Sunday, April 13, 2008

Italian Politics And The American Indian

The “Lega Nord per l'Indipendenza della Padania”, short name “Lega Nord”, was founded as a federation of eight regional political parties of Northern and Central Italy in 1991. The party advocates autonomy from Rome for regions in Northern Italy, which was called “Padania“ by early geographers. Led by ex-Communist Umberto Bossi, one of the major platforms of Lega Nord is immigration policies.

According to official 2005 Italian statistics, 2,400,000 foreign residents are living in Italy. Of this number of legal foreign residents, 820,000 are Muslim. Added to this are Muslims who make up the estimated 40% of total illegal immigrants. At least one source quotes that Islam, although not officially recognized by the State, has become the second largest religion - next to Roman Catholicism. Other immigrants come from Albania, Morocco, Romania, Moldavia, and Ukraine.

The purpose of the above information is to give just a very small background. My major comment is not to endorse or refute any policy of an Italian political party. It is to address the unmitigated and detestable audacity that Lega Nord has shown in pressing it’s agenda by using American Indian history.

Lega Nord has dared to compare the current situation as they see it in Italy with the destruction of the indigenous population of North America by the violence and chicanery committed by the masses of European immigrants who rolled over the land.

Following are two examples of posters and large billboards used by the Lega Nord.

This reads “INDIANS COULDN’T STOP THE INVASION - Do you think that you are as strong as Indians are? - Do you think that you can survive on a Reservation? - VOTE FOR THE NORTHERN LEAGUE”

This billboard is from the Lega Dei Ticinesi, in the Italian portion of Switzerland.

The first day of the two day Italian election period is being held as I write this today, 13 April. Unfortunately, it is too late for American Indians to make a formal protest to the Lega Nord or Italian people about this misuse of our history. It’s not too late to let our position be known in order to hopefully prevent future travesties of this magnitude.

Any comments on the inappropriate use of American Indian history by the Lega Nord will be passed to appropriate friends in Italy so that the political party and it’s supporters are denounced for their actions. Lega Nord should be able to present their positions without the shameful exploitation of the American Indian.

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