Yesterday in Milan Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi told a crowd he'd met, "What's his name? Some tanned guy. Ah, Barack Obama! ...You won't believe it, but two of them went to the beach because the wife is also tanned." [AP]
Not shocking. I've pointed out to people repeatedly that in most of Europe, particularly Italy, one is going to run into shockingly racist, xenophobic, and down right nasty treatment if you are a non-white European/American. When I lived in Rome, I was shocked at pretty much every level of society open, out and out racist language was pretty openly tolerated. You should see how things get during elections. I was relieved when I left, but it actually caused me to put a mini embargo on that country and Spain.