Pateh Sabally’s Death: What is the Point in Rescuing a Mere Migrant?
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Pateh Sabally’s Death: What is the Point in Rescuing a Mere Migrant?

Pateh Sabally, a 22 year-old Gambian refugee, died in the Grand Canal of Venice on Saturday 21st January. After the death of the Nigerian, Emmanuel Chidi, in July 2016, who was beaten by racists in Fermo, Italy, Italy has again become the theatre for another barbaric racist act. Pateh Sabally’s death conveys something about our time; it demonstrates what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil”. In 2017, a young man drowned while bystanders and tourists were laughing. They let him die while hurling racist insults at him. No one attempted to rescue him, but some picked up their phones to shoot the scene, you know, to “be there when it happens”. Inhumanity has reached a scary dimension through the mediation of cruelty.

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