Kyenge says 'Italy not racist' despite barrage of slurs

'Proud to be Italian' says first black minister

Kyenge says 'Italy not racist' despite barrage of slurs

Rome, July 31 - Italy's first black cabinet member said Wednesday that the country was not by nature racist despite a barrage of epithets she has had to endure since her appointment in April. "There are episodes of racism but you can't say that Italy is a racist country," said Cecile Kyenge. The Congo-born integration minister said she was "proud to be Italian," adding she believed "a cultural shift" was taking place in the country. After months of brushing off attacks from members of the anti-immigrant Northern League, Kyenge called on its leader, Roberto Maroni, to denounce party members for their "intolerable" rhetoric on Tuesday.

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