Tu Razzista

Immigration to Italy is a relatively recently phenomenon.  Until very recently, Italy was a country that sent people abroad, rather than accepting immigrants in search of better jobs and lives.  Unfortunately, however, like everyone else in Italy, the immigrants have figured out that the consequences for misbehaving are hardly ever very serious, and so the bad apples have made a name for themselves through a string of rapes, robberies and other random acts of criminality.  Many news outlets have picked up on this theme and often publish the fact that some miscreant is a foreigner, while at the same time mostly ignoring how much Italians flaunt the laws themselves.

Today, I noticed an election billboard:

Tu Razzista


The text, "Tu colpevole… tu pena certa subito" is grammatically incorrect Italian, which, translated fairly literally, means something along the lines of "You guilty… you certain punishment right away", and is meant to immitate a speaker with a poor grasp of Italian.  Translating it a bit more liberally, one might end up with something along the lines of "You do crime, you go jail, capish?".

In other words, while the core idea of people actually being responsible for their crimes is certainly laudable (and applicable to everyone from the lowliest criminals amongst recent immigrants up to the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi), the delivery is something that I, as an immigrant and foreigner here myself, consider to be offensive.

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