Berlusconi’s Frighteningly Successful Racism. Adetola Lawal

Two days after the United States Presidential Election, Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, said to the President of Russia President-elect Barack Obama “has all the qualities to get along well with you: he’s young, handsome and suntanned, so I think you can develop a good working relationship.” This statement was harshly rebuked by Italian politicians as being racist. Berlusconi’s opponent in the last Italian election, Walter Veltroni, went far enough to say that his comments “seriously damage the image and dignity of our country on the international scene.” Unfortunately for Italy, this statement is insignificant compared to the racism rampant in the Italian government and population at large. The Roma (Gypsy) are an ethnic group that emigrated from South Asia to many countries primarily in Southern and Eastern Europe almost a millennium ago. For many centuries, Europeans have been at odds with the Roma community due to their cultural differences and physical appearances. The Roma have experienced injustices for centuries including losing their children, suffering discrimination, and even being forced into labor. Continue reading

ARTHUR’S SEAT. Rossella Riccobono

Soon I will be back, Edinburgh,
city of festivals and arts,
back in your arms, amongst your hilly breasts,
in the green soft fragrant hair of your pubes,
high on the verge of your shining phallus
from where I will once more enjoy
a bird’s eye view of your beauty.
A vertical climb to orgasmic heights,
ready to be seduced again, all dressed in black
and silk, as you once dreamed me.
Ready to take off my veils to you
without shame, like when for the first time
I saw you—barely nineteen and ready to live—
and your eyes struck me like lightening.
From your tops the castle looks so small,
Naïf-style painting, ever present on my mind
since a thousand years ago, when under a lacey
shower of veils I was carried away from you
to be given to someone else as a bride.
No-one was allowed to look at me, but your firm
burning eyes didn’t let go of mine—nor mine of yours.
So now I am back, alone, where I was happy once
with someone else, now I’ve found you again.
But when I’ll reach the top of Arthur’s Seat
and scream aloud his name, he’ll be too far
to hear.

Wellington, December 2003