by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
If some Gypsy who was alive in the 1930s would happen to return to the Europe of 2008 I am sure he would be forgiven to believe he is still in 1938 with the exception that we now have computers and such.
Xenophobia and especially Anti-Gypsy-ism is now higher than it has ever been since World War II, it would appear, and as far as the Gypsy is concerned it is business as then, nigh enough.
Nowadays the problem is that with all the electronic IT infrastructure, biometrics and all that, and ID cards that can be tracked – where they are in use already – that our People have even less a chance.
The collaborators are also still the same, as we can see in the Italy of Il Duce 2, e.g. Silvio Berlusconi, such as the Red Cross.
Aside from Italy we now have a right-wing political party in the Czech Republic calling for all Gypsies in that country to be rounded up and expelled “back to” India.
What is the European Union doing? Nothing, for this is all, as far as I can see it, an overture for more to come by the European Union member states and the European Union proper as and when they get their will of becoming a “proper” federal union. The issue with making all Gypsy People and also non-Gypsy Travellers into Roma, in the same way as the term Gypsy has been abused and doctored in the United Kingdom where the ethnic status is being removed from those Romani that are sedentary now on government or private caravan site and in houses while those, of all backgrounds, that travel about at all times and call themselves Travellers, whether Irish, English, Scots, and even New Age Travellers, are termed as ethnic Gypsy. As, on the other hand, the travelling by caravan and the living along the site of the roads and such is, basically, a felony now in British laws and illegal those too will, sooner or later be forced to settle down. And, when there are no travelling “Gypsies” anymore then you no longer have an ethnic Gypsies – in law – and therefore no Rom who is being persecuted for Race can call upon racial protection. This is ethnic cleansing by another way and name.
How long until the selfsame calls that are now being heard in Czechoslovakia and Hungary for the Gypsy to be “sent back” to India will be heard in other European countries, especially of those in the European Union?
It seems that the emerging countries of the East, those who are just about coming out of the era of communism and communist dictatorship have the greatest of problems as regards to tolerance towards the Rom, and this problem seems to be greatest in the countries such as the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Romani and Bulgaria.
In addition to that, obviously, we already have the call and actions in fascist Italy of Silvio Berlusconi where currently a census is being taken of all Gypsy and all possible data, much like in the days of Hitler in Germany, are being taken.
It would appear that, despite the international calls, and how serious are they really, the trouble for the Rom is not over in Italy as yet. Rumors have it that a register of all Gypsies living in all camps is going to be taken and I am certain that that will include the Sinti then in addition to the Roma.
The plan is also, to it have been said, to level the majority of all the (illegal) Roma camps in and around the major cities.
Welcome to the Third Reich ala EU.
The question for us as the Romani People, the Gypsy, on not just an Italian or European Union level, is what are we going to do? Anti-Defamation organizations and such like will hardly help here and neither will letter writing and complaints to the Italian and other embassies or the European Union HQ.
Hence the question... so kerena? Too many sit there thinking that it is not going to affect them and their families, ever. And I am not just speaking here about those that may sit in safety of the USA, Canada or Australia. There are those in EU countries that are not part of mainland Europe of the Gypsy People that have the attitude that nothing can happen to them so they could care little. Some do care, I know. Too many, however, just say that it can never happen here so why worry and others even say that as they are born-again Christians and that Jesus will not allow that to happen to them and if al the Rom in those countries would but become Christians then they too would all be safe. I rest my case.
Again... so kerena?
Ava! Ame Shai!
© M Smith (Veshengro), August 2008