“Don’t be afraid,” “I welcome”. Two campaigns, two intentionally evocative titles. In between: ten years of history of the Italian anti-racist movement. In 2009, as in 2019, the attempt is to redirect the gaze of a part of public opinion in the direction of the principles of equality, solidarity, non-discrimination. We choose to operate on the collective imagination (the representation of the foreign citizen) hoping, in this way, to move the centre of gravity of public policies on migration and asylum towards the horizon of rights. In the first case, the chosen strategy is to descend on the same discursive level as the adversary: “do not be afraid” is addressed to those who have been told for months that the foreigner is the main enemy of “our” security. In the second case, you opt for frontal opposition: you reject, I accept. The thread that links these two communicative strategies, so different from each other, helps us to reconstruct, certainly summarily, the wealth and creativity expressed by the many mobilizations of the Italian anti-racist movement in the last ten years, but also their limits and the challenges still open. It is the rough, hardened thread that has woven “the permanent emergency trap”.