A young Maltese black 14-year-old shared her heartfelt personal experience as she took to the stage at a Labour Party political activity where Prime Minister Joseph Muscat championed the importance of integration.
Immediately addressing the horrific racially-motivated murder of a migrant in Ħal Far, Thea Mizzi told the crowd:
“I was so hurt by how, our brother, Lassana, got killed. It isn’t fair that he got killed just because he came to Malta to work.”
Turning to her own personal experience growing up as a woman of colour in Malta.
“I’m proud to have been raised in a traditional Maltese family, and I know how much the country has advanced.
“I’ve been living in Malta for 14 years, but still some people smile when I speak in Maltese, especially when I reply in my Ħaz-Zebbug accent.
“When I was younger, I was alone, people insulted me, and I would go home without even telling my mother
“I thank everyone who accepts me, and I am sure all Maltese who are proud of their country are offended by what happened,” Thea Mizzi explained as she described how the Ħaz-Zebbug feast was able to get her closer to her community.
The Prime Minister echoed her sentiment, stressing the importance of integration in Maltese culture, adding that the country needed to send a strong message.
“This is not a question of colour. Integration starts with our band clubs, schools, families.”
Speaking in Ħamrun also held particular significance given the issues of migration in the area. Muscat acknowledged these concerns saying that while the people of the locality were good-natured, he understood the pressures they face.
“I would be annoyed too if someone just stayed outside my house, you wouldn’t feel safe whether they were black or white, Maltese or foreign. The law has to be observed.”
“But we need to confront what happened for the good of the country. If not, that life that was lost would be for nothing.”