Racist Hurls Bananas at Italy's First Black Minister

A heckler threw bananas on Friday at Cecile Kyenge, who has been a target of racial slurs since her appointment in April.

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Cecile Kyenge (AFP/Getty Images)

Since becoming Italy's first black minister in April, Cecile Kyenge has had to put up with a welter of racist remarks from citizens and colleagues alike. The latest came on Friday when a heckler threw a banana at her while she was making a speech, Reuters reports.

Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge, who is originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, was appearing at a political rally in Cervia in central Italy on Friday, when someone in the audience threw bananas towards the stage, narrowly missing it.

Kyenge has faced almost daily racial slurs and threats since joining the government. Earlier this month a senator from the anti-immigration Northern League party likened her to an orangutan and only apologized after a storm of criticism.

Last month, a local Northern League councilor said Kyenge should be raped so she understands how victims of crimes committed by immigrants feel. The councilor has received a suspended jail sentence and a temporary ban from public office.

Shortly before Friday’s incident, members of the far-right Forza Nuova group left mannequins covered in fake blood near the site of the Democratic Party rally in protest against Kyenge’s proposal to make anyone born on Italian soil a citizen.

"Immigration kills," was written on leaflets accompanying the dummies – a slogan Forza Nuova has previously used when referring to murders committed by immigrants in Italy.

Read more at the Raw Story. 

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