Skip to main content

Yara Gambirasio disappearance: may God protect the innocents

Stories and News No. 284

At the beginning of this week, two news items in particular occupy the front pages of Italy newspaper and TV newscasts.
Both refer to terrible tragedies: the deaths of seven people at Lamezia Terme and the disappearance of a thirteen years old girl, Yara Gambirasio.
The two sad events have in common one word: immigration.
That is a word that can unite Italy patriotism almost as much as the national football team, unless it makes poor performance as in the last world championship.
In that case we even see those that say: "Italy? No, I supported Spain, I like good football…"
Specifically, I read that the person responsible for the deaths of seven cyclists hit by his car is Chafik El Ketani, a Moroccan 21 years old man.
Moroccan, this is the word that counts for our newspapers and a large proportion of their readers.
However it counts very little if in the car with El Ketani there was also his nephew, a child of 8 years - innocent by definition, Moroccan or not… thankfully now out of danger.
At the same time, what is happening around the disappearance of Yara is as usual very symptomatic of the racism that is a part of our culture, if we may still call it so.
Let me be clear: I am not at all saying that the Italians are racist, but something more complex and thus more difficult to eradicate.
Surely not with those bullshit progressive campaigns with two colored hugs and handshakes.
Anyway, this is nothing.
You can well imagine how the combination of immigration and crime will become the ultimate trendy if we will have early elections…

The Story:

Once upon a time there was the average citizen.
The average citizen is one who does not have a clear opinion on anything.
He votes right but he may easily change and turn on the left.
The reverse is true too.
However, even if he has no clear opinion on anything, he is always able to express an opinion on the big issues.
The big issues are the same since many years now.
Football, of course, the Festival of Sanremo, the politicians, the mafia in the south, immigration…
Well, the penultimate argument, by fault or merit of Roberto Saviano, he begins to be a little confused, but it is an exception.
The average citizen expresses opinions on these issues very similar to the average population.
We can say the same, after a few minor nuances.
On football he will tell you that once it was so much better, that before there were less money and more passion, but one thing is certain: when the season starts, on pay tv or stadium, he will not lose a match.
About the Festival of Sanremo, in the same way he will regret the past, but at least the final evening he will be like all his peers at the TV screen, to await the outcome of the voting.
On politicians he will tell you the worst, but never expect a vote that is really a change.
Immigration is the subject that shows his greatest not overbalancing.
On 26 November in Brembate di Sopra, Bergamo’s province, a family loses a young girl and some volunteers immediately begin the search.
The average citizen is immediately concerned with the matter; he is always very sensitive to the mysterious tragedies.
On December 4, here is the first news that evokes the precious national glue above: "Yara was killed. A Tunisian was arrested. "
The next day another title belies the first: Yara, a Moroccan was arrested for murder. An phone tapping caught him.
That is venial difference for the average citizen: Moroccan or Tunisian, he is ever immigrant.
What does the key phone tapping say? "May Allah forgive me, but I have not killed."
Now, the average citizen who in this period is voting right has no doubts: "When we are sure who it was, we put the hood and we're going to punish that Moroccan", taking a random statement.
Well, do not think that the average citizen who instead is voting on the opposite side shows the same alternative thinking.
In fact, he has no words to say.
Defending the indefensible is just to lose, he thinks.
One thing is certain: both base their views on that single news, many just the title.
It is perhaps important that Mohammed Fikri, the 22 years old Moroccan worker, say to be innocent?
It is important that Abderrazzaq, the cousin of Mohammed, said that the latter was not running away when he was arrested but he had planned this trip since a long time?
And it is important that the Abderrazzaq also claims that Fikri said "May God protect me, I did not kill her" and that investigators have the wrong translation?
The problem is that for the average citizen, forgive me and protect me has the same difference that he sees between Tunisian and Moroccan…
And racism is especially in those who have no intention that this will change…

Stories and news: “invented” Stories, fruit of my imagination, inspired by “true” media News.

Share the post:
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on FriendfeedCondividi su Google


  1. And let us not forget the arrest of Marzouk after the murders in Erba, and the normal, day to day singling out of visible minorities in Italy by the authorities on every level - from security guards in supermarkets up. The anecdotal evidence would be enough for a new blog. As TIME magazine states, Italy "...retains an intensely hegemonic streak. Rigid codes of behavior govern everything from how to dress to the proper time of day to drink a cappuccino. Far from being a melting pot, Italy remains a three-course meal, with the pasta carefully segregated from the appetizer and main course and no place for a bowl of hummus or plate of egg rolls. 'People now accept that immigrants are here,' says Giuseppe Sciortino, an immigration expert and sociology professor at the University of Trento. 'But they're still in denial that they are a presence that will change Italy forever.'" I am not bringing my children up here if things like this continue. You may not be saying Italy is racist, I am not so sure...,8599,1953064,00.html#ixzz17olcTjNg

  2. Well, I still think Italy and its people are not racist, but I believe that in Italy there is a lot of racism. I my humble opinion, that is very different, this is what I wanted to say in the post. What do you think?
    PS: Please, Anonymous, next time you come, be kind to leave your name...

  3. I was born and grew up in Italy. I practically didn't know what racism was until I moved at the age of 21 in the United States, the only Country where all races live...and yet, the most racist Country in the world.
    In every Country there are people who do not like doesn't make a Country's just a need for people to dislike others. This will never cease..ever.

  4. Dear Alessandra, I don't know where you live now, but I was born in Italy and I am 42 years old.
    Even if I am Italian, I felt many times racism on my skin and I personally know what I'm talking of. Racism, or discrimination for my color, origin, just the last name. However, as I wrote in the post, I stil think that Italy is not a racist country, so the people. I say that in Italy there is racism. In the media, TV, news, movies, language, in politics, generally in the mass culture. If it were just a dislike question, we should not have Ignazio La Russa, Calderoli, Borghezio in the governement...

    PS: I could say many more.

  5. Thank you for your thoughtful post on this issue. I am an Italian-American who has spent years living in both Italy and America. I must disagree with Alessandra who claims above that the U.S. is the most racist country in the world. This is absolutely untrue. I can think of few other nations that have elected a minority to the country's highest political office, as we Americans have done with President Obama. I fear to say that I simply cannot envision a day when Italians might select a "Moroccan," whether of Tunisian, Algerian, Egyptian, Moroccan or sub-Saharan African descent. Sadly, racism is indeed alive and well in Italy. I am proud to be Italian, and proud to be American, but I see that Italy has a very long way to go towards being a color or race-blind society.


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment, try to be polite, but please, if you have to spam, do not lose your time and mine.