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Racism in Italy – Part 3 – The European Migrant Crisis

Parts of Asia and Africa have been affected by civil wars, forcing the inhabitants to leave their homelands and look for safe places where to stay.

You may have heard of Syria, or Libya, and there my conspiracist side comes alive.

These were countries with dictatorships, and oil.

Some western countries decided to help the rebels and fight against the regimes, for humanitarian purposes only, and what followed was chaos.

Libya is currently divided into areas that are managed either by the new government or independent militia groups.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State threatens parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, both the West (mostly Christian) and the East (mostly Muslim).

 

In case of political instability, or civil wars, many people seek shelter in other countries. Most of the time, they flee to neighboring countries. Sometimes, refugees look for protection in a place farther from home. It could be for the better living conditions, perhaps to avoid being persecuted for their religion or ethnicity, or they may have relatives in that distant country they plan to reach.

Yet, not all those who come to Europe are recognized as refugees. It takes months for the requests for asylum to be checked, and at least half of them are rejected as they don’t fit the requirements.

Those who were rejected turn into illegal migrants. They often can’t be deported as there are no agreements with their home countries, making detention centers useless. Many will just wander in the city, earn a living by engaging in criminal activities, panhandling or working as farmhands for a wage that’s way below the minimum. Women will often rely on prostitution.

The lucky ones, those who were given asylum or a temporary protection status, would be hosted by private structures which offered room and board in exchange for money.

 

Despite the reward for each guest was high, several structures provided very poor services. An infamous case was of migrants complaining about food, allegedly rotten, that was served. Propaganda made these people look like spoiled kids and it took a while for the majority of Italians to realize their complaints were reasonable, and that it wasn’t their fault if the private structures were greedy and turned a humanitarian cause into a lucrative business.

Moreover, the structures were supposed to offer services that would enable the guests to merge with society, from Italian classes to volunteering, or vocational training to enter the world of employment.

Mainstream news are never about the success stories, but I sometimes read articles on Facebook or see these people working legally. At the same time, I see many Africans hanging out in parks, doing nothing, that make the stereotype of “being lazy” skyrocket. However, I don’t think they can really be blamed if the hosting country is unable to provide the activities needed for integration.

The youth unemployment rate in Southern Europe is very high. In Italy, one young person out of three doesn’t have an occupation. Most Italians stay home, unlike migrants, so most people believe the problem is only within the minority, because that’s all they can see.

 

This post was long, but hopefully not too boring.

The migrant crisis made things worse, but again, you can tell propaganda enhanced intolerance by exploiting the situation.

I have good news, though. Now the focus is no longer towards the migrants, but those who carry them here, but that would mean talking of politics and I’d rather avoid that now.

  • Does your country also experience huge flows of migrants and refugees?

    • Yes
    • No

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What do you think?

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Written by sabtraversa

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14 Comments

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  1. We’re actually “importing” immigrants … we need more people in our country to deal with aging population and we’re now having problem with what we call “true-blue citizens” and “imported citizens”.

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    • It’s the first time I hear the term “true-blue”. ?
      It takes time to get accustomed to a multicultural society. Humans have the tendency to divide, segregate and hold prejudices even in places that have been multicultural for a while. India is flawed, so are the USA, how can we expect countries that are new to this trend be any better? ?

      We have the same population issue in Europe, except we don’t import immigrants but they come to us, and most of the time, they’re unskilled therefore unable to provide value to society, i.e. working and paying retirement benefits to the elders because that’s obviously the main argument here. ?

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      • LOL, we’ve quite a lot of terms between ourselves when the “extremist” social media site is still up. Some use “true-pink” as a way to distinguish the local-born with the immigrants as we’ve ID cards of different colours. As for true-blue no idea where that came from ?

        I guess our situation is slightly better, as we get to choose who is allowed in and who is not. To migrate here, you need to meet certain criteria or have contributed to the society. Else you can always choose to marry a local. ?

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    • Actually, I doubt so. Migrants are often poor, unemployed, and usually seen as a burden to the citizens who pay taxes or, if they work, they’re seen as competitors (“stealing jobs”). Soccer players, on the other hand, are very wealthy. It’s a different kind of intolerance, the two don’t seem to be linked.
      However, the migrant crisis affected the political orientation of many people, perhaps indirectly increasing racism as they join far-right Ultras groups. Politics should not be taken into the field, but unfortunately that happens way too frequently.

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    • Italians seem to mostly focus on the sea routes as they’re the most discussed by the media, also because of shipwrecks and victims. You’re right though, there’s also a Balkan route leading to Slovenia, and eventually Italy, but I guess Austria too.
      It would be interesting to know how other countries handle the situation. For the Italians, it really feels unfair they’re criticized for closing ports while there are countries such as France where their gendarmerie guards the borders and pushes migrants back to Italy in a contemptuous way, while Spain allegedly fires rubber bullets at migrants coming from Morocco. Every country just seems to mind their own business.

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      • My opinion is that my country and your country are the most affected. The emigrants first come to Italy and Slovenia only then they travel to other countries. So I think that other countries do not even burdened with this problem .. Unfortunately

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  2. It is a global problem (or crisis). One that has many complex issues and multiple sides to each point.

    The sad reality is that our world fails in one huge area (Remember the human). and in that failure we are left wondering…

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