Discrimination against Roma

by bgarza-vega on September 13, 2013 - 11:13am


           The article “The plight of Europe’s Roma”, by Robert Fox, was written June 22nd 2009, after some violent attacks intimidating Roma people in south Belfast. This article informs people of the disgusting discriminatory situations Roma people are forced to live. Roma are the most discriminated-against people in Europe. Members of political parties, such as the Jobbik party in Hungary, are very anti-Roma, but they say to be against “Gypsy Crime”. Violence against the Roma community is very visible. It has been seen through song lyrics and direct violence, such as murders. In multiple countries, the government has been accused of burning families out of their houses and forced into ghettos. Roma victims want to flee the country, but eastern Europe has started to discriminate as much as western Europe, there is nowhere to go. Resolutions to this problem have failed.  Raids around 700 Roma encampments took place in Italy, with very little justification. Roma people are known for the music. There are between 4 and 12 million Roma, the number is unclear because many fear identifying themselves. Nobody knows where they are exactly from, but migration of the Roma started during the last days of the Roman Empire. It is believed some come from India and others from Egypt, which is why they are known as the “gypsy”. They have a very diverse culture. In certain countries such as Czech Republic and Slovakia, unemployment rate for males can reach up to 70% and educational standards have dropped. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/jun/22/roma-europe-discrimination-attacks


            The discrimination in Europe against Roma is incredibly horrific. I wonder what measures, if any, were taken against the people involved in murders and burning houses. Are there any Roma leaders? Everywhere in Europe, history classes should include a few lessons on Roma, so the next generation could be better educated about who these people are and learn to treat them as normal Europeans, because that’s what they are. 


It is very interesting that you decided to choose the Romanies as a topic. This was the term that I got accustomed to using while I was visiting Eastern Europe (especially in the Czech Republic and Hungary). The Roma/Romanies can be related to the Jewish in the sense that they had always been targets at some point. Along with the Jewish community in WW2, the Roma were a very large target and maybe up a large proportion of those who had perished in the work camps. The only difference is that many rights were placed to ensure that the Jews would be protected, whereas the Roma did not. Perhaps it is, like you touched upon, slightly difficult to identify them.

I think that your concepts of education are a great idea, but I also think that it should be taken a step further by trying to integrate the Roma people into mainstream society. From what I understand, the Roma tend to stick to themselves and perhaps with government aid and programs, the Roma will feel safer to open up and become more involved with activities. I think you did a great summary.

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