Thursday, November 26, 2009

Europe’s Last Remaining Wall

It's a wall that was started 500 years ago. It's invisible. It is the
wall that separates Europe from her largest minority –the Gypsy people.
Ever since they first set foot on European soil, they were stripped,
layer after layer, of the essence of their harmonious culture – the
freedom to travel, which in turn curtailed the plying of their trades,
the performing of their ancient crafts and the display of their talents
in music and dance, their art.

Increasingly they were pushed into the shadows of Europe's many
cultures, without in return according them the most basic human rights.
They received no schooling to adjust to cultures that were foreign to
them. They were not protected by the prevailing laws of the land. Often
their only means of survival was theft and other petty crimes. This in
turn, reinforced the mediaeval perception of the Gypsy as thief, as
lazy, as untrustworthy. Contrary to many racist misconceptions, Roma are
not criminal by nature, even the Nazis admitted there was no crime among
nomadic Gypsies. Crime among Roma themselves is extremely rare, and
severely condemned and punished by their own.

The time has come for the new United Europe to tear down this last
remaining wall, give the Romani culture the same respect it offers all
other European cultures, reverse this trend of pushing the Roma into
abject poverty and thereby petty crimes in order to survive. The Roma
are an intelligent, peace-loving people. Many have long since integrated
into the majority population. After centuries of marginalization, abuse
and humiliation, the rest of them, the poorest, the most vulnerable
deserve to be helped with patience, education, love and understanding to
join the dignity and right to a decent life accorded to all other

No comments:

Post a Comment