The worst word

Some right-wing political forces continue to talk about invasion when referring to immigrants. The numbers tell quite a different story and stirring up fears does not help anyone to live better.

antisemitismo difesa razza

For too long, when talking about immigration, various centre-right forces have used the word “invasion”. This is a word that catches on quickly, because it spreads easily, from mouth to mouth. It matters little if the data tells a different story. It matters little if fear is the emotion that is most aroused. Unfortunately, this is precisely what these political forces are trying to achieve.

And the terrible comment by Attilio Fontana is a result. The centre-right candidate is a serious moderate and, during the ten years of his administration in Varese, beyond his merits and shortcomings, he has never exhibited racism or intolerance.

The absurd comment made yesterday on Radio Padania was not a simple slip, as he explained immediately, but came from those positions that see the immigrant as a danger, an anomaly for communities that would still like to live closed within their protecting walls.

During his talk, Fontana expressed a well-known position of his party. He used an unutterable word, but this is not the real problem. There is an enormous cultural issue, and as long as some continue to exaggerate the shadow of fear, it will not be faced for what it is.

The secretary of the Lega, Matteo Salvini, continues to shout that we have been invaded.

The data is there, and we need to look at it. We are talking about a little more than five million foreigners in Italy, who represent 8.3% of the population. The majority of them come from Europe, and a great many have lived in Italy for more than a decade. If we analyse the presence of migrants, the number is even more insignificant, particularly if we think about the phenomenon at an international level. We need only consider that, faced with the risk of genocide, like that experienced in South Sudan, there was the flight of millions of people, and one of them took refuge in nearby Uganda, which already had its own social and economic problems.

Nobody can deny that Italy has changed and that the presence of foreigners often creates apprehensions and difficulties. The policies adopted over these years have been guided all too often by emergencies instead of the result of planning. The ideological clash over such delicate matters has not made peaceful discussion easy, although today, the situation has changed. The Interior Minister’s choices have given rise to a lot of controversies concerning what is happening In Libya, where many migrants are locked up.

However, nobody standing as a candidate to lead the country or the region can continue to feed fears. Gaining consent in this way discredits all ideas of politics. We need vision, planning and serious management.

Defending values is achieved through positive actions, actions that lead people to accept their responsibilities, thereby enabling everybody to contribute to the common good. Turning your back on the enormous inequality that there is in the world not only highlights the paradox of those who invoke principles and values, and would then like to slam the doors in the face to those in need, it does not help anybody to live better either.

Lombardy is a great region, not only because of its economic power and its capacity for innovation, not only because of the essential role it has for the whole country, but also because of the ability to welcome that it shows every day.

The election for the leader for the next five years has just started. The wish is that what we heard yesterday is will make us think about the monsters that can generate mistaken words. We are not referring to race, there is no point in talking about that, but to the assumed invasion of humans, which we all are.

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