Italian Integration minister Cecile Kyenge was giving a speech on Friday when a member of the audience began hurling bananas at her. Politicians condemned the act, saying behavior like this is the result of Italy’s far right, which opposes immigration and is against Kyenge’s attempt to give immigrants Italian citizenship.
Ealier this month the vice president of the Italian senate, Roberto Calderoli, compared Kyenge to an “orangutan” during an address he gave at a meeting of his party, the Northern League, an anti-immigration party.
"I cannot but think of the features of an orangutan, even if I am not saying she is one,” Calderoli said.
He later apologized over the incident after a public backlash.
Kyenge, 48, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was appointed in April and since then has endured a campaign of harassment from far-right groups.
Kyenge wants to pass legislation that would allow anyone born in Italy become an Italian citizen.
Right-wing group Forza Nuova, New Force in Italian, which is also opposed to homosexuality, claims that “immigration kills.” The group cites murders carried out by immigrants in Italy as their reason for denying citizenship.
Kyenge has maintained a dignified silence over the banana throwing. She simply called it “sad” and a waste of food, considering the economic crisis, reported The Telegraph.
Sources: MSN Now, The Telegraph