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A new poll indicts what we already know. White supremacy is a global issue and in some countries, like Italy, more than half of the population have no issue with racism.

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According to The Guardian, the polling firm, SWG, “questioned a sample of 1,500 people of whom 10% said racist acts were always justified and a further 45% who said racist acts could be acceptable depending on the situation.”

Only 45% said “racist acts of any kind were completely unacceptable.” This survey is conducted one a year and it’s the first time in a decade that more than half didn’t have an issue with racism.

The results are not shocking considering the way 29-year-old Mario Balotelli, the Italian professional soccer player, has been treated for years by the Italian media and sports fans. In 2014, he broke down in tears on the bench after racist taunts were repeatedly hurled at him, reports Bleacher Report.

In May of 2014, Roma fans taunted him, reportedly calling him a “monkey.” The situation escalated to such a point that the referee had to stop the match and warn fans to shut up over the stadium’s intercom system. Afterward, The Guardian exposed the on-going and blatant racism that’s often directed at Balotelli, saying it’s deeply-rooted in Italian culture and politics.

In 2012, Italian newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, published a photo of Balotelli depicted as King Kong. Just last week, the soccer player endured racist chants again. Balotelli was born in Italy but is of Ghanian descent.

As for the recent survey, Enzo Risso, scientific director at SWG, said, “What this means is that there has been a relaxation in attitudes towards racism – not necessarily that people have become racist, more that they are becoming more accepting of racist acts and do not consider them so scandalous.”

He also added, “We can say anything about anyone and are becoming more used to it. This is a bad sign from a civic point of view. It’s not only in Italy … what we’re seeing in other countries too is a sort of adaptation towards the worst.”

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