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cadence

Is there an answer to the Roma?

For those living in Europe, is there an answer to dealing with the Roma...I don't mean that in a negative sense, but in the sense of, can a solution be found to dealing with this issue which will never go away...


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03...d/europe/03iht-slovakia.html?_r=1
Mrs John Murphy

The problem with the Roma is the problem that non-Roma have with the Roma.

Also, you can't really speak of the Roma as 'one group'. Indeed, that is part of the 'problem', Roma are as heterogeneous as any other group, and there is no coherent Roma political voice. And for that reason they make for a very easy group for weak right wing european governments to give a populist kicking to.

Check out:

McGarry, Aidan (2010) Who Speaks for Roma? Political Representation of a Transnational Minority Community. New York: Continuum
smarauder68

The Roma have relied for far too long on the likes of Totti and other aging Italian bums....Smile
Boogerd_Fan

I don't wanna sound like i sympathize with the shooter, but the gypsies here are seriously annoying. If they got in his face enough, i can really understand why he would want to hurt them. Of course, unfortunate for them, that they caused trouble for a trigger happy hunting type guy.
Mrs John Murphy

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
I don't wanna sound like i sympathize with the shooter, but the gypsies here are seriously annoying. If they got in his face enough, i can really understand why he would want to hurt them. Of course, unfortunate for them, that they caused trouble for a trigger happy hunting type guy.


Anymore annoying than the peasants/workers/old people in the bloc?

I've never quite understood why people are so bemused about the refusal/failure of the Roma to behave 'normally' when the Roma are always excluded, viewed with a mix of fear, suspicion and mistrust by non-Roma and treated as second class citizens.
Boogerd_Fan

Perhaps its a reputation that suits them?

The only Roma i know are those that are begging me for change and living in a disused house further down the road, the one where they dont afford to even fit new windows.

Do the peasants, workers, or old people in our panelak have any trouble with us? no. Do we have trouble with them? no.

If you check a few of the more disgusting panelak in an area like Petrzalka for example, there are flats with gypsies occupying them - - and they are NOISY. believe me.

Of course, there are also probably "normal" descendants of the Roma also living within the community blocs around here... i'm pretty sure if they are, then they are also behaving NORMALLY - i.e. conforming to the same rules we play the game by... and therefore not sticking out quite so much as the stereotypical "troublesome" gypsy.

The Slovak news played the newstory in a similar view to the above - clearly harassed the guy took matters into his own hands... unfortunately as soon as he had made the decision to do that, things descended into chaos. Not only exacting his own perverse justice, but injuring other people in the process. He was a jerk, not exactly Normal himself no doubt. But i'm jus' saying... you can't feel sorry for these people.

Check the village of Romany, in the middle of Slovakia. Considering your second paragraph MJ, you're quite happy to give them a chance.. well, you can see it in most major cities, minorities tend to form their own little communities, rather than conforming to normal life for that country/culture, they'd just as easily stick together and form their own towns... Romany is an example of that... why aren't these people coming to BA to try to find work? Are they happy just to be in their own community and feed off our tax payments? seems like it.
Mrs John Murphy

Oddly enough in the cities and the countryside I've had no problems with Roma. When people have tried to rob me, its been non-Roma trying to rob me. When there has been hassle on the streets its non-Roma.  Who makes the noise in the block? The mentally ill woman who lives on the 9th floor, who causes problems - the guy who's been in jail, and the neighbours who play their music at full volume, or who decide to start drilling at 7am. Oh yeah, and the neighbour who decided he would buy himself a goat.

What was more unpleasant was the 11 hour train journey I shared with a mafia guy who openly bribed the guard and spent his time eying up my bags.

Does my experience with a rather unpleasant racist Slovak mean that all Slovaks are racist and unpleasant? Does it mean that there is a lot of racism in Slovakia?

Despite the fact that the first question that is always asked of me when I recount my various tales to friends is always 'where they Roma?'. I guess I haven't bought into the paranoia - and it is paranoia, about the Roma which most people have about them (and this goes for British attitudes towards British Roma as well).

Lets be honest, Slovak (or any other for that matter) politicians have absolutely no interest in the Roma other than using them as a political punching bag. And given the treatment of the Roma historically it is little wonder that their is little willingness to engage. Lets not forget that blacks in the USA were freed from slavery before the Roma were in some parts of Europe. Lets not forget that the Roma were subject to extermination to the same extent that the Jews were during WW2.

The basic attitude of non-Roma is that Roma should stop being Roma, and that their being Roma is fundamentally a problem.

Would we say the same about say Jews, or Muslims? I suspect that if a politician tried to then that would be pretty much the end of their career, but somehow Roma are fair game. They are fair game because they have no political voice - how many Roma Slovak MP's are there?
Boogerd_Fan

It appears are talking about two different things...

I'm not referring to persecution of a race of people.

In case there was less troublemaking gypsies in Slovakia.. maybe the non-Roma may take a less-suspicious view?

As far as i'm aware the only political edge the Roma give, is to the re-organized communist party, who rely on paying farmers and peasantry in beer and sausages to get enough votes to beat the middle-party what is popular in Bratislava alone.
Bartali

I didn't know there was a Roma problem .... but clearly a problem with non-Roma if that news report is to be believed.  Just another form of racism, prejudice and intolerance .... just like with the Jews.  Perhaps the US, French and Brits should carve out a piece of someone else's country so that they can have their own country!
Bartali

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
In case there was less troublemaking gypsies in Slovakia.. maybe the non-Roma may take a less-suspicious view?


I think we should always be wary of generalisation.  With the greatest respect, it wasn't so long ago that I used to hear similar comments back here in the UK .... only they would substitute , blacks, Brixton and non-blacks!
cardinal guzman

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
The basic attitude of non-Roma is that Roma should stop being Roma, and that their being Roma is fundamentally a problem.

Would we say the same about say Jews, or Muslims?


Maybe not Jews - Lipstadt and Speilberg would annihilate you. Islam, Islamic people and countries where it is practised on the other hand are all fair game - in Britain at least.

A Jewish celebrity racist mocking an Islamic nation....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBirGHHzXOM
QED
Mrs John Murphy

cardinal guzman wrote:
Mrs John Murphy wrote:
The basic attitude of non-Roma is that Roma should stop being Roma, and that their being Roma is fundamentally a problem.

Would we say the same about say Jews, or Muslims?


Maybe not Jews - Lipstadt and Speilberg would annihilate you. Islam, Islamic people and countries where it is practised on the other hand are all fair game - in Britain at least.

A Jewish celebrity racist mocking an Islamic nation....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBirGHHzXOM
QED


Ironically, that was filmed in a Roma village in Romania... the villagers were told by the film-makers that they were making a documentary about the village.

Cos you know it's ok to lie to the Roma and to exploit them for laughs.
cardinal guzman

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Ironically, that was filmed in a Roma village in Romania... the villagers were told by the film-makers that they were making a documentary about the village.


I'm sure it warms Cohen's cockles to know he got 2 ethnicities with the one stone.
Mrs John Murphy

This feeds into my earlier point about mistrust being mutual. A friend of mine is a documentary film-maker and they wanted to speak to Roma for the film. I was able to put them in touch with some contacts I have. The problem was that because of the Borat experience, a lot of them refused to be filmed or to take part in the film. Their attitude was that Westerns had lied and exploited them, so no way were they going to be filmed.

Ironically, this fear has spread to ethnic Romanians as well, who think that any or all film-makers from the West are there to either rip them off, or to present them as savages.

BF - I have a question for you. Where do you stand on the behaviour of the mayor of Ostrovany? At what point does something stop being 'deserved' and become persecution?

One final point, with the deportations of Roma from France and Italy. The impression I get from talking to a lot of Romanians is that the whole Roma issue exposes the hypocrisy of Western Europe. The French, Italians, Spanish and Germans, have been lecturing the Romanians, Slovaks, Hungarians etc on how they should be more tolerant of the Roma and be nice to minorities, and the attitude of these states to East European Roma shows them for the hypocrites they are.

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