Italian MEP convicted of defamation for racist remarks
- Mario Borghezio was convicted for comments against former Italian MP Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first black national minister.
- Borghezio had stated in a 2013 interview that Kyenge, who immigrated from the DRC, wanted to “impose her tribal traditions from the Congo” and was “a good housewife, but not a government minister.”
- Kyenge has faced numerous racial attacks as a result of her political visibility, and the ruling is the latest in a series of successful defamation cases she has brought.
“Northern League MEP must pay €50,000 to ex-minister over racial slurs” (The Local | May 2017)
“Italian in Europe’s Parliament Convicted of Defamation for Racial Insult” (The New York Times | May 2017)
“Italian MEP Cecile Kyenge: ‘I feel vindicated’” (BBC News | May 2017)
(Image Credit: Gianni Cipriano/The New York Times)
The Enduring Exploitation of Italy’s Grape Harvesters
Two years after the plight of its grape harvesters crashed into the global consciousness, Italy continues to struggle to uproot the labor practices that have been called “modern-day slavery” by human rights and labor rights advocates. Recent legislation has prioritized the eradication of exploitation, but underground organizations continue to take advantage of the dire conditions of Italy’s most vulnerable. Overworked, underpaid, and subject to extortion by recruiting and transportation agencies, the migrants and poor Italian women enduring the strenuous work of picking and cleaning grapes continue to struggle with difficult choices between precarious work, personal health, and acquiescence in a system designed for their failure.
“A Woman’s Death Sorting Grapes Exposes Italy’s ‘Slavery’” (The New York Times | April 2017)
“Fire kills two in Italy migrant farm workers’ ‘ghetto’” (Reuters | March 2017)
(Image Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen/The New York Times)
Integrating Blackness into U.S. Immigration Justice
The surge in the visibility of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump has increased the workload of immigration activists, particularly those fighting for justice for Afro-Latinx and black Muslim immigrants. In addition to broader xenophobia, black immigrant communities have been subject to broader anti-black racism that has compounded their insecurity, including disproportionate profiling and deportation, high unemployment rates, and marginalization by other immigrant communities. Recent media coverage has examined the challenges that arise at the intersection of being black and immigrant in a hostile political climate.
“Meet the Afro-Latinx Activists Empowering Black Immigrants” (teleSUR English | February 2017)
“Black immigrants in U.S. fear profiling may drive up deportation rates” (Free Speech Radio News | February 2017)
“Black Muslims Face Double Jeopardy, Anxiety In The Heartland” (NPR | February 2017)
“Black and Muslim, some African immigrants feel the brunt of Trump’s immigration plans” (PRI | January 2017)
The State of Black Immigrants (Black Alliance for Just Immigration + NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic | 2016)
Connect & Support
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
African Communities Together
Black Immigrant Network
(Image Credit: Erik McGregor/Getty Images, via NPR)
Black Lives Matter Globally
As a series of controversial shootings of African-American men by police has renewed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., people around the world have stood in solidarity with black Americans seeking to root out racial profiling, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability in U.S. law enforcement. For some, the demonstrations have been defined mostly by a kind of international allyism, but in many parts of the world, the American movement has prompted reflection on the treatment of local black communities—native, historical, and immigrant—by law enforcement, politicians, and broader society. Here is a look at the global demonstrations and solidarity movements in the name of Black Lives Matter: Continue reading Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests
African Union prepares to launch common African passport
- The A.U. is preparing to launch the e-Passport, a transnational passport opening up migration between the 54 constituent countries, at its upcoming summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
- The e-Passport is expected to function similar to European Union citizenship, promoting mobility and increased economic integration across the African continent.
- The passport will initially be available to heads of state and other diplomatic and foreign affairs representatives, with rollout to citizens expected to take place in 2018.
“African Union set to launch e-Passport at July Summit in Rwanda” (African Union press release)
“The opposite of Brexit: African Union launches an all-Africa passport” (The Washington Post)
“As EU fights over migrants, African Union takes steps to free movement of people” (CNBC)
China’s Disappearing “Little Africa”
China’s increased economic ties with sub-Saharan Africa countries have opened up new immigration channels, with a flurry of “Chinatowns” and “Little Africas” popping up in destination countries. But as urban “beautification” campaigns expand in China’s cities, African immigrants have found their economic and social spaces under threat. Guangzhou, home to what is estimated to be China’s largest population of black African immigrants, has seen its vibrant African market dampened as urban development, an economic downturn, increased policing, tightening immigration policies, and social stigma have driven many enterprising immigrants out of public areas. CNN takes a look at the shifting prospects for African immigrants in China.
“The African migrants giving up on the Chinese dream” (CNN)
(Image Credit: via CNN)
Black in North Africa
Like the color it purports to name, the social label black absorbs, integrates, and obscures distinct but interrelated phenomena: a skin tone of context-dependent shade, a racial classification from bygone times, an ethnic designation, a class marker, an immigration status, an ancestry, a cultural heritage, and an index of historical wrongs still fresh in memory. Black has often served as shorthand for of African descent, but perhaps nowhere most complicates that substitution than a region on the continent itself: North Africa. Continue reading Citations: Black in North Africa