Many 20-something-year-olds dream of spending the summer at the beach. However, most instead end up looking for seasonal jobs in order to save up some cash for the rest.
29-year-old Paolo Grottanelli was no different. He planned to spend his summer as a waiter in the resort town of Cervia, Italy.
After being hired, Grottanelli sent his new employer some paperwork that included a copy of his government ID.
When a manager for the restaurant reviewed the documents, he made a startling discovery: Grottanelli is black
The Local reports that the manager then contacted Grottanelli via text message and told him, “I’m sorry Paolo, but I can’t put colored guys in the dining area.”
The manager went on to suggest that if it were up to him, Grottanelli would get to keep his job, writing, “In Romagna, many people have a backward mindset. Sorry, but I can’t make you travel down. Bye.”
Grottanelli told Corriere that he “couldn’t believe it,” and that he read the manager’s text more than 30 times, getting so upset that he started to cry.
Then he got angry. “I wanted to call the hotelier and tell him what I thought about this violation of human rights.”
But he decided that instead of dialing down and giving the owner a piece of his mind, it would be better to call upon the law.
With the financial support of the Filcams Cgil tourism industry union and Ascom (a hotel association), Grottanelli, with his mother Paola by his side, will meet the restaurant employer and his representatives in court.
“It’s racism,” a Filcams Cgil spokesperson said, “The financial damage caused by losing out on the seasonal job is compounded by the humiliation and profound injustice of which Paolo is a victim.”
A court date has not been announced, but we hope that the law is able to serve justice where justice is deserved.