Kyenge’s appointment as Italy’s minister of integration three months ago isn’t sitting well with right-wing radicals whose racial slurs and antics have overshadowed her tenure.
The banana incident is just the latest.
It took place Friday in Cervia, where Kyenge was speaking to supporters. A man popped up out of the crowd and launched two bananas toward the podium, Kyenge spokesman Cosimo Torlo said.
The bananas fell short of the stage, landing between the first and second row of spectators.
Giancarlo Mazzuca, chief editor of the daily newspaper Il Giorno, was sitting two chairs away from Kyenge.
“I was able to verify which levels can be reached by human stupidity,” he wrote in a column.
Police haven’t found the person who hurled the bananas. There will be increased security around the minister, Torlo said.
Kyenge shrugged off the episode — as she has with the other incidents.
Kyenge, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, moved to Italy in the 1980s to study medicine. She became an Italian citizen and is an ophthalmologist in Modena.
While her ascent to a top government position reflects the success of immigrants, it also has stoked nativism.
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