First Black Italian Minister Compared to an Orangutan

A senator made the comment about Cecile Kyenge during a speech to supporters last weekend.

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Cecile Kyenge (AFP/Getty Images)

As Italy's first black minister, Cecile Kyenge has had to put up with an avalanche of racist remarks from her fellow ministers since assuming the position in April. The latest came from Sen. Roberto Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigration Northern League Party.

During a speech to supporters, he compared Kyenge to an orangutan, reports BBC News.

"I love animals ... but when I see pictures of Kyenge I cannot but think of -- even if I'm not saying she is one -- the features of an orangutan." ...

He went on to say that Ms Kyenge was attracting illegal immigrants to Italy, and that she should be a minister in her "own country".

This is fairly typical of the kind of abuse that has been directed at the minister by Northern League activists.

One accused her of wanting to impose "tribal traditions" on Italy.

And another actually went so far as to call for Ms Kyenge to be raped so that she would understand what someone who might be raped by an immigrant might go through.

Read more at BBC News.

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