On 26 September 2022, the leader of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), Giorgia Meloni, was confirmed as the country’s new prime minister, as predicted by many political pundits and institutions. She’s the first far-right prime minister in postwar western Europe and leader of the biggest party of a far-right dominated right-wing coalition that gained a massive majority in parliament. While such victories, together with that of Trump, various far-right parties in Hungary, Sweden, and elsewhere are always met with utter and complete shock and rightful fear, they’re quite indicative of their time.
Fascism (most commonly known under the euphemisms “far-right” or “conservatism”) and capitalism are two overlapping systems that feed off of and inform each other. The consequences of ongoing neo-colonial ventures that force exploited and suffering peoples into migrating to other Afrikan countries for the most part and push a minority to Europe (which is the focus of anti-immigration politics), the pandemic, the Ukrainian war, and the cost of living crisis are all ingredients being stirred in the pot heated up by the nationalist flame. A flame that is the logo of the Fratelli d’Italia party, which is the same as that of the neo-fascist party Movimento Sociale Italiano (Italian Social Movement), which Meloni joined as a teenager and is considered the successor of Mussolini’s own party.
Although Meloni is rightfully called out for who and what she is, a fascist; liberal culture which is focused more on symbolism than substance, is calling her a win for feminism. Girl boss fascism.
Not only are western liberals praising her, but in a twisted turn of events worthy of Zuckerberg’s metaverse and the MCU multiverse, so are some Afrikans. A video of Meloni denouncing French president Macron’s neo-colonialism has made rounds on Twitter, with thousands of Black people congratulating her for speaking the truth. Just like Di Maio, former leader of the Movimento 5 Stelle (5-Star Movement), the new Italian prime minister fired shots at French imperialism. Melonistates, initially mocking the French accent: “Emmanuel Macron described us as disgusting, cynics and irresponsible . . . . The irresponsible Emmanuel Macron are those who bombed Libya because they were concerned that Italy would obtain important energy concession with Gaddafi and left us facing the chaos of illegal immigration we are facing now. The cynics, Emmanuel Macron, are the French who send the gendarmerie to return any immigrant trying to cross the border in Ventimiglia . . . . Disgusting is France that continues to exploit Afrika by printing money to 14 Afrikan countries, charging them mint fees, and by children labor in the mines by extracting raw materials, as is happening in Niger, where France extracts 30% of the uranium it needs to run its nuclear reactors, while 90% of Niger’s population lives without electricity. Do not come to teach us lessons, Macron; the Afrikans are abandoning their continent because of you. The solution is not to transfer Afrikans to Europe, but to liberate Afrika from some Europeans.”
Di Maio, too, spoke out about the colonial currency called CFA Franc. But they both failed to mention this detail highlighted by Fanny Pigeaud and Ndongo Samba Sylla in their book Afria’s Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story: “In order for the franc zone to survive the disappearance of the French franc (once the Euro was introduced), France had to grant the EMU (European Economic and Monetary Union) a small portion of its sovereignty over the CFA and Comorian francs. These have been under double tutelage – French and European – ever since. Thus the franc zone gave way to the Euro-African zone.” The whole of Europe benefits in one way or another from CFA Franc.
Meloni can talk all she wants about the currency and the exploitation in Niger, but just as France is killing Niger, so is the Italian oil giant Eni wreaking irreparable havoc and harm on the Niger Delta in Nigeria using out-of-court and confidential settlements to avoide accountability. The truth is, Meloni’s not saying anything bold nor radical, for these pieces of information have been around forever and are now even more accessible through platforms like Twitter and TikTok. Secondly, when she says, “the solution is not to transfer Afrikans to Europe, but to liberate Afrika from some Europeans,” she means that France should be kicked out to make space for Italy. If lo Stivale (the boot) can kick France’s derrière, the “migration crisis” will be a not-so-bitter pill to swallow since at least the country will be able to highly benefit from neo-colonialism and offset some inconveniences.
But let’s go back to Afrikans applauding Meloni for the statement shared above. Many quoted the video, tweeting that they were in love with her. “What a woman,” “Who is she?”, “She’s telling the truth,” “#IronLady” (as if that Iron Lady wasn’t in a very warm place with the likes of Churchill). Those comments came mainly from people whose countries were former British colonies: South Afrika, Uganda, and Nigeria. If giving the benefit of the doubt was a thing (because who’s benefiting from said doubt?), colonial languages are to be blamed for not allowing former French and British Afrikan subjects to grasp each other politically and economically (articles and books in both French and English about French colonialism are available and the recent speech by Malian prime minister Colonel Maiga at the UN where he denounces French interventions and terrorism is available in English, though). It’s incredible that a country like Nigeria would have citizens praise a fascist whose country is not only polluting theirs but also brutalizing Nigerian immigrants in Italy. Two months ago, a disabled Nigerian man, Alika Ogorchukwu, was killed by an Italian man in the region of Marche. The bar of historical consciousness and political and economic education is right next to Thatcher. In hell.
“What we fail to understand is that calling out France or political adversaries is nothing but a virtue signaling strategy to appear radical to appeal to an audience that will fall for the woke act and support her. An audience who would otherwise be appalled by her racism and fascism. How can Meloni be a fascist who hates Afrikans if she’s defending us against France, right? Dream on. Also, Marine Le Pen has called out her own country and condemned the CFA Franc as a tragedy (c’est un drame). Do you really believe she would’ve got rid of that cash cow?
Meloni, whose name translates to “melons” in English, left many Afrikans smiling from ear to ear after believing her “incendiary” remarks were made in good faith. We have a long way to go.