During a brief visit last year to the Italian city of Naples, I witnessed a sidewalk scene involving three African men selling purses and three conspicuously armed Italian law enforcement officials.
The latter trio was in the midst of guaranteeing public safety by confiscating bundles of purses and taunting the visibly distressed Africans with them, as a crowd of tourists looked on.
Indeed, across Europe these days, the forcible denial of migrant dignity appears to have been subsumed into the list of on-the-job duties for security personnel.
Dehumanising treatment is facilitated by the pejorative rhetoric of Europe’s ruling classes; eternal Italian political fixture Silvio Berlusconi, for example, once complained that parts of Milan were looking too much like Africa. A dutifully xenophobic media furthermore labours to encourage existential fears in the minds of European audiences. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.