Show: The New Yorker Radio Hour
Title: Black Italians Fight To Be Italian

Xenophobia is about as American as any cliche that has ever been uttered. The attraction to the country having two of the largest oceans in the world on its eastern and western coasts is fueled by xenophobia. The States are unique in that there is a “birthright clause” written into the 14th amendment which guarantees citizenship to any person born on US soil.

President Trump has recently flirted with the idea of doing away with the “birthright clause”. Ngofeen Mputubuele, a producer for The New Yorker Radio Hour, reports on life for people of African descent residing in Italy.

Italy has no birthright guarantee, so residents who were born in Italy, but have immigrant parents must identify as a citizen of the country of their parent’s birth. This podcast gives listeners a practical, real-time, street level perspective on how xenophobia can quickly turn to racism when policy enables fear.

In this episode of Black Italians Fight To Be Italian, Ngofeen Mputubuele joins a group of influential Black Italians as they share stories of prejudices they experience daily; a practice in which many Black Americans can find solidarity. More importantly the group discusses ways they can make birthright citizenship a reality for Italy. The group gives us insight on the momentum of the birthright movement since the outbreak of the global pandemic COVID-19.

One of the more fascinating perspectives addressed was Black Italians view of White Italians response to the murder of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police.

This episode encapsulates just about everything podcast lovers love about podcasts. The stories told by the people interviewed are riveting. It is a very personal journalistic endeavor, as Ngofeen Mputubuele is a product of African born parents who raised him in Italy. There is quite a lot to be learned if you aren’t already hip to Black and immigrant culture of Italy.

– Horace Gregory Jr., Writing Contributor at OPP News. 

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