Romani: Homeless and Expelled by the Euro-elite
“There are problems created by the behavior of certain travelers and the Roma, whose nomadic lifestyle prevents their assimilation into local communities.” – President Nicholas Sarkozy on his order in July to expel Roma from France
Hypocrisy reigns supreme when a “Tibet-conscious” European elite reviles and attacks its own minorities. The same Nicholas Sarkozy, “champion of human rights” during the Beijing Olympic torch relay, has ordered the expulsion from France of the migrant group known as the Roma, who are generally known by the discriminatory pejorative “gypsy”. With each day’s deportation, the French government belittles the street protests by supporters of the Romani’ rights, while downplaying the police shooting of a Roma youth in the Loire region.
France is not alone. The Roma are facing deportation threats from Germany, Hungary, Italy and Scandinavia, countries that loudly preach “universal values” and take the lead in slamming Asian and African governments for human rights abuses. The official round-ups are fanning the flames of race hatred and reviving the crude emotions that led to the extermination of 1.5 million Roma victims under Nazi rule. A new poll by Figaro shows more than 60 percent of the “native” French want the gypsies out. In Italy, a Roma camp was recently burned to the ground. A mob mentality is starting to set in.
To where are the Roma supposed to rgo The Balkans and Eastern Europe, where they face even greater discrimination, poverty and violence – the original reason for their influx into the West. Ironically under Tito’s multi-ethnic Yugoslavia, the Roma had equality in every sphere – political, economic and cultural. The anti-fascist partisan hero understood that full equality is the only path to social integration. Half-baked “rights” result in only second-class citizenship with its marginalization and discord.
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In the 1990s, NATO’s balkanization campaign shattered Yugoslavia’s social harmony, unleashing a tidal wave of nationalist rage and ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Roma were ejected from their jobs and homes, thrown into detention camps and forced to flee westward. Sarkozy’s “problem” is a self-inflicted legacy of the hyper-capitalist West’s aggression against the pluralistic model of a democratic and socialist Yugoslavia. Instead of the sanctuary and freedom promised by the “liberal” West, the Roma have faced the same sort of ostracism and suspicion as during their long sojourn in Eastern Europe. The despised “gypsies” are forced by threats to move on from the outskirts of one town to the next.
In stark contrast to the forced migration of the Roma, Tibetan herding families are traditional nomads with leases on spacious alpine pastures. The Roma are not allowed to be true nomads, they are simply on the run. As opposed to the Europe’s extreme options of unconditional assimilation or ghettoization, each minority group in China has its own autonomous region and districts – land under their feet.A minority individual in China has every incentive to keep his or her language, religion, customs and economic livelihood, while also being accorded common rights as any other citizen.
In Europe, Muslims are also under constant pressure, even for something as petty as one’s choice of clothing.(In societies that tolerate miniskirts and bikinis, the law stands against covering one’s nakedness with customary modest apparel.) Across most of Asia, women of the Islamic faith are allowed to wear a veil, if they so choose. Notably, Christian nuns are also permitted to don their habits in every Asian country whether in church, at school or on public venues.
Tolerance and respect toward other cultures is an indicator of a cosmopolitan and enlightened civilization.The irrational fear and official repression in the West raise the question of whether Europe has really progressed beyond the Dark Ages.