Cecile Kyenge’s appointment as Italy’s first black Cabinet minister has caused outrage in some facets of the Italian government, and the minister has been bombarded with racial slurs, The Associated Press reports.
Kygene, a 48-year-old eye surgeon born in the Congo, was appointed, of all things, Minister of Integration. Kygene is married to a white Italian and came to Italy 30 years ago to study medicine.
In his introductory speech to parliament, Premier Enrico Letta called Kyenge’s appointment a “new concept about the confines of barriers giving way to hope, of unsurpassable limits giving way to a bridge between diverse communities.”
But Mario Borghezio, a member of the European parliament, criticized what he called Italy’s new “bonga bonga government,” and said in an interview with Radio 24 that Kyenge would try to “impose tribal traditions from her native Congo on Italy.”
The Italian government has since launched an investigation into neo-fascist websites calling Kyenge “Congolese monkey” and other racial slurs.
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