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Italy has been slow to apply lessons from its own experience of emigration to the potential benefit of its recently settled immigrants who suffer multiple forms of social exclusion and have been subject to mounting acts of racism. A cooperative approach could allow for cultural growth, yet politically, socially, and economically such change has not only been slow to take place but may have actually gone in reverse, as evidence shows that acceptance of immigrants and immigrant culture in Italy has seemed to decline over the years. Deep-seated racism is an issue given scant attention in Italy except in dramatic circumstances. The legacy of fascism; the tangible insecurity, are fertile ground for the nationalist and the far-right to spread irrational fear of migrants.
The most extreme leaders are trying to use the issue of migration to push a vision of the nation based on ethnic privilege and defined in opposition to racialized outsiders, be they Muslims, or unspecified dark-skinned migrants.