The stench of hypocrisy

28 Aug

I have been a migrant. I have lived, legally and illegally, in nine different countries. In 1993 I was trying to escape Romania. I was studying engineering at that time in Craiova. Being a Roma in Romania in 1993 was not easy: we faced pogroms and strident anti-Gypsyism. But that was just one of the reasons. I was also trying to escape from the huge rats I saw every evening, the garbage and dirt of the city, the political instability, my violent and alcoholic father, and the uncertainty of the future.

I had a visa for Germany. Germany being notorious for its “love” of Roma, the UK seemed a better option. Because my father worked for the Romanian railways, I could get a free return ticket each year to any place in Europe. I decided to try to cross to the UK from Oostende, in Belgium. I had heard that some Romanians managed to do that.

I reached Oostende late in the evening. Compared to Romania, Belgium looked like a fairy-tale. Even the railway station was amazing. Clean and beautiful buildings, people dressed up elegantly, expensive cars and luxurious restaurants. I waited in the railway station for night to come. A barbed wire fence separated the station from the ferry dock. I planned to jump over during the night and to climb into one of the many trucks that were lined up for the ferry to the UK.

I watched the railway station cleaners with envy. They were dressed in clean name-brand sport clothes. They seemed happy and their job looked easy. They fed me – I must have looked completely destitute. That was the first time I ate falafel. Two Moroccans, one Tunisian, and one Libyan. When they left, they bought me a can of Fanta and tried to give me some money, but I refused.

I did not manage to cross that night. Cold, dogs and nasty truck drivers were too big obstacles for me. I returned to Romania. Over the next year, the friendship of a group of Palestinian students in Romania helped me to survive. I tutored them. One of them, Suheil, was always there for me. He often bought food for me and he shared whatever he received from home with me. He eventually married a really nice Romanian girl. Many people treated her as a whore for loving a Palestinian – one of the kindest people I knew. I used to joke with her that she would have been treated better if she was Roma.

Eventually I succeeded in leaving Romania and spent many years abroad. But I moved back to Romania and have been back for many years now. During the last decade, I often worked with refugees and migrants. I spent time in refugee camps. Not just visited them, but actually spent time there. There is a specific smell to a refugee camp. When it’s hot, the smell is a mix of rotten garbage and sweat;  when it’s cold and humid, it smells of smoke and dirty damp clothes. Smells I also grew up with.

I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people living in refugee camps, slums, shacks. Syrians in Lebanon; Serbs and Roma from Kosovo in Macedonia and Montenegro; Africans, Bangladeshis, Bosnians and Roma in Italy; Iraqis, Syrians and Kurds in Turkey; Rohingyas in Thailand. Slums in India, Cambodia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and ghettoes in Eastern and Western Europe.

Since this year started, 137,000 people have already crossed the Mediterranean Sea. It is very probably that more than 4,000 have died trying to cross. A good part of those are children. Desperate people trying to run away from conflicts and abject poverty.

In June this year I took part in a high-level discussion at the Romanian Presidency that touched on the “refugee crisis”. The President’s Councilor was adamant that Romania should refuse any quota for refugees as they would be a “danger for Romanian society”.

Political elites across Europe voice similar positions. It stinks thousands of times worse than the most awful and crowded camps. It stinks of indifference, cowardice and hypocrisy.

The majority of the refugees are children: children who had the bad luck to be born outside of the walls of Fortress Europe. At the moment, these children get more help from those radical groups we (rightly) despise than from us, the kind, generous, civilized Europeans. We simply build bigger and better walls, while lamenting about the “criminals” that bring these children to our borders.

We seem to forget that it was us, the Europeans, who created the migrant-sending states on the principle of Divide and Rule, throwing together people with a history of hatred for each other in the same nations. We supported insane despots, played the role of masters in a disgusting Game of Thrones, sold weapons, including chemical ones, and did whatever we could to maintain the flow of cheap oil and whatever other goods we needed to be comfortable. We had no regard for the consequences of these decisions in the countries we created.

Conferences and speeches at luxurious receptions will not solve much. The European approach seems to consist of talking about courage and preaching about what others should do. This is not courage – it is  sociopathy.

There are tens of millions of Europeans who could easily host and help a family of refugees in their homes. I am ready to host a family. I am not rich, but I will not become poor by doing this.

More than 3.4 million Europeans have savings of over 1,000,000 EUR. There are also tens of thousands, if not more, businesses that could adopt a family. Tens of thousands of NGOs, charities and churches.  Thousands of intergovernmental organisation bureaucrats who make a good living out of nice words and reports could finally gain some legitimacy by enacting the generous agendas of their institutions.

We can help. We can help enough to solve most of the problems. We could show that we are indeed a moral Europe, that we care and that our words about human rights and the value of democratic societies are not empty ones. At the same time, we would repair our broken relations with the Arab world and get back into the driving seat for making this world a better one.

It will require courage. It will not be simple. Politicians will need to make it easier for us to “adopt” these families. They will need to become serious about solving the root causes of the conflicts in these countries. But it would be worth it. Surely, if nothing else, it would ease the stench of hypocrisy that follows the speeches of most European political elites.

On the blessings of being a gypsy

20 Aug

For my first seven years I had just one identity: child. The move to a bigger city in Romania made it  clear to me that I was not a “normal” Romanian child but a ”gypsy”[i] child that Romanians “put up with”. I worked hard for the next years, and I was promoted from “stinky gypsy”, to “gypsy”, to “ok gypsy”, to “good gypsy”, to Roma, and finally I made it as “a Romanian”, and “someone Romania is proud of”. A Romanian TV station blessed me with that final title. Not to worry; it is still honorific. Any “original” Romanian that I piss off might request a re-evaluation and demote me. At the end of 2013 I was sainted as an EU citizen by receiving an award from the European Parliament.

It is great to be a gypsy. To be a member of such an advantaged ethnic minority: part human, part animal, part magic: truly a magnificent thing. We are the living Sphinxes, Pans and Centaurs of Europe. The majorities were incredibly kind to us for centuries, as they did their best to domesticate us. The process of taming us took a long time. As part of the process, they provided unlimited access to work for more than 500 years. This made us so happy that we decided to do it voluntarily, and sometimes even wearing chains. In the 20th century we traveled freely – all expenses covered by some generous European governments – to many exotic destinations such as Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Transnistria. We misbehaved and complained unfairly about the quality of transportation, food and overall treatment, which deeply embarrassed our benefactors. No wonder some Europeans still get all tense:  we seem to have learned nothing from those experiences and continue to complain about all kinds of “silly things such as exclusion and racism”. Regardless, a good part of these Europeans still wish us all the best… in heaven. Hitler’s, Horthy’s and Antonescu’s heavens, that is.

As gypsies, we are truly lucky as we all have the same characteristics. Our race lacks any individual traits:   we do our best to satisfy the need for simplicity and clarity on the part of our fans and lords. We aim to  avoid confusion and the waste of vital energy to build new synapses in the brains of our admirers. The way we did this was simply to incorporate in our DNA the main attributes proposed by our tamers and educators: laziness, stupidity, criminality, kitschy tastes, lying, incompetence, and aggressiveness are all there. This might sound unscientific to some, but remember, we are a people of fortune-tellers, magicians, and children who never get sick; what people believe about us has more power than science or facts.

What might at first appear to be hate, disgust, and exclusion are in fact simple misunderstandings or malicious interpretations of what is actually a kind expression of love meant to help our education. Many Europeans use the slogan “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” to explain their relationship with us. This obsession with making us stronger is found not just in the speeches of many politicians, but also in the purifying actions (fire or “holy” beatings are the most usual) led by groups of volunteer “teachers”. Throughout history, hangings, axes, pitch-forks, gas-chambers, forced deportations, starvation, and more recently bullets increased the efficiency of the educational methods.

As gypsies we also have no individual responsibilities. We are all responsible for the worst of any of us. Any idiotic thing said by a self-appointed leader, king, emperor, prince, or (if lucky) any gypsy becomes representative and binding for all of us.

On the other hand, the corruption, violence, and sociopathy of some of the most representative European leaders (all democratically elected) are ruled by surprisingly different laws as they are generally considered the responsibility of that particular individual. This is another proof of the benevolence of our “host nations”. It is well known that we “diluted” the honest, smart, and blue-greenish blood of many European nations that offered us unlimited hospitability.

From time to time one of us gypsies falls from our magic realm and ends up being generously accepted by our co-nationals as an honorary citizen. I have had this good fortune myself, as I explained earlier.

This high status comes with some minor requests such as accepting full responsibility for the systemic racism against us. Each of us awarded with honorary citizenship needs to do it. We are to be extremely polite, diplomatic, and defensive towards the majority population whenever there are racist actions that affect our communities, while at the same time being tough and unforgiving with the mistakes of our “uneducated, dirty, cunning and violent race”. We need also to understand and promote the need for a strong glass ceiling, as high-level jobs involve a level of responsibility and knowledge unfit for us. Others deciding what is needed and good for us is not institutional racism, but evidence of friendly (sometimes even maternal/paternal)love and care.

If you (the gypsy) are blessed to have a love relationship with one of those from the superior European races it is highly likely you will have strong incentives to keep quiet about your ethnicity. In the best case scenario, s/he will have no problems with your ethnicity and his/her friends will regard him/her as a paragon of tolerance and kindness, proof of the magnanimity of the nation towards “foreigners”. It is true that many will think your lover is a “whore” or an “idiot”, and some will think you or your relatives cast dark spells that made her/him fall in love with you. Regardless, you should not worry: burnings are not as popular as they used to be a few centuries ago. The occasional “what would you expect from a stinky gypsy” meant to explain your shortcomings is just a kind and gentle reminder that your education and domestication is ongoing.

Certainly, I, as a gypsy, am a hypocrite writing all the above. My role should be to “denounce the criminals among my people”, to “educate the stinky children that disgust” the “normal European”, to do something to “solve the problems of the gypsy communities”, and most important, to stop complaining. At the end of the day “I am tolerated here by the kind Romanians/Europeans!”

For the first time I felt being treated as a Roma in the US. I told people at my work, reluctantly, that I am a gypsy. Their reaction was unexpected, for me as they did not seem to care. Moreover some thought I was cool: poetic, romantic, a talented musician, exotic and in a relentless pursuit of freedom and magic. It fit perfectly with my job – I was writing boring mathematical algorithms at that time. 

In India I felt even weirder, when in a very crowded train people wanted to make a place for me to sit down as I looked comparatively white and rich. I refused the offer.

In Romania, for years now I have been received as a “genuine” Romanian. I am successful and I receive lots of recognition for what I do, sometimes more than I deserve. I chose to make it clear that I am a Romanian Roma and generally that is received as it should be – with respect. From time to time I am called and treated as a gypsy but it is rather exceptional nowadays. Unfortunately there are many teenagers and young Roma that do not have my luck. The text here is for them and reflects, sadly, real discussions.

*The article above is based on a Romanian version that is available in the newspaper Dilema Veche published today August 20, 2015

[i] Gypsy is a pejorative – Roma is the correct word

One good and necessary step forward

2 Aug

On the night of August 2, 1944 2898 Romani men, women, and children were gassed at Auschwitz as Soviet troops closed in. Preceding it in January 1940 over 200 Romani children were murdered in Buchenwald, Germany, used as research subjects for the efficiency of the crystals of Zyclon B Gas later employed in the gas chambers.

This is the beginning of an article I wrote exactly a decade ago. It is available here.

Some things remain valid. Some changed.  Most to the better.

In 2005 the European Parliament resolution on Holocaust did not even mentioned Roma.

On August 2, 2015 the European Commission came up with a very strong declaration in support of recognition of a European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day and in support of a Resolution of the European Parliament requesting such recognition. The entire declaration can be found here

A decade ago this would have been unthinkable.

The Romanian prime-minister released also a message about the Roma Holocaust. It has been taken by most of the media outlets in Romania.

This might well be perceived by skeptics as nothing more than lip-service. It will be a mistake.  An institutional routine acknowledging the mass killings of Roma is a very serious step forward in ensuring the attention needed to Roma Genocide in the Romanian and European history.

It will be also a mistake to consider that this is enough. We do not manage yet even to stop the negative trend that see more and more Roma children falling into the exclusion trap. Nowadays most experts think that overall the Roma situation was significantly better during the communism. Educational achievements, illiteracy, housing , poverty and employment rates were much better 26 years ago.

We continue to use poorly European funds ; anti-Gypsyism as well as institutional racism remain problematic  all over Europe.

There are some good signals that things are improving. The declaration of the two Commissioners is one of them. The fact that this is possible means that there is some good support within the European Commission for Roma issues – something that was not the case a decade ago.

There are many bureaucrats that are or were in the Commission that made this possible. Their experience (good and bad) is important and needs to be better used regardless of egos ( personal and institutional).  Same is to be said about the Roma activists and experts in Roma issues. A decade of advocating better Roma policies lead many to burn-outs. Frustrations and personal feuds are nothing but an expected outcome of what has been often a serious struggle. Those and some other frictions hindered essential exchange of knowledge and much needed cooperation.

Pushing the right policies for Roma social inclusion is not an easy feat. Lip service, polite indifference or diplomatic niceties are not the way to achieve it.

Many of those involved in Roma issues are truly interested to find solutions. Bluntly discussing what the problems are/were with the purpose to find the solutions and not winning some pyric victories for the sake of our egos is the way ahead.

The Commission seemed to have managed just that. This time.

  1. Most of the individual’s flaws here are mine. They have been an unpleasant but necessary and hopefully useful discovery.

PPS.  The success of the European Parliament for the recognition of Roma Holocaust is due to the activity of a small group of Roma activists. The much regretted Nicolae Gheorghe and the previous and nowadays Roma MEPs are (arguably) the main responsible . Thanks !

On lazy approaches and Roma projects

28 Jul

The European project is undoubtedly the best thing that happened to Roma communities in the region in the last decades.  The anti-discrimination framework of the European Union as well as the strong focus on Human Rights and social inclusion of the different partnership between the EU and other countries have raised the awareness about the plight of Roma.  EU provides the largest amount of money available for Roma targeted projects and the European Commission ( EC) has lead a difficult but successful  negotiation process that saw the adoption of National Strategies for the Social Inclusion of Roma in many countries.

Despite all these the situation of Roma is far from improving.

The European Funding targeting the social inclusion of Roma has been insufficient to bring about enough changes to stop the existing trend that see more and more Roma, especially Roma children falling to abject poverty.

The majority of available funds were poorly used. EU Member States as well as countries that have signed different partnership agreements with the EU have been reluctant and largely unprepared for using these funds. Poorly prepared human resources, wishful thinking and corruption are some of the most important reasons for the existing failures. Intellectual dishonesty as well as lazy attitudes also, have played an important role in the existing situation.

Roma in Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria but also those in Turkey, Georgia , Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina continue to face “systemic societal discrimination”  according to international reports. More and more Roma children end up being trafficked by their families or criminal gangs to the capital cities in the Western Europe . School drop outs rates in rural area are sometimes well over 90% for children 12 years old or older. Poor quality of education corroborated with strong negative prejudice translates in the highest percentage of youth unemployment of all ethnic groups in the Council of Europe region. Among the Syrian refugees the situation of Roma groups is one of the worst, Roma children being the most vulnerable to violence and sexual abuse from all the refugee children in Turkey.

Change is not impossible but involves a few fundamental reforms when it comes to the focus of the international and national interventions.

Short term projects cannot work.  The majority of Roma communities have been exposed for decades and sometimes centuries to strong discrimination. The communities are suspicious to outsiders interventions and have still strong memories of forced deportations, extreme violence including genocide and forced instutionalisation of their children. A good majority of these communities are  resistant to change and  have either unrealistic expectations of  EU funding due to irresponsible promises of populist politicians or a very low tolerance for other interventions due to previous failed projects.

Medium to long term projects that focus on children and building trust and participation of the community need to be prior to investments focused on more complex interventions meant to address the huge socio-economic gap between the Roma communities and majorities.

Interventions focused on producing reports, organizing conferences and writing national strategies and action plans need to represent no more than 2-3% of the money invested at the grassroots especially in the poorest compact urban and rural Roma communities. A much stronger focus on interventions ensuring the wellbeing of Roma children and the real employability of Roma youth is also needed.

The involvement of independent, honest and successful Roma experts should be another priority within both the bureaucracies in charge of designing the projects but also among the implementing agencies.

At the moment I am writing this the Romanian TV stations and radios run mind-numbing advertising about EU funded projects meant to tackle social exclusion of Roma. Building Roma Resource Centers is something that has been done in the past and proved to be expensive, unsustainable and more important ineffective. Paying NGOs to run trainings for preparing Roma for employment has been statistically a disastrous approach. EU money are used to expensively advertise things that are proven to be failures.

EU funds need to have an impact in the life of the most vulnerable Roma communities . At this moment , at least in Romania a far too much amount of the available money supports TV stations, corrupt mayors,  weak state institutions and NGOs to continue doing what we already know will not work.

This needs to change. There is enough experience and expertise available within bureaucracies and civil society to be able to address the existing problems. The only things missing seem to be the mechanisms and sometimes the will to do it.

Jargon, frameworks and conformity

9 Jul

*As for the last 2 months I have a weekly editorial in the Romanian “Dilema Veche”  my postings here are going to be a lot less frequent.

The problem with the European Union frameworks is not as much as with their content but with what is outside these frameworks.  Anything outside tends to or is considered to be wrong or irrelevant.

As the expertise inside the EC is inherently limited especially when it comes to the most disadvantaged groups and the poorest of the poor some of the most important things remain always outside the frameworks and therefore the weak and sometimes disastrous results.

The EU is the main financial supporter of the civil society and the NGOs will adapt to the existing “frameworks” rather than disturb the status quo. Conformity remains a very significant problems among the EU and other international and national bureaucracies as well as among the elites of the European civil society.

On top of this we continue to develop and promote jargon that increases the separation between the EU and the common European. The EU language becomes more and more aloof and irrelevant for most of us.

The EU project is very much needed not just for us, the Europeans but for most of the world. It helped Europe to become a much better and safer place and it could help many other places in our neighborhood to make the same progress.

Producing jargon, rigid frameworks and incentives for blind conformity is not the way to do it.

Here some examples from the most recent speeches of EU Commissioners :

Commission remains strongly committed to presenting to this Parliament towards the end of the year a circular economy package which has a holistic approach on the issue.

We must pursue the path of reforms and reinforce the foundations of the EMU, as a place of prosperity based on balanced economic growth, price stability, a sound financial sector and competitive social market economy.

The European Commission is committed to creating a Europe with a Triple A Social Rating. We will only be worthy of a ‘Triple A’ when we achieve fair and balanced growth: Growth that leads to decent and quality job creation and protection for all throughout their lifecycles. But social protection must be modernised and adapted to current challenges.

Without prejudice to the prerogatives of the Council in the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), one-off contributions by Member States, either by a Member State or by national promotional banks classified in the general government sector or acting on behalf of a Member State, into the EFSI or thematic or multi-country investment platforms established for the implementation of the Investment Plan, should in principle qualify as one-off measures, within the meaning of Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 and Article 3 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1467/97.

European Child Forum

5 Jun

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


For the last two days I took part in the European Child Forum meetings. It was better than most of the EU meetings I was part of in the past but still far from what is needed. There were some good discussions but we are still well stuck in wrong habits.

The Commissioners and high level bureaucrats and representatives of the governments came and lectured to the experts and the lower level bureaucrats that deal directly with the issues. People who should listen and learn lectured to people that should be teaching them. There was little discussion taking place afterwards – mainly focused on diplomatic niceties. With one exception the speeches were carefully sanitized,  as expected full of jargon, generalities and ambiguities meant  to please as many as possible and avoid any risk to upset anybody.

This was followed by a second part of the conference where most important discussions took place. The panels were dominated by a second tier of bureaucracy of different intergovernmental organisations that have limited exposure to the grassroots, academics and leaders of European Networks. It was very unlikely for any of those to bring in discussions the most critical issues as, again, those risks to upset some of the high level people in the room. Courage, discussing failures and finding together solutions was prevented by a much safer, polite but rather impotent discussions on jargon, documents, research, directions, recommendations and sharing of positive practice. These discussions have little effect but proved in the past to preserve or advance careers of many.

The very weak institutional mechanism to deal with the very complex and hugely important issues related to children within the European Commission was not discussed. Neither were the very inefficient  ways most of the little money available is spent.  Inability or unwillingness to discuss critically and openly about the discrepancy between rhetoric and budgets at the level of Member States and the very low priority that children issues get from the most powerful within the European Commission were all things that we needed but failed to address .

The dedication and hard work of a handful of people within the European Commission and Fundamental Agency cannot replace the lack of budget, mandate and leverage that neuter the European Commission’s impact on the subject. Concrete solutions for getting more people to work with the most vulnerable children were barely discussed and got lost in sometimes bombastic and empty rhetoric.

Far too many loosing routines are wrongly but solidly entrenched institutionally within the EU project.  Very weak senior leadership is in my opinion to be blamed.

Leaders should be validated by the excellent things they do and not by the positions they have or rhetoric they or their speech writer produce. Good deeds make good people. Good words and no deeds make just good sociopaths.

Leaders should be exceptional good people – therefore people that do extraordinary good things. The fact that our EU political and civil society elites are dominated by exceptional blabla-ers incapable to listen to anybody but themselves is a dangerous habit and not at all one that can bring the much needed and in my opinion deserved excellence to the European project. Even worst is that we as Europeans encourage openly and reward the production of words/jargon rather than deeds.  In order to have an inspirational Europe you need inspirational leaders that do inspirational things. In this  particular case I would have loved to listen a lot more to people that work with children and not those that work with words.

At the forum there were some amazingly good people.  The saddest thing was to understand how far away these are from the decision power. In order to fix institutions we need to fix ourselves. And that requires courage not compliance.

Some progress – anti-Gypsyism

28 May

In 2013 I wrote two articles about what we, Roma, are not. Today I published in Dilema Veche ( arguably the best Romanian weekly) an article talking about anti-Gypsyism in its day by day manifestations. For the Romanian readers you can find it here

The Council of Europe also published a good manual on Anti-Gypsyism  that can be found here – . A Romanian was at the core of the initiative.

It seems we are making some good steps forward at least in Romania.

Here some excerpt from my old postings

I decided following a very recent meeting that I should make my views about the Roma stereotypes known in order to avoid yet another silly meeting with well-wishing cretins. I hope people will read this before meeting me.

We have an innate gift for music and dance.

Yes .We can also walk on water and fly whenever needed on brooms and in some countries (where people call us crows) without brooms just using our gifts: hollow bones and strong arms. We can even teach the most gifted non-Roma how to do it.

This is also the main reason why the state airlines in Hungary went bankrupt and the Romanian airlines are almost there.

There are numerous cases of Roma children born holding their beloved musical instrument or a silver flute in their mouth. The rest of us have just divine voices.

We can tell you your future

Indeed. For instance – you my reader –  you will struggle, go through cycles of happiness, boredom, sadness, depression … You will love some people and hate others. You might or might not have children but the probability is better to have children. Ultimately and irrevocably you will die.

All the other people that say they can tell your future –teachers, coaches, scientists, shrinks, politicians, priests, sociopaths etc most probably will lie to you.

If you plan to  go soon for a Roma fortune telling -the future will be much clearer. In the immediate future you will be cheated.  You might feel good about it but that is the best you will get out of the experience. Go if you want to boast that you met Roma, know Roma or that you have a Roma friend.

Roma are unable to live like normal people – 

if we receive social housing (flats) we will destroy them. 

we will make fires using the existing wooden floors 

Indeed – and that is because the fires made out of wooden floors are what we are born for and love to do. We love the challenge to rip these floors apart and try to set them on fire as we think is much better to sleep on the cement than wood (as it is well known we hate sleeping on beds). We also enjoy the toxic smoke that comes from setting on fire lacquered wood. We use this as a treatment for keeping everybody healthy in our families. 

 we  keep our horses in our  flats.

Yes, we do this because through a magical spell that can take place only in these flats we are able to transform regular horses in unicorns and Pegasus type horses much needed by the fairy industry.

The production of a Pegasus type of horse can be done only on the 4th floor flat of an old communist apartment building in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Serbia and Hungary. Any other Pegasus horses are fake.

Did you ever see a horse in your life ?  In case you honestly believe that “work-shy people” will go trough the miracle of putting a horse into a social housing flat every day for years you must be absolutely nuts. What do you think will happen when the horses shits or pees ? Do you believe we toilet train them?

We do have our spectacular idiots. But I have a hard time believing and a long experience working and living in Roma communities that shows that even most of our idiots will try to keep their horses in a 18 square meters , 2.5 meters high room – the average dimension of a room in social housing flat. Despite not trying the thing with the horses I surprise myself being an absolute idiot regularly.

Abject poverty is what makes people live in appalling housing conditions and not the genes. Centuries of exclusion push people in living abnormal lives.

Education – Roma are stupider and do not value education the same way as normal people do

Yes, as any parent – Roma parents want their children to be functional cretins. We believe that the dirtier, hungrier and poorer our children are the best for their future. Because we are care free closer to nature free souls we prefer our children to drink dew and eat rainbows. We would much more prefer our children to be barefoot in the winter and feel the soul of Gaya trough their skin and beg than lose their spirit in the warm comfort of private schools and be corrupted by wealth and luxuries.

Research shows that students from the poorest quarter of population have a 8.6 percent chance to get a college degree. For the top quarter the percentage is 75. Nine times higher. And this is in the US.

The fact that you do not see a link between centuries of slavery, abject poverty, exclusion and educational achievements it doesn’t make you either smart or pragmatic. Quite the opposite.

 Roma are magical and dangerous – they can spell different curses on you

 Yes we are magical indeed. That is why we embraced happily hundred of years of slavery and we enjoy so much the racism it is gracefully bestowed upon us. Being able to perform magic and spell curses it proved to be very productive as we are obviously overrepresented in the ruling elites. The fact that practically all Roma in Czech Republic were wiped out during the Holocaust and other hundred of thousands were killed –some concentration camps during the second world war or during deportation in Romania is another clear indication of our magical and fortune telling powers.

There was never any Roma minister in any country in Europe. We are the most unrepresented ethnic minority in all intergovernmental institutions. The most important people in charge of taking decision on Roma issues at the European level come from countries that have either no Roma or an insignificant number of Roma. When appointed in those positions they  had no experience whatsoever on Roma issues.

The fact that despite all the above-mentioned facts there is a good number of people that believe  that we Roma have some extra powers is indeed magic. Magically stupid that is.


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