I have black skin and I'm afraid
A Bakery and a bar are just a few meters from the house. Due to the violent episodes of intolerance that recently took place in Foggia against people of our color, I realize, however, that I pay much more attention to approaching cars. Today I consider the possibility of being run over or hit with a stone thrown from a window. A fear as irrational as it is justified.
The image of Kemo Fatty's swollen and bleeding face is impressive. The young Gambian was attacked last July 23rd. A stone thrown from a racing car seriously injured his eye causing him to fall off his bicycle. That of Kemo, you could have known thanks to 'Avvenire', is the fourth episode (reported) in which nine Africans were attacked in the same way in the last month. I know the roads where these attacks take place.
In fact, in 2015 I realized for this newspaper a reportage on the foreign laborers of the so-called 'ghetto di Rignano', located in the countryside between San Severo and Rignano Garganico, 15 kilometers from Foggia. Taking advantage of my skin color, I stayed for two weeks in a slum frequented by thousands of Africans. One of the many realities that, instead of being resolved, is repeatedly exploited by politics.
The climate of intolerance fueled by this government has made me more paranoid. From the event of Macerata in February 2018, when Luca Traini shot at a group of innocent Africans, I walk in the streets looking often over my shoulders. Near where I live, in Florence, a depressed pensioner had in fact killed for no reason a Senegalese a month later, Idy Diene. Every week I read about Africans being insulted, assaulted or discriminated.
I left Italy fifteen years ago to live and work as a journalist in Africa. But year after year, when I land on the Italian soil, a strange anguish grabs my heart. A feeling that intensified with the birth of Sahel and Tsavo. This is certainly not the Italy I learned to love and where I grew up. And, unfortunately today, it is not the country where I would like to see my children grow up.
Matteo Fraschini Koffi for AVVENIRE - August 4th, 2019 © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED