New Pogroms against Gypsies in Italy (and soon elsewhere in the European Union?)
by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
When I suggested that I was seeing the writing on the wall and could see new pogroms again Gypsies coming in the new Europe everyone told me I was being silly and that everything was so nice for us now and the EU was going to look after us having made us “ethnic” and protected.
Can you all see how well they protect our People?
I have heard Sinti in Italy saying, such as some of the Piedmontese, that the Sinti have nothing to worry about as this is only against the “bad” Roma, and all I can say to that is that they'd better have a close read of the poem by Pastor Niemoeller as to “first they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist”, etc. for if we do not act now and I do mean ACT now against the attacks by whoever then Sinti will be next.
As to the protection of our People by the EU – all I am seeing is that rather anyone doing anything they all remain rather silent and that silence shouts to heaven.
We all know that while the Molotov cocktails were thrown at the camp in Naples the very Carabinieri stood by and watched. Surprise – NOT!
If Europe does not control the fascism in Italy NOW it will continue to spread across the entire region. When it comes to the Gypsy, Europe has not yet learned the lesson of fascism and anti-Gypsyism is rife all over the place without anyone in authority doing anything about it. The next destination is Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, and then, and believe me it will happen, the rest of the European Union.
Let us not forget that in Hungary, one of the newer EU member states, the Arrow Cross has, basically, been resurrected and what does the rest of the European Union have to say about that? Very little to nothing.
One or the other more or less left-wing anti-fascist paper or broadcast channel speaks out against such happening but that is about it.
We must learn from others to fight for our rights and to stand up for them, rather than to go into hiding pretending to be Turks, or whatever; anything else but Gypsy. Anything else but Romani.
However, until the Romani People can stop fighting amongst themselves and the Roma stop thinking that they are better, which they are not, then we may get somewhere. Otherwise, maybe, the different groups have to go their own way and the Sinti groups, including the Romanichal and the Cale, all of which are NOT Roma, might have to do things for themselves alone. Not that that would be a bad idea, I am sure. None of the Sinti groups that I know, and none of their People, with the exception of some misguided souls, would ever wish to be addressed as “Roma”. They'd rather be called Gypsyp, Gitan, Cygan, or what-have-you; anything else but Roma.
While we are all Romani we are not all Roma and once we have actually gotten to that point then, maybe, we can actually get somewhere as to working together.
Mind you, we then would still have to overcome the latent laziness of the great majority of Roma in places such as Romania and Bulgaria, and the fact that they think that everything has to be done for them.
Until such a time that we can stand together in a proper way as Romani People, as the Romani Nation – and not the Roma Nation – then, and only then, will we be able to combat those attacks against us.
One thing we should not and cannot rely on and that is support from the Gadje. They never – with the exception of a small minority – have ever gotten over the anti-Gypsyism that is so ingrained in the psyche of the European person, and also those that went from Europe to other countries, such as the USA, Canada and even South America and other countries.
While Europe is more a problem as far as pogroms against Gypsy are concerned and, as I had predicted, they have started again and the USA and Canada may not be affected that way (who knows though if it may not spread to even there), the situation in the USA and Canada for the Romani People is not without problems either, and every time some scams are going around somewhere the warning by police that are issued will warn of “Gypsies”, at times even going so far as to say that, at other times such people are known as Romani or Traveller or Roma. And such things in this great country of freedom, as it likes to see itself.
Therefore, we the Romani People, must be aware and wary as to what is going on and we must be ready to act, but not to hide our ethnicity. If we keep hiding then we will never ever reach emancipation. We will remain marginalized and stigmatized, and also we will continue to be discriminated against.
We can do it but... first of all we need leaders that are prepared to lead without looking for financial, political or any other sort of gain and then... where are the soldiers...
I rest my case...
Until we, the People are prepared to stand up for ourselves and to do things for ourselves we are nothing and will never be nothing.
© M Smith (Veshengro), May 2008