Move over Paula Deen, it seems like Fulvio Bressan wants to claim the title of “biggest racist asshole” in the industry. According to the Huffington Post Black Voices, Bressan, a sixth-generation winemaker, is coming under fire for his hate-filled rants against Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first Black government minister.
During one rant posted to his Facebook page, Bressan called Kyenge a “dirty Black monkey” and a “gold digger.”
The HuffPost translated his tirade:
hey, dirty Black MONKEY, I DON’T PAY TAXES to lodge your GORILLA friends at a HOTEL. Please bring them to your place, where you can feel superior with your money … Oops … That money is not even yours: it’s the money Italians give you … You’re a s***ty black gold-digger.
Kyenge has caught the ire of several racists in her country. Earlier this month, protesters demanded she resign from office by dumping three bloodstained mannequins at a town hall meeting she attended, and when she first took office, Kyenge, an eye surgeon, had bananas hurled at her head.
But Bressan’s antics haven’t gone unpunished. Several customers, food writers, and restaurateurs are threatening a boycott. Jacob Kennedy, owner of Bocca di Lupo in London, even smashed his entire stockpile of Bressan wines outside of his establishment, and then posted the video on YouTube to encourage more people to bypass the wine.
Despite the dustup, Bressan has continued to post offensive rants on his Facebook page, targeting gypsies and other immigrants with his hate.
Though offensive, Bressan’s rants are not atypical of Italy, which continues to suffer from “embedded” racism, according to the Guardian. Back in January, Ghanaian footballer Kevin Prince Boateng walked off the field in Milan after the crowd chanted racists slurs at him during the game.
Though Italy is increasingly becoming home to many immigrants, the country remains extremely insular, and many blame its racism on Right Wing fringe elements that continue to hold outdated views.
While the horrific treatment of Kyenge has been condemned around the world, she continues to be the focus of many attacks. I wonder if the boycott of Bressan’s wines will finally teach him—and by extension his countrymen—that hating others is not okay.