Did you ever feel ashamed of yourself?
"What an ugly thing is this black child! Kids, don't you find him ugly too? Turn around, and face the window, so I don't have to look at your face. "
These were the words that, a primary school teacher addressed to a black kid in his class. It happened only a few days ago in a primary school in Foligno, Italy.
The teacher, on a temp contract, defended his actions saying he was conducting a "social experiment" but such project is in no official school document.
The case came to light after a parent posted (and then removed) on Facebook what her children told her, adding that the teacher forced the African child to look at the window without turning for the rest of the lesson.
The teacher reserved that same treatment to the black kid little sister, who is in a different class at the same school.
I'm embarrassed by what I am in the context of my world right now. A white Italian. Our anti-immigration policies by the government we elected have driven the sharp decrease in rescue missions in the Mediterranean sea. We have closed our ports to NGOs boats with migrants on board. We told them to keep away from our coasts, so we won't have to look at them.
Italy is currently run by a sovereignist hate preacher and an ignorant. The second is finishing to destroy the economy and the other is spending all his time blaming migrants for all Italy's problems.
But it's more than just him. The figurehead is only that, a head. The body spreads through the countrywide and fat, assimilating in small towns and big cities. Under our nose. Behind our back. And right out in the open. Loud and proud. And hateful.
The results are these: people like this teacher, who is obviously lacking self-compassion for his own failures, humiliating a kid in front of his mates because his skin is of a different colour.
I feel ashamed about what happened. And because the teacher doesn't seem to understand how wrong his behaviour was.