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Thread: Racism

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Racism

    I had planned a vacation in Italy a while back. A friend of mine went there on business a few weeks before my vacation was due, and came back completely traumatized because of the racism she experienced. I would still like to visit, but I am afraid of the racism. Is this still a big problem in Italy?

  2. #2
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    Re: Racism

    Racism is sadly a very real issue all over the world - even between singular groups. So you may well experience some difficulties there - however depending on your nationality you might find that it lessens as they hear your accent... or you may find it worsens. That said you shouldn't avoid a place just because you might have difficulties due to race - Italy has many persons of many shades and races within it's borders so it isn't as bad as it could be. Just have a trip, and remember that if worse should come to worse there is an embassy there.
    jodiann12 likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Racism

    Thanks for the response. I have thought about that, but I must confess that my friend was really traumatized by the visit. We are of the same race and look pretty much the same. On the other hand, I am a nut for Italian food, and I want to experience it first hand. I am giving it serious thought, because I really intend to visit there.

  4. #4
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    Re: Racism

    I would definitely strongly encourage you to still go. Racism is one of the uglier human failings, and the best response is no response at all. It's way easier to say then do of course, but you should always endeavor to prevent racism from taking away your rights and prevent you from doing what you want to do. In this case, it's travel and see Italy. You have a right to go and you should get to enjoy that Italian food! :-)

    Here's an article I found on the subject: Tips for blacks, Asians, and other minorities traveling in Italy
    It's got some information, which may either decide you for or against going, but it'll at least give you a bit of an idea of what to expect. It does sound like there is some ugly examples of racism in Italy, and that's terrible. But at the same time Italy, particularly the major cities, get huge amounts of tourism and a lot of the places there are going to depend on that. You can write bad reviews, and warn others off, and the people in tourist areas are going to know that and be wary of offending you.

    I'd recommend staying in more chain hotels if you can afford it. The Marriot or whatever other recognizable names are out there. That way you can easily call and get reservations ahead of time, and if you have any trouble with the staff, you can voice your complaints more easily through email or online through the Marriot website or whichever hotel chain. That way you at least don't have to worry as much about the hotel.

  5. #5
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    Re: Racism

    I been to many countries and I also experienced racism, But not to all the countries I been. I been to Italy for vacation. I stayed there for more than a week. During my stay I never experience Racism. I think it is very seldom to experience it if your a tourist. I experienced it in my work but not during vacation.

  6. #6
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    Re: Racism

    I would like to thank L3club for that article. It was very informative and eye-opening. I would definitely bear the tips when traveling to Italy in mind. I would also like to visit Italy. I love Italian cuisine and the culture, so it's very heart breaking to find out that they are racist, but I will inform myself with as much information as I can so that I don't have to deal with very blatant racism.

  7. #7
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    Re: Racism

    I checked out the article. It was indeed informative. Thank you so much L3club for that. I have hopes of travelling to Italy soon too. I had heard about the racism in Italy and thought it was very bad. However, there is racism almost everywhere these days. So all we need to do is be safe and play it cool. It is almost unavoidable these days. I have experienced it too many times.

  8. #8
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    Re: Racism

    Great article. I know that the racism in Italy can be pretty rough. Just keep in mind that it happens everywhere. What you really need to pay attention to is the set of skills you will need to survive in these situations. Just keep a level head. You will be just fine. Italy is a nice place to visit in my opinion. Don't let this deter you from that.

  9. #9
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    Re: Racism

    I find that Italians are on average much more racist than the French. In France, sub-Saharan Africans and Arabs live and work alongside native French people with hardly any problems. The only thing which is gaining a lot of press now is the French separation of religion from the state, meaning that schools, universities, government buildings must be free from religious symbols of any kind. This means that even nuns and priests who enter government buildings are not allowed to wear their religious attire and Muslim women are not allowed to wear the headscarf or veil.

    Other than that, there is very little in terms of racism in France. Sadly I can't really say the same for Italy, though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by L3club View Post
    I would definitely strongly encourage you to still go. Racism is one of the uglier human failings, and the best response is no response at all. It's way easier to say then do of course, but you should always endeavor to prevent racism from taking away your rights and prevent you from doing what you want to do. In this case, it's travel and see Italy. You have a right to go and you should get to enjoy that Italian food! :-)

    Here's an article I found on the subject: Tips for blacks, Asians, and other minorities traveling in Italy
    It's got some information, which may either decide you for or against going, but it'll at least give you a bit of an idea of what to expect. It does sound like there is some ugly examples of racism in Italy, and that's terrible. But at the same time Italy, particularly the major cities, get huge amounts of tourism and a lot of the places there are going to depend on that. You can write bad reviews, and warn others off, and the people in tourist areas are going to know that and be wary of offending you.

    I'd recommend staying in more chain hotels if you can afford it. The Marriot or whatever other recognizable names are out there. That way you can easily call and get reservations ahead of time, and if you have any trouble with the staff, you can voice your complaints more easily through email or online through the Marriot website or whichever hotel chain. That way you at least don't have to worry as much about the hotel.

    That's a really great link...informative. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I agree overall. It's worth it to travel and immerse in other cultures...even if racism is abound everywhere to some degree.

  11. #11
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    Re: Racism

    I had two friends with very different experiences in Italy. Both were Military. One absolutely adored it, was able to get emersed in the culture, became friends with the locals, etc. The other had her car torched because her husband was American and in the Military.

  12. #12
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    Re: Racism

    I'm glad so many people found the link helpful. I hope you make it to Italy soon Flavia and have a great time!

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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by L3club View Post
    I'm glad so many people found the link helpful. I hope you make it to Italy soon Flavia and have a great time!
    Thank you so much. We have started planning. I would really love to make it. I am dying to taste some authentic Italian food, and just enjoy the scenes and sites and all there is to experience. I look forward to making it there.

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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by alycat32 View Post
    I had two friends with very different experiences in Italy. Both were Military. One absolutely adored it, was able to get emersed in the culture, became friends with the locals, etc. The other had her car torched because her husband was American and in the Military.
    Oh my gosh! That is what I am so afraid of. I have heard of stories like this, and I sincerely hope things like these will stop. I am fearful indeed, but I still hoe to get there. I'm Jamaican, and I would not like to have my car torched or be treated unfairly because of where I am from. I have experienced racism before, but not that strongly.

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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by alycat32 View Post
    I had two friends with very different experiences in Italy. Both were Military. One absolutely adored it, was able to get emersed in the culture, became friends with the locals, etc. The other had her car torched because her husband was American and in the Military.
    I can hardly believe this. What became of it? Where there any repercussions for those involved? Was anyone hurt? How did she manage?

  16. #16
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    Re: Racism

    It is really hard to come to grips with something like this. I cannot believe that in this modern day we still have this blatant kind of racism and disregard for human life. it is really atrocious and out of bounds!

  17. #17
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    Re: Racism

    To add my two cents to this discussion:

    It's always good to be prepared beforehand. If you're visiting Italy and are afraid that you'll be discriminated against then by all means steel yourself for the worst. It's how you respond to it that matters. The basic purpose of any racist is to provoke you, to make you feel inferior, to offend you and so on. Battling the vice the right way is refusing to fall for the bait. It's all in the mind. . .

    If somebody calls you a pig then since that person is human as you he's as much pig as you. Point is people make a big deal out of nothing. Words mean nothing.

  18. #18
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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by L3club View Post
    I would definitely strongly encourage you to still go. Racism is one of the uglier human failings, and the best response is no response at all. It's way easier to say then do of course, but you should always endeavor to prevent racism from taking away your rights and prevent you from doing what you want to do. In this case, it's travel and see Italy. You have a right to go and you should get to enjoy that Italian food! :-)

    Here's an article I found on the subject: Tips for blacks, Asians, and other minorities traveling in Italy
    It's got some information, which may either decide you for or against going, but it'll at least give you a bit of an idea of what to expect. It does sound like there is some ugly examples of racism in Italy, and that's terrible. But at the same time Italy, particularly the major cities, get huge amounts of tourism and a lot of the places there are going to depend on that. You can write bad reviews, and warn others off, and the people in tourist areas are going to know that and be wary of offending you.

    I'd recommend staying in more chain hotels if you can afford it. The Marriot or whatever other recognizable names are out there. That way you can easily call and get reservations ahead of time, and if you have any trouble with the staff, you can voice your complaints more easily through email or online through the Marriot website or whichever hotel chain. That way you at least don't have to worry as much about the hotel.
    I found the comparission in that article kinda offensive, because the writer compared black people situation in italy to the situation of Mexican people in the US, I mean... really? That's a really low blow, because as far as I know people in the US are more colorblind now. Italy doesn't seem to be that way, because I've heard the whiter you are the better. I guess mediterranean looking people such as myself would do great in Italy. I feel sorry for the people who have experienced any form of racism over there, it seems racism is still VERY alive everywhere.

  19. #19
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    Re: Racism

    Sorry if you found the article offensive. I meant only to help answer questions the OP had about Italy and didn't think it would offend anyone :-)

    I think it probably largely depends where you are in the US for the level of racism Hispanic people would come across. There are a lot of 'hot-button' issues with regards to them (their language and it's growing presence in everyday life, immigration illegal or otherwise) so it actually can I think result in some nasty racism. I live in Arizona and there's a huge Hispanic population here. I actually don't think the racism here is quite as bad as it sounds in Italy, but it can definitely be there. There's really is a notable separation between the Hispanic groups and the Caucasian groups. There's not a lot of mixing except on the most superficial level. Then there is always lot of suspicion. If you're Hispanic, a lot of people will automatically assume that you're probably here illegally. I think it's a different, more hidden racism, but it's definitely still there

  20. #20
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    Re: Racism

    Some cases really do scare us, but we can't let racism keep us from having our dream trips and vacations! Maybe your friend had really bad luck with her experience. Italians were always nothing but friendly and fun around me, so I have a hard time picturing them as racists... my whole family is Italian descendant and I have Italy and Italians in a high pedestal. To me they are fun, loud and happy people. I would be heartbroken if when I went to Italy I suffered any form of racism from them.

  21. #21
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    Re: Racism

    Italy is experiencing multiculturalism a little late compared to other countries, and in many places you can still hear someone say that immigrants "are taking our jobs". The mentality is changing slowly, but I wouldn't be afraid to visit the country: I have never seen any violence against tourists or foreigners in general. Can you please explain what has your friend experienced during her stay? Maybe I can help.
    You have to consider that there is a notable difference between every Italian region, so giving a comprehensive view of the country is difficult.

    p.s.: I am baffled by alycat32's post, we respect American culture and to be honest many of us are a little intimidated by it, I am really surprised to see this kind of behaviour. Can you tell us about the aftermath?

  22. #22
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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by L3club View Post
    Sorry if you found the article offensive. I meant only to help answer questions the OP had about Italy and didn't think it would offend anyone :-)

    I think it probably largely depends where you are in the US for the level of racism Hispanic people would come across. There are a lot of 'hot-button' issues with regards to them (their language and it's growing presence in everyday life, immigration illegal or otherwise) so it actually can I think result in some nasty racism. I live in Arizona and there's a huge Hispanic population here. I actually don't think the racism here is quite as bad as it sounds in Italy, but it can definitely be there. There's really is a notable separation between the Hispanic groups and the Caucasian groups. There's not a lot of mixing except on the most superficial level. Then there is always lot of suspicion. If you're Hispanic, a lot of people will automatically assume that you're probably here illegally. I think it's a different, more hidden racism, but it's definitely still there
    Don't worry, not your fault I was a bit surprised they'd use that ethnic group as an example in that article. I think that can be a dangerous thing to do... sometimes people blindly believe what they read on a web site. In a way, I believe this can contribute to racism... that if you're already predisposed to that tendency! But I've seen it happening.

 

 

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