The Ostrich Syndrome

Every time, so it would see, that anywhere and any time Anti-Gypsy-ism by the State is mentioned, our People, especially those Romani not directly affected, instead of standing up in righteous indignation turn into ostriches and bury their heads in the sand. That way they hope that no one notices what they are, e.g. Gypsies, so it would appear.

Pastor Niemoeller of Germany put it ever so well in his poem which starts, if I recall properly, “First they came for the communists but I did not speak out because I was not a communist” and ends with, “When they came for me there was no one left to speak out”.

So, presently they come, maybe, for the Machwaya and other Roma in the East and many of ours here in the West seem to think that it has nothing to do with them because, for one, they are not Machwaya, and often not even Roma, and two, because it does not actually affect them and their families. We have indeed become that narrow minded in our “solidarity”.

There are what amounts to basically nothing else but concentration camps for Rom being planned and constructed under the guise of “solidarity villages” in Italy which is meant to house up to 1500 Rom each and where they are to be placed under the watchful eye of armed – obviously, we are talking about Italy – Ministry of the Interior Anti-Terrorist Police, and the media everywhere, but especially in the EU, is silent – bar one little voice like “O Nevo Drom” – and our People, in general and especially our so-called “leaders” are silent; the ordinary Gypsy goes into hiding and the “leaders” are too much in the pockets of the paymasters of the EU in order to be able to complain against such actions as this might lose their funding.

In the Czech Republic, we hear, the authorities propose to surround Gypsy quarters in towns and Gypsy villages and enclaves with up to eight foot high brick walls topped with razor wire and one entry-exit gate that will be guarded by police “in order to protect the Gypsies from attacks by skinheads and other fascist elements”. Yes, sure! And on an airfield nearby a squadron of pigs is preparing for take-off”. It was the same kind of lies that were believed by Sinti and Roma under Nazi occupation when they were forced into fixed camps and then ghettos.
Also here, in those instances as to yet another EU state, the media is silent as the so-called “leaders” of the People and the People bury their heads still deeper in the sand.

No good doing that, folks! Everyone can see your Gypsy behinds sticking up and that way it is so much easier to kick you.

We should have a definite “No Ostriches Allowed!” policy.

While there may not be much that we can do in practice in way of something practical. We hardly have an army or police force that can intervene there nor do we, as yet, have the political clout – not even as an entire People – to have some serious words with the countries that are (proposing) to do all those things but... In any such case we, as a People, can at least make the world take note that we, the People, are aware of what is going on and are watching them and that way they may just take notice of us as a “force2 to be reckoned with. We have millions of People worldwide and I am sure that we could achieve something together.

But nothing will ever be achieved if the “I am all right, Jack” attitude persists in which others of our People and their situation and plight remains ignored.

I must say that I am not about to help any of ours who have no wish to make any efforts of helping themselves. Like so many of the poor Rom in Eastern Europe who would not need to be thus if they would but be prepared to get the finger out. But we must stand with those, even if we cannot physically do that, that are under those threats as mentioned and others.

Anti-Gypsy-ism is on the rise again and in Bulgaria right-wing parties, are, again, calling for organized Gypsy Hunts. In Hungary a successor organization of the Arrow Cross has been set up and it is using, so it is said, that old insignia.

All this, in this writer's view, is becoming more significant ever since the new EU Constitution is being played with.

What place is there for the Rom in this New Europe? The way things are looking they do not want there to be a place for the Rom in this new entity whatever lip service they are paying to Roma(ni) Rights and all that.

And all our People do – the great majority – is to pretend that it is not happening, to pretend that they are not Rom – like the Sinti in Germany, and simply hide like ostriches hoping that it will all just pass them and their families by.

Get you heads out of the sand and let's do something together for the future of the Romani People as a People. The time is NOW, not next week or next year.

Forwards together for the People.

© M V Smith, August 2007