“They tell you, ‘Oh, the monster is here, there is a monster, here is the monster, there is the monster,’” Ms. Osakue said. “So you think the first person who comes in that door is a monster, so you attack them. But then maybe he wasn’t the monster, actually.”

For advocates of migrants, the major concern is the League, the anti-immigrant party led by Matteo Salvini. Its governing partner, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, has mostly closed ranks on the migration issue, and dismissed the recent incidents as a conspiracy by the establishment media against the government.

The egg attack happened on Sunday night, as she returned from a training camp to visit her godmother, whose child has been sick in the hospital. As she approached a small bridge often trafficked by African prostitutes, she noticed a car waiting. Moments later, the Fiat Doblò sped toward her and she felt a burning sensation in her left eye.

She said she believed the men in the car thought they had an easy target in a black woman or a prostitute who wouldn’t be able to say anything.

“Unfortunately for those two guys, I was Daisy,” she said.

Ms. Osakue, whose parents came to Italy in the early 1990s, isn’t the shy type. Her mother is proudly competitive. Her father, a judo black belt who advocates for Nigerian asylum seekers, said he instilled in her the principle of competing, but for “the glory of the country and then for you.”

After the assault, Ms. Osakue leveled accusations of racism on television and her bandaged left eye was emblazoned across the cover of the national newspapers. She seemed to mean something to everyone.

Orignially published in NYT.

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