Cecile Kyenge, Italy’s first black minister, has condemned a spectator who threw bananas towards her while she was making a speech at a party rally according to The Huffington Post.
Kyenge has been a target of racist slurs since her appointment as minister back in April.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Minister Cecile Kyenge was appearing at a political rally in Cervia in central Italy when someone in the audience threw bananas towards the stage, narrowly missing her.
Reports have stated that Kyenge has faced almost daily racial slurs and threats since joining the government.
The Chicago Tribune stated that “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.”
According to Huffington Post, Kyenge has angered far-right groups with her campaign to make it easier for immigrants to gain Italian citizenship.
Although the bananas missed the stage, and missed Kyenge, she did respond to the action on Twitter.
She called it a sad was of food, considering the economic crisis.
The Chicago Tribune reported on an event that took place 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.”
Kyenge’s response to the banana throwing event continued on to say:
“The courage and optimism to change things has to come above all from the bottom up to reach the institutions.”
Several politicians have stood behind Kyenge.
Environment Minister Andrea Orlando said on Twitter he felt “utmost indignation for this lowly act”, while Education Minister Maria Chiara Carrozza praised Kyenge for her courage and determination in such a hostile climate.
Do you think Cecile Kyenge responded in a professional manner after having bananas thrown at her?
[Image via Nigeriana TV]