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"We are not racists. We are Italian racists. We hate everyone."

"We are not racists. We are Italian racists. We hate everyone."

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Published by Anthony St. John
Racism in Italy is on the rise...
Racism in Italy is on the rise...

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Published by: Anthony St. John on Jun 09, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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“We are not racists.We are Italianracists.We hateeverybody 
taly. 28 May 1985.Montecatini Terme. Amagnificent, almost-summer snug Tuscannightfall. I have just comeup to the intercom at thedoor of the building on ViaManzoni where my vest-pocket studio apartmentis located on the thirdfloor. I hold two pizzas.One
margherita concipolla
and a
forMaria Luisa. I ring the bellto have Maria Luisa openthe door for me arms-filled and to signal to herthat she can take the coldbeers out of the frig andpour them. I walk up.
When I arrive, the door isajar, I see no beers, andMaria Luisa—glued to the TV screen—is waving herhand frantically for me tocome next to her. I putthe pizzas down andmove quickly to her.Heysel Stadium. Brussels. The Liverpool-
game has beeninterrupted. To my horror,I see Liverpool fans on thepitch with bats and chainsthreatening
aficionados. Maria Luisatells me the sportscasterhas reported that a wallhas collapsed; it isbelieved there are peoplecrushed to death underthe rubble and the feet of shocked spectators whoare trying to escape in astampede. I cannotbelieve my eyes, and Ihave to remind myself Iam in Europe and not
 Yankee Stadium in New York. I am really sad anddepressed. I have nevereven dreamt in all myyears that a spectatorsport might provokeviolence and death. I feelas if I have come upon avery dismal, exceptionallyunbelievable discovery. Iam lost for words. MariaLuisa is practically crying.Even still more seeminglyimpossible is the fact thatthe game will be playedto its finish! I amdumbfounded. 47 fans—32 of them
supporters—are dead. Yetthe show must go on. Iunderstand later on thatthe decision was based onthe thinking that if thegame had not beenplayed out, more violencewould have erupted. I donot agree. I believe we allshould have hung ourheads in shame for therest of the night. The tragic event is finallyover. The television news’programs begin thelamentable rehashing of the night’s events asdeath toll verificationscome sadly trickling in. The next morning I willwatch, benumbed, videos(some of themamateurish) of the rescueefforts to bring to life thetrampled bodies withbroken limbs. It is aghastly sight. I feel thesame I did when I visitedmy men in a field hospitalin Kontum after the battleof Dak To.It is time to accompanyMaria Luisa to her homein Sesto Fiorentino. I donot have a driver’slicense, so I must take thetrain back to Montecatini.It is almost late. We walkdown the stairs solemnly,and before we go to thecar, I toss our uneatenpizzas into the trashdisposal unit in the street.We say little on our way. Ikiss Maria Luisa goodnightand walk the kilometre orso to the train station tocatch one back. I feelvery bad. I am perplexed. The train comes. I look tosee if there are others asdeadened as I. I cannotdetermine that. Abouttwenty-five minutes laterthe rickety train pulls intoMontecatini Terme—themain station. I start myten-minute walk up thestreet leading to myapartment. All of asudden, I hear a caravanof about fifteen cars andtrucks—overflowing withyoung men and womenscreaming with joy andshaking their fists aboutwith gleeful energy—coming towards me. I ampuzzled to discern whatthe commotion is. All therevelers are dress withsome violet; they are fansof 
La Fiorentina— 
the arch-rival in Italy of the famous
squad. The
LaFiorentina tifosi
areshouting at the top of their lungs:
Grazie,Liverpool! Grazie,Liverpool!! Grazie,Liverpool!!!
efore talking to youabout Racism, mydear reader, pleaseread with me these threedefinitions of it which Icopied out for you:
lo Zingarelli1998
, edited byMiro Dogliotti andLuigi Rosiello,
Zanichelli;Bologna, Italy:
Teoria che tendea stabilire unagerarchia tra le popolazioniumane, esaltandole qualità superioridi una razza,affermando lanecessità diconservarla purada ognicommistione erespingendo lealtre in una statodi soggezione.” 
The ConciseOxford Dictionary,
Sixth Edition,edited by J. B.Sykes, OxfordUniversity Press,1976; Oxford,England: “Theorythat humanabilities etc. aredetermined byrace.”
 TenthEdition, edited byFrederick C. Mish,Merriam-Webster,Incorporated,1994; Springfield,Massachusetts,United States: Abelief that race isthe primarydeterminant of human traits andcapacities and thatracial differencesproduce aninherentsuperiority of aparticular race.”know about Racism.How could I not? Ihave lived with it allmy life. My mother,fanatically RomanCatholic (Irish wing), right-
wing, and a bigot of enormous stature, set the“tone” for me in thebeginning: “Don’t everinvite a nigger into thishouse.” Amen! I studiedfor sixteen years inRoman Catholic schools:“Cross your legs, girls,and shut the gates of hell.” (When are RomanCatholics going to cometo terms with the truth?…priests do not want tomarry…if they did theywould never have eventhought of joining anorganisation that keepsthem from women…priests are women-haters…they want to bealone with themselves…they think they are betterthan we are…even a dull-witted Jesuit wouldunderstand this…priestsbelong to a class of people unified by acommunity of interests forthem more powerful thanlove….) I served for twoyears on active duty inthe United States Army; Iwas a social worker in thenorthwest section of FortLauderdale, Florida; I livedin the north of Florida—part of the Deep South—for four years; and, I havelived in Italy for more thansixteen years with thosewho might be consideredthe greatest racists in thehistory of WesternCivilization—they havebeen practicing the art of Racism for centuries andwith spectacularprecision.I am sensitive to acts of Racism and have been formost of my life. Racismdenigrates that which isgood about humanity, andbecause there is so muchof it in all parts of the

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