soccer fans when Manchester plays Roma tomorrow. In the article he is quoted as saying, “We are traveling to Italy and in those kind of places it seems like they are used to it.” And also, “They don’t fight it like we have done in England,” he stated.

I’ve never talked about this on my blog because it’s a touchy subject but I have to say that I agree with Saha on both points: 1) Yes, I’d agree that here they are used to it (ie, it’s considered normal) and 2) No, I don’t think they fight it like they do in England (or the States for that matter, although racial taunts aren’t really a part of sporting events there in my experience).

I was shocked the first time I heard a chant that I think some Lazio fans (Rome rivals) sing, in which they name four black Rome players, making a rhyme out of the name that rhymes with “This here team, looks like Africa…”

When I first heard it, I said, isn’t that kind of racist? And every Italian I spoke to was totally surprised I would think that was racist. “How?” they asked. “It’s true.”

There’s another chant that goes something like, “You came over on a raft, you came over on a raft…” and only goes for foreigners, not Italian players. Boh.

The logic here regarding racist statements and PC statements is kind of bizarre. I’m almost always met with this kind of response: “We’re not being racist, we don’t mean any harm by it, it’s just the truth. Racism is when people have some kind of malice or hate behind it. If I make fun of a Chinese accent or call a Chinese person ‘almond eyes’ it’s because it’s true. Anyways, we Italians are ‘racist’ even among ourselves, we criticize Neapolitans, Calabrians, you name it, we don’t make distinctions. All in good fun. We’re not so uptight like you Americans.”

You see some of this in TV commercials as well. Recently there was a spot for Lavazza Qualità Oro where they have a famous Italian actor dressed up in “Chinese” garb with an exaggerated Chinese accent, promoting “Qualità Olo” (because the Chinese accent in Italian changes the R to L). When the Chinese man serves the coffee, another actor says to him, “Listen, straight from China in a van, you drink that crap!” then they go on to enlighten him about the authentic Italian coffee. Is this offensive or humorous? (Click through feed reader post to see video).

Jessica in Rome brought up a similar topic and commercial on her blog a while back, and sparked a good discussion.

In terms of the justifications some Italians give, I’ve heard all of the above when asking about the topic of racism here in Italy. I suppose it depends how you define racism. And maybe we are overly sensitive in the States. But I suppose I’d prefer to err on the side of caution rather than needlessly offend someone, because how am I to know how they might personally interpret something I might think is harmless, when it singles them out for their race or ethnic origins?

The article about the soccer match says that: “It is suggested that there will be some representatives from England to help the Italians deal with the situation more appropriately.”

Um, ok. That should be interesting. What do they plan to do? Throw out any fans caught chanting racial slurs? I think this is a cultural topic we’re touching on, and isn’t just in soccer. My two-second analysis leads me to think that since Italy hasn’t ever really been much of a melting pot like England or the US, they’ve never really had to frankly deal with these kinds of issues. There just doesn’t seem to be the sensitivity here to racist remarks or jokes as I’m used to back in the States. I hear broad generalizations and racist stereotypes batted around frequently about Jews, blacks, and other racial/religious/ethnic groups all the time. I suppose I’d have to say that when I’ve heard these comments, no, it didn’t seem that there was an undercurrent of malice or hate, but certainly a bit of intolerance or insensitivity, yes, just by definition.

I’ve gotten used to this phenomenon in Italian culture, and of course not everyone I know is completely oblivious to the issues surrounding these kinds of statements; in my experience some Italians are actually quite aware of the implications of these soccer stadium chants and everyday jokes and don’t take part in them. But I do sometimes wonder if “PC” will ever come to Italy.


39 Responses to “Racism in Italy and Soccer”

  1. anna l'americana December 11, 2007 at 3:26 pm #

    The racism was always there, it bothered me then (they really thought I was crazy) before it was even PC in the States. It permeates everything. And Rome is now a melting pot so eventually something will have to give or ultimately violence will ensue. I think it is funny though that the English are taking such a superior attitude when to my knowledge Italians don’t actually kill each other at games, which apparently has happened too frequently in the UK and soccer-related violence is the reason for their aggressive stance against racism at games now (hypocrites, I think, it is not due to any sudden sensitivity – they have big racism problems over there). The only incident of a death to do with Italian soccer that I know of occurred in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico and the perpetrators were English if I recall correctly (please correct me if I’m wrong, I’m quite fallible) – the Italians were playing a UK team and the behavior of the English fans in Rome for the event was DISGUSTING – and I’m not referring only to their behavior at the event, but all over town before and after the game.
    The English are quite famous the soccer-world over for physical violence at games – which usually starts with over-the-top verbal taunts.

  2. thomps December 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm #

    My complaint about political correctness is that it goes too far. People can no longer voice legitimate honest fears about the “differences” or “otherness” of other people without being labelled racist, bigot,sexist etc. Taken too far pc actually hampers honest dialogue. As to what you describe is going on in Italy it sounds very weird to my American ears. The other day I was watching a documentary on the rat packers (Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Joey Bishop etc) and the humor they were using would not be publicly acceptable today. They were insulting each other left and right using words and insinuations that today would probably destroy their careers.

  3. kataroma December 11, 2007 at 3:46 pm #

    Anna l’americana- I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all. Both English and Italian soccer have made a sea change in the last 10 years or so. The English have clamped down, throwing people in jail and instituting a zero tolerance policy thereby getting things under control. The Italians, on the other hand, have been allowed to run wild and commit the most atrocious acts – not just racist chants but beating and killing people. A young police officer was killed by Italian soccer hooligans in Catania less than a year ago – in the same incident more than 100 were injured. Just recently here in Rome we had horrible rioting in the center by the “ultras” after the death of a Lazio fan at the hands of the police.

    I’m really shocked by the racist chants too -and racism in general here- it’s truly disgusting. I think things are going to get worse before they get better, unfortunately. 😦

  4. nyc/caribbean ragazza December 11, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    Very interesting post Shelley.

    The States has become too PC and it’s b.s. I’d rather know exactly what and who I am dealing with than have someone smile in my face then say racist things behind my back. It’s a joke really. Let’s stop focusing on banning words and worry about the major economic, educational and social issues impacting certain communites.

    I don’t want write a long response but of course Italy would have a differently outlook on black racism. They didn’t have 300 years of slavery, jim crow, the Klan, red-lining/block busting, dwb (driving while black) etc.

    One black woman was saying to a black expat in France that things are better in the U.S. because we have civil rights legislation. Well we have the legislation because of the history of the U.S.

    You can’t legislate feelings. Once my parents move to America, they always dealt with racism (ironic given we lived in the “liberal” northeast) and I am ready for anything. I assume I might lose a job or an apartment because I’m black. It’s happened here in the United States why wouldn’t it happen in Rome? That said in all the times I’ve been there no one has every said or done anything to make me uncomfortable. I’m not naive and know I have to deal with racism in any place where I am not in the majority. It’s life, I don’t let it break me or make me bitter. The majority of people are not racists. When I went to college there were other black students who would laugh at that latter statment. Growing up in suburbia I did get to see the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of my classmates, on the other hand, expected the worst from people because of where they grew up.

    Things are much better now than when my parents had a hard time getting a nice apartment in New York City in the 60s. Yes the 60s not the 30s or the 40s. That is not that long ago. I feel sorry for the racists. As long as they don’t physically harm me I don’t give a crap what they think. They don’t define me.

  5. jessica in rome December 11, 2007 at 5:02 pm #

    I see racism here everyday on the way to school. There is a train stop very near the gypsy camp (La Rustica)and whenever a gypsy gets on the train they are harassed. I can understand the tensions between Italians and the zingari, but out right racial slurs cross the line in my opinion. The other day an Italian man screamed at a little Romanian baby, who was only 1 year or so old, to shut up. Also, they are the only ones that are controlled on my train for tickets. I saw a employee chase down a group and throw them off, while he looked the other way at a group of Italian teens that also didn’t have tickets (along with a good 80% of other riders I am guessing)and were allowed to ride until their stop. I understand the complexity of the Italian/ Eastern European immigrates and that it is a touchy subject, but blatant racism is crossing the line. If Italians want a change in the way Italy conducts it’s immigration policy, then they need to get out and vote, not yell at babies on a train (I am also not saying ALL Italians yell on trains, but there are enough that do on a daily basis that suggests something need to change).

  6. Judith in Umbria December 11, 2007 at 5:50 pm #

    They’ve forgotten that every single person in Italy came from somewhere else. They’ve forgotten the influx of “barbarians” from the north, Moors from the south and the waves of human resettlement that washed up permanently in this or that part of Italy.
    I suppose because it goes back to pre-bronze age on, it’s easy to think tall blonds were always Abbruzese and that when the Greeks settled here there was no one to push out and kill off?

    What they can’t have forgotten but probably never learned is how many Italian emigrants were abused, some even killed in other countries. It’s one of the heartless things about Italy, and the government doesn’t seem to be aware they could do anything about it. Instead they give OUR abbonamento TV to the RAI and allow them to put on very prejudicial programming.

    Italians want to adopt babies of other races, they’re willing to pledge millions to save starving foreigners elsewhere, but when that adopted baby is a man, what will he face?

  7. Imani December 11, 2007 at 5:51 pm #

    Racism in America is far from dead…it lies, not so quietly, below the surface and rears its ugly head far too often. Although what I read on this blog by a black brother stings more often than not, it is important.

    Racism in Italy….how can we dare to criticize before we clean up our own act? Wrong is wrong, not matter where in the world it is happening.

  8. ilva December 11, 2007 at 5:54 pm #

    But Italy has been a melting pot of different cultures for thousands of years actually and has been invaded innumerable times…
    My experience as a foreigner in Italy, albeit a ‘good’ one as I come from Sweden and not Albania has always been good, the only place where I have actually been told to go home to my own country is in England and once Marco was spat at when we were there so there seem to be a kind of inverted racism there then, or should I call it PC racism. I agree that there’s a lot of racism here as in every other country I have visited. What I find interesting here though is that in Veneto where you hear people say the most atrocious things about immigration, you find a rather good integration situation when it comes to immigrants.

  9. chris December 11, 2007 at 6:08 pm #

    First of all there should be
    no doubt that Italians can get violent when it comes to calcio.

    Second, it’s obvious to me, at least in my daily life, that Italians find the apparently new wave of PC efforts annoying. I live in Florence and experience this in school. Teachers will outright express their annoyance with PC (most of them), while at the same time express the need to respect others. I brought up the issue of the comic that offended muslims in class, and my teacher actually said that while freedom of speech is important, it’s also important to respect the beliefs of others and not provoke those with differing views. Of course she also made a slight mockery of Asian language (using the stereotypical sounds we all know).

    My thoughts are scattered on this. Surely Italy isn’t the same melting pot as the US or UK, but don’t forget Denny Mendez, or controversy that followed her. I honestly don’t know where the boundaries should be. I am disgusted by racism, but consider that many illegals in Italy, as in the US, are able to take advantage of public services (health care, education) for which they do not pay.

    Also, don’t forget to balance your altruism with reality. I have given people on the streets here change, even as I was remembering that I’ve seen beggars buy alcohol and drink their consciousness away.

    Thanks for the post – I’m a believer in open, honest dialog.

  10. Enrico December 11, 2007 at 7:38 pm #

    I find the PC concept a little weird: isn’t common sense enough? Probably not, in Countries where there is a long history of racial tensions. On the other hand, if you take the whole thing too far, just about anything becomes taboo. For example, I could say that, as an Italian, I resent that some of your comments seem to imply that your anglosaxon-centric view of what is PC and what is not is the right one.
    (for the record: it’s just an example, it is not what I actually think ;-))

  11. anna l'americana December 11, 2007 at 8:36 pm #

    Kataroma: I stand corrected and am horrified by how violence has escalated in Italy – perhaps the upswing in violent and group racial intolerance may be aggravated by the incredible swell in immigration – there was comparatively little before the 80s, people moved out, not in! – and an economy hurt by the Euro (price doubled, paychecks remained the same). Italians have always been a bit intolerant of anything not Italian (food, customs, clothing, tourists, wine just to name a few), so this is not just directed at skin color. Just anything non-italian.
    Enrico: Touche`! And isn’t that the first thing people hate about Americans? Our anglosaxon-centric arrogance (said tongue in cheek)?
    Folks, lets not confuse racism with soccer. Soccer is one type of event that brings large crowds together in confined spaces and there has been much study on mob mentality – people behaving as they never would singly or in small groups. The crowd, excitement, team loyalties, and possibly alcohol ingested at these events definitely at times can bring out the worst in people – of any nationality or race. But these are 2 different simultaneous conversations that we are all having. I am very much out of time at the moment so I will leave it at that and check in later. GREAT CAN OF WORMS SHELLEY! Keep it up, you’ll get the whole world talking!

  12. Enrico December 11, 2007 at 9:21 pm #

    I just want to add one tiny piece of information: dalla Cina col furgone is a very old joke, actually it’s a play on words based on a Bruce Lee movie “Fist of Fury” which in Italian was called “Dalla Cina con furore”.
    One of Bonolis’ finest moments.

  13. Mrs.W December 12, 2007 at 2:34 am #

    It’s not just Rome, I’m afraid. The French are also quite racist, as are the Germans. I used to work with a lot of African folks and flying them around the world created quite a difficult situation when they had to be routed via Paris or Frankfurt, especially.

    I remember a French tutor we had at work–he brought up a topic for conversation and it was quite racist! We had to shut down the conversation quickly and require he change the topic. It was shocking!

  14. Beth December 12, 2007 at 8:32 am #

    A tangent here on the discussion of soccer violence…the last time Manchester played Roma in Rome there was a ban on the sale of alcohol after 12 noon, no liquor could be purchased in shops or restaurants, but this being Italy there is always a solution. My sister-in-law was leaving the next day to return to the US and wanted to buy limoncello…no problem the liguor store would deliver it to my apartment!
    And, during that match the Italian police beat up and arrested the Man U tifosi.

  15. anna l'americana December 12, 2007 at 7:32 pm #

    Enrico – re the Lavazza ad (what happened to Nino Manfredi?), though horribly bigoted, also had its moments (aside from the derogatory Chinese) and the “Dalla Cine Col Furgone” reference is hysterically funny. And there is nothing sweeter to my ear than true Romanaccio….

    (See how easily how you get sucked in to bigotry? And I like to think of myself as enlightened!)

  16. Enrico December 12, 2007 at 7:54 pm #

    Anna, la Lavazza ha pensato anche agli americani… 😉


  17. Shelley, At Home in Rome December 13, 2007 at 10:18 am #

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and insights on this topic.

    Enrico: Thanks for enlightening us on the Cina col furgone comment, I was baffled by that because I’d never heard it before and I knew it must have had some pop culture origins, because it doesn’t really make sense as some kind of insult, but still it’s a weird thing to say unless you understand where it’s coming from.

  18. Fifi December 13, 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    That’s what makes me worried about the idea of visiting Italy next year. I love the city of Rome and have always dreamed of exploring the country on my own but as a Chinese/Filipino – I can honestly say that what I continually hear about the level of racism in Italy may be enough for me to cancel any potential trips in the future. Especially to the smaller towns where some of the locals are not as exposed yet to foreigners as those in the larger cities.

    I’ve met a few wonderful Italian language exchange partners on the net to help me learn the language – but with my Western accent (I was born in a Western country) – they cannot tell that I am Asian. Hence when I ask them about Asians in Italy, they reply quite openly to me. They tell me that the Chinese don’t integrate well (as opposed to other foreigners) and the Filipino maids working in Rome are a blight on their fair city. They are quite candid in their blantant prejudices and are not sorry for it at all. I know that some of the stories they tell me hold a grain of truth (ie. Chinese in Milan), but as you have previously pointed out Shelley, does truth make it right? And is it therefore then acceptable to label a whole race based on a select few? 😦

  19. Ms. M December 14, 2007 at 2:36 am #

    How offensive the Chinese spot for Lavazza would be to a Chinese person I can’t say, but I laughed out loud at the spot making fun of Americans.

  20. Robert December 14, 2007 at 10:33 am #

    This is a very sensitive subject and one that I guess some would consider me ill-advised to comment on.

    I have seen racism in every single country and town that I have lived in, from my hometown in South Africa (black vs white, English vs Afrikaans, Christian vs Muslim vs Jew, Protestants vs Catholic, etc…)

    I saw it in Guernsey – the locals vs the foreigners, the foreigners vs various sub-groups within their ranks, etc

    I saw it in London – locals against foreigners mostly, blacks against Indians, everyone it seemed against Pakistanis, etc

    Here in Dublin I see it too – the locals against foreigners, especially East Europeans and black Africans, and also various sub-divisions within Irish society (based on geography, political affiliation, socio-economics and religion).

    Some countries are more pro-active in addressing the issue of racism/xenophobia than others. Other countries choose to turn a blind eye and hope the situation will resolve itself (which seldom happens).

    I have witnessed truly abominable instances of racism in Italy (in Rome) but have seen similar disgusting situations here in Dublin too.

  21. Belinda January 25, 2008 at 8:22 pm #

    To Jessica in Rome:

    Now you see… that PISSES ME OFF!!! An Italian prospective…

    You talk about some Italians verbally harassing gypsies and about the man who yells at a 1 year old Romanian boy on your train ride.

    Although one might say, what justifies this grown man to yell at a 1 year old? I could be wrong, but maybe this is “his only way” of expressing the rage, disgust and frustration towards the recent wave of senseless and often vicious acts of crime that some of these new immigrants (Romanians to be specific) have committed! Oops!!!…I hope I have not offended anyone, and I am now not being labeled a RACIST simply for speaking the truth!!…but as an Italian I feel compelled to express my opinion…not repress, but express…and call a spade a spade!) The majority of Italians will not be outspoken about it. They simply stand back and watch helplessly, as corrupt politicians run the country into the ground but fail to protect its own citizens! They have become victims of the system and of crime – as IF they don’t have enough problems!

    So you want me to feel sorry for these people?!

    Zingari (gypsie) have been in Italy for as long as I can remember and they have been tolerated for all these years! They are notorious for either begging..(I have nothing against it) OR stealing! I do have a problem with that! They are not exactly the type of people who conform to society…they are leeches.

    Certainly you must have heard of that beautiful young Italian girl who was on the train on her way to work, trying to earn some money, when she was SAVAGELY killed by a Romanian girl for no apparent reason. The bitch stabbed her in the eye with an umbrella which penetrated her brain and ended killing her! WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE WOULD DO THAT TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING? I could only imagine her mother’s devastation! Her only daughter was about to get married. This violence and complete disregard for human life is intolerable and unacceptable to me. Where was the outrage then?

    It is easy for an outsider to pass judgment on a people they hardly know and a system they don’t understand and give a quick solution to a complex social and political issue. Should they find a better way to deal with it aside from shrugging it off and act as if nothing is happening? Harassment does not work or solve the problem. Who can they turn to? The corrupt politicians? Or maybe they can organize and stage a protest in their piazzas carrying big signs…Oh no wait…They can’t do that because they would called RACISTS!!! The answer is never as easy as it seems!

  22. Franco March 29, 2008 at 6:19 am #

    I think that for anybody from an anglo saxon english speaking contry to talk of racism in Italy must take a tremendous amount of self deception. I have lived most of my 38 years as an adult in Canada, with several years in Texas and New York state. I also visit Italy every year, (I was born in Rome). I also have three adopted sons. Two are of native american descent (yes Indian). I don’t have the time to go into details in this letter about my personal experiences, but I can tell you that the racial attitudes of wasps in Canada and the US towards blacks, east indians, chinese native people and hispanics would make any decent human being vomit his guts out. Racism in Italy? Gimme a break!

  23. Mamzelle N April 10, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    I find it very sad that people cannot get along. We are all the same, in the end. It doesn’t matter what color of skin, or accent, or origin we have. We are all humans, right?

    But of course I must contradict myself. Rapists and murderers make my blood boil. They are monsters. And not just them…anyone who acts dangerously with malicious intent, who wants to harm someone, earns my disapproval.

    I do not extend that to people of different nationalities or religions. If one Romanian girl kills an Italian girl, that DOES NOT mean all Romanians are willing to kill. Maybe these people are reduced to begging and stealing because people are prejudiced against them and do not think they are worth anything else. It is a vicious cycle. You call them a plague, you act like they ARE a plague, when most of them are probably innocent people. And how you know they aren’t? Are you friends with many of them?

    Racism is everywhere. I myself am probably racist, in some way. I think everybody is, a little. But it doesn’t mean I would kill someone who has a skin color different to me.

    A person must be judged on their actions, thoughts and words. NOT on their origin, ethnicity or skin, or whether they have tattoos or obvious scars, or disabilities.

    Who cares if someone is Romanian, Indian, or Filipino? No way in hell does it mean that they would shoot you if they had a gun. It’s the way that someone is brought up, the ideas that they have been taught, that determines what they become, whether that be accountant, drug dealer, maid or whatever.

    I’m finding more and more that this is a sad world.

  24. Lorna April 11, 2008 at 8:05 am #

    Manchester United play FOOTBALL !!!!

  25. Shawn B April 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm #

    Its sad that a great game is tainted by racism. I myself as an Arican American experince it much here in the US, Racism is not dead.

    Come see what I have to say about Racism in Football (Soccer)at

  26. PavalloKazzo June 11, 2008 at 5:49 am #

    How they live? Mostly in apartment (if lucky with four bads a room) eating shit, working as assholes and, of course cause if not they couldn’t survive, they got second works like thief, drug dealer, prostitution /disfruting or even murderer!
    There are some that tries to keep good habit but as far as I know (and I know, trust me) they are not alot.
    That lead the hate to them.
    Plus, from when immigration started, in the 80s, this fact as been used by industrial to lower the salary, so in fact many jobs are not being occupied by italians, many industries are full of immigrants, beacause this way fuckin bosses can have their slaves.
    And they want not assume italians cause we know law and rights, even if we live in a 2nd world country…
    Put this in the hate pot.
    Plus, if some1 of you had studied a minimun of history, he could know that we were mostly a maritime power, and so having mediterrean in our face we had many exchange througout all this peoples: albanians, arabs from mid east, western mediterrean, centre mediterrean, turkish, etc…
    And from this exchange (that space from commercial exchange to war), that last from 2000-2500 years (do you know how much it is?), we, MAYBE, have learned something from this people…?
    MAYBE, we know that in albania they steal even the street manholes (is that right?), we knowed from centuries of burka’s shit and the rude people of east country…
    Instead you (americans) yesterday, from your cool country house, have opened fox news, and discovered on the bad habit of the arabian burka, the shit that they tell you about the world, and now you feel to point the finger against us for what you heard on our TV…
    Wasn’t you the one that till 50 years ago where used to have white and coloured bathroom?
    Ok I’m going out of topic but, the point is that this is fuckin culture.
    First try to understand culture, be in Rome and “do as the romans”… but as far as I’ve read from your blog (very little in fact) you are doing that… good!
    Second: discover history of that people, know the history of Italy from the Romans, when they have conquered all the knowed world and have been hated by all the knowed peoples, to Medieval age, till all the fractures of the XV-XVIII centuries, till the Reunification era, the Mussolinian era, the 1939-1948 era, what as passed in Italy from the start of the war till the reconstruction, the CIA intervents in the 50-60 to prevent links to the East block, the 70s in Italy (also called the “lead years” -lead as metal- here an exercise for you: discover why), the politics/mafia 80s, the 90s with the “Inquisition” and discover who is that dickhead dwarf of Berlusconi and why half Italy loves it and why half would like to kill him and you will have interesting notes for studing the Bush presidency…
    Next, get back in to the culture voyage and try to live in southern place like Naples and apprend their language (as in fact now it’s recognised as an another language as many in Italy: siciliano, calabrese, pugliese, sardo, veneto, lombardo, triestino… those dialects in fact are languages, many recognized as that by international community, who a romans as me cannot understand!) and go in the north in places like Milan or Trieste and try to speak to some1 with only that language and see the way they will react…
    So you will have learn that racism in fact exist also in our same country. And that is not due that those bad guy racist are evil against poor victims of racist episode.
    In fact many people that have emigrated from south italy to north or other country can tell you that they are racist against their “land-mate”…
    I’ll tell you a story: one calabrian guy my workmate told me that in his country city he couldn’t survive at all (another story to work on: disoccupation, “the faboulous industrialization of the north”, “how mafia stopped the south to evolute and why it did it”… do your research), so what he did? he moved in the north… well findings works was easy, the problem started when searching houses or opening accounts in the banks… why? well, because his “landmate” when find an house, they find it rights to not pay the last months of stay! Or if they open accounts, if they have problems with banks like “red credit” they find it more easy to don’t pay and put residence to their place in calabria where banks will not go to search for ’em (cause if they try to do it they get shot!)… He told me that he is racist against is “landmate” and you can see why!
    Also, if you listen to some africans or romanians (coming from Romania) that are a minimun civilized, they found many of their country as bad people.
    In fact, try to go that places.
    Before pointing the finger against us, try to go to Romania, Albania, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq (ops, now you have free’d it, sorry!), Chile, Peru, and tell me what you find out of those peoples…
    I want to close it now but I will tell one last thing.
    When I have been in Southern Calorina I saw around 80% of the cars having the southern flag somewhere, even in a USA country with the most ratio white/black… What I did say? Well, strange!
    In Southern Carolina I was sitting in a back of taxi drived by two black guys, going to take some moneys to an ATM. It was 5 in the morning and I was just arrived from the train (yes, Amtrak). We were just there to the drive in when a white guy taking money from the machine start lookin at us nervously and speeded up his operation.
    My comment? I was taking the money (with the money in the hand) and I was so stupid to say, smiling “Scared by black guy!”… Those two turned the head to me and I said to me “oh god, I’m fucked”, I was still smiling so they just turned the head and did say nothing… I always thanks God to not have been shot that night.
    Well in my country they at least have smiled…
    And really the last last thing.
    In Cuba (80% black) there is a common dict: “El negro siempre lo hace!” Now I know you have been a good student so that’s another exercise for you!

    PS: ops, sorry for my english!

  27. PavalloKazzo June 11, 2008 at 5:50 am #

    I would like to know how many of you are italians…
    I would like to know how many of you have been in Italy…
    I would like to know how many of you knows our culture, our way to joke on everything, especially from Rome (from where those actors are from)…
    I would like to know how many of you have been living our situation about immigrations..
    We got a bunch of peoples (gypsy – zingari) who most are thief, drug dealer and mafious that we cannot touch thanks to convention (made by americans) after the II War (same convention now is cooking the beginning of the III World War in Mid East… another story)… every time they get caught up, they are out because we cannot process them! And even if they do bad thing, all we can do is use some “artifacts” (sorry I don’t know the word) to do some justice!
    Immigrants from poorest country are another big deal: always been used by politics to earn votes (both left and right parties), they leave in an not-defined situation that (till the dream of the passport) can change every time the government change (and this happen at a rhytm of 2-3 years – thanks USA… another story…).
    In fact most of the times they live out-of-law doing not regolarized and, as you can understand, really bad and underpaid work.

  28. amber July 17, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    To Belinda
    It is a tragedy when any murder is committed. But how many murders were committed by Italians? Look at all the crime Italians committed in the U.S (i.e. the Mafia).When things are not going so good people almost always like to point the blame at others, it makes them feel better about themselves when perhaps they shouldn’t.

  29. Andrew August 12, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    Belinda, there are crazy people in every single country. If Romanians are so badly treated daily in Italy, it’s no surprise they’re revolted, right? Of course they steal, etc., but are Italians willing to give them jobs?

    Plus, immigration. I know it’s a very touchy subject but I wanna give my opinion: I’m tired of this “they don’t pay and take vantage of the free education/health” bullsh*t. So WHAT? They SUFFER A LOT every single day, they can’t even get a good job. Most of them would accept to pay their taxes and have the rights, but the politics aren’t making things easiers, are they? People totally ignore the fact they come from poor countries, where there is NO free education or free health AT ALL. Because they were born in a poor country (that, by the way, are that way because of the Europeans who colonized their countries or because the richer countries, those were are mistreated, take vantage of them) they do not have the chance to have a better life in other place? Puh-lease… I hate this hypocrisy and egoism….

    And what amber said is TOTALLY true. Of course those Italians accusing the foreigners of comitting crimes won’t give two shits but…

  30. tony khan September 30, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    Racism is like the worse computer virus. It never goes away completely. But bringing these matters to the forefront and making citizens young and old aware that it is a serious problem, helps to eradicate the backward thinking of many. This is 2008, and if we put some pressure on the parents(because this is where it starts), we can educate the little ones to be better and progressive citizens.
    We are all human beings, have the save substance in our veins and no one is better than the other. If we contiunes to be divided on the planet that we are already destroying, we are doomed.

  31. Robert October 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    Let’s be realistic here, the only reason why there is a rising tyde of racism in the western world is because of this uncontrolled wawe of mass immigration from 3 world countries who’s citizens(the majority) cannot and dont want to integrate.
    In the case of Italy it is absolutely ridiculous how in a place like castelvolturno which is practically third world itself, you can have 18.000 local residents and 20.000 illegal immigrants from africa, or romanian gypsy camps in ponticelli naples which is one of the poorest areas in europe. It’s obvious that this kind of idiocy is going to cause a civil war of the poor, it’s high time that, especially in europe, we stop it immediately with this moronic political correctness and start coming down real hard on illegal immigration before we start counting the bodies.

  32. Dana November 24, 2008 at 12:43 am #

    My boyfriend is Albanian and lives in Italy. He came to Italy to play soccar professionally (well, at club level, but at least he was making a living doing it.) now his visa is expired and the president of the club who is a racist won’t help him to renew his visa (playing soccar has it’s ups as foreigners are given a visa to work.) But I noticed when I was in Italy visiting that the people were very cold, not at all the “warm Italiens” you here about. Before I moved to Paris I only heard how mean the French were. But when I got there I found the exact opposite. People were very warm and approached my being an American with interest rather than hate as I had expected. In all the parts of Europe I’ve been in I think that France is the least racist. Especially Paris. I saw many, many interacial/cultural couples, and it seemed that there wasn’t much of a feeling of separation. I grew up in a very liberal part of California, but even in the area of America that i grew up in, I’ve always noticed that for the most part people stick the their race. That’s not to say that everyone is like that, but it’s way more prevalent here than I saw in France.
    Italy was extremely racist…there’s being non-PC which is fine, and then there’s being a racist, cold-hearted prick. I met many kind italiens, but I the over all feeling was one of being shut out and cold.
    I must say though, I have family in England, and while the Britsih may be more tolerant of other cultures and races, they definatly take soccar way too seriously. While the Italiens yell hurtful words, at least they don’t kill each other over soccar. So…yeah. I don’t know where I’m going with that…I guess two steps forward, one step back, right?

  33. Marwan December 16, 2008 at 9:03 pm #


    I’m Moroccan, I don’t live in Italy I live in the states, and I tend to agree with you, Italy was built by Italians, but the Immigration issue always starts when a nations needs Legal workers, those workers do their jobs legally and contribute to the Economy so they deserve good education, health care etc… But then when other people in the home land see that people are immigrating and having a good living, then more and more people want to come over.

    Plus to add to the point most of these African nations are young countries fresh from the Colonial Period, who were the colonizers? yes your people, they drained the country of it’s resources used it and left it without a clear structure, so these countries are still maturing, so in a way it all comes back to it being your fault.


  34. Marwan December 16, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Just to Clarify, Italians do not want to go to china anyway because China has enough workers to run the economy, Italy at one point needed workers, so did France Spain Etc… Your economy would not have grown without those workers, the extra immigration is bad but once there is no more opportunity to make money it will stop. And it’s OK to call them names, if they want to work there and make a living, well they can support the racism, Africans are Racist too, Arabs are Racist too, probably more Racist than Italians.

  35. Lili February 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    I am black and I recommend that black people do not live in Europe. When times are good, people MIGHT treat you well. But believe me, in times get bad, like right now, in this recession, some (not all) of your European “friends” will turn on you because you are competing with them in their own land for the same jobs. Come to the US or Canada instead. These two countries are definitely NOT utopias, but they are not European homelands, either, where people will urge you to get the hell out because you are not white.

  36. Lili February 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    That should have been “when times get bad…”

  37. Anja April 30, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    I am not going to offer any additional comments to the racism/soccer conversations (it would take lightyears of writing for me) but would only like to respond to the the last two posts by Lily and Sam.

    Lily: I have lived in the States for 21 years. I have dual citizenship. I am both Italian AND American.
    For as long as I have been here I have heard “American” people say: “if you don’t like it here go back to your country” anytime someone who has an accent or looks different dares to make a comment or criticism. I, myself, have experienced it countless times. So, the US is not the heaven you make it to be and a country were racism has been eradicated.

    SAM: I have no idea what you are saying. Or, rather, your comment may mean a couple of things.

    Either you are making fun of someone who is not a native speaker and is trying to express him/herself in other language. In which case that person is not an ignorant and YOU are. (At least He/She is trying and was able to put together some thoughs in a foreign language)

    Or you are critizing Italians for being ignorant people while using a totally gramatically incorrect English which – and you have admit this is hironic and funny – makes you the ignorant – not to mention that by blatantly extending ignorance to all Italian people you are proving to be a racist yourself.

  38. Petros November 9, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Every man can live everyshere if he or she respects the others! To not go out must have work and severous political government! Germany has these, except the bad past and some things of our community now. I respect Italy for some good things, but racism is bad without reason at least. I don’t want to be members of anti-nazi or anti-facism movements. I just believe that good people can make some good for this world, as for their nation, origin, religion and family.

  39. anita slim shade June 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    It is good to laern Italy but not with force dont laugh that person for example i want to laern Italy and you want to laern english we can help each another. Together we can make it

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