Multiethnicity in Europe
Balotelli scores 2 goals against Germany. Is it normal? Not for all the people, apparently. One of the most shared links on Facebook over the recent days shows the image of a furious Hitler who shouts: ‘A nigger defeated Germany? Damned democracy!’
That’s absolute sadness. And a bad way to make people laugh. But it could also make us reflect on the concept of multiethnicity as European citizens. Italy is not different from other countries. Maybe its integration progress is even at a much earlier stage than other places. Italians have particular fear and prejudice against people coming from Romania and Albania, principally because they associate them with pickpocketing, stealing and several other criminal activities. Doing so, however, Italians forget how they were considered in the past, for example by Americans, in the time when the phenomenon of migration from Italy to the U.S.A. was at its peak. One word is enough: Mafia. Italians invented and exported the Mob in the States, where they were thought of as criminals just like people from Romania or Albania are now in Italy.
Xenophobia, the feeling of hatred and fear towards the foreigners, is no news in the European context: Germans hate Italians, Italians hate French, French hate British. Basically, everybody hates somebody.
But what is the sense of it?
People hate migrant for many reasons: because they think they are ‘stealing’ their jobs, because they don’t behave well, because they are arrogant, because they work more and for less. Principally, they hate foreigners just because they are different.
If you don’t know something, it’s normal that you may feel a little bit ‘uneasy’ about it. Getting to know each other, and the respectively different cultures in occasions like ‘multiethcnical feasts’, is probably the next best thing to travelling the world looking for whatever is different from us. Then, strongly aggregative and emotional moments, such as a footbal match, might be a good way to broaden people’s mentality making it a little less suspicious, if not ‘European’.
The final aim is to get to the famous ‘United States of Europe’, politically as well as mentally.
The only hope for the process of integration to be completed lies in young people. New generations travel more, are more curious and presumably much more open-minded than the previous ones. They wouldn’t be afraid of the foreigners, because foreign states offer job and study opportunities.
In this light Balotelli’s performance should be seen: he scores goals not just against Germany, he scores ‘European’ goals.