COMMENTARY: Even if the Czech Public Defender of Rights repeats the same lie about Roma a thousand times, that won't make it true
So - once again I've found out from the media that I won't have to go to work on Wednesday. Czech Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček has alleged that Romani people don't show up for work on that particular day.
This is interesting, because I myself even go to work on Thursday and Friday, and you'd be surprised how many times I was at work on Saturday and Sunday, both day and night. I'm in business for myself and if I don't make the money, then I won't have it.
So technically speaking, I'm always at work. No, I'm just kidding.
How could that be? I am Roma, and therefore I only go to work on Monday and Tuesday, of course.
The Public Defender of Rights said it, so it must be true. Which is better than when the Czech President Zeman said I don't go to work at all.
This seems to be progress! Seriously, though, I don't know how I am supposed to keep on refuting these lies about Romani people not working.
I genuinely do not know any Romani people who laze around at home on welfare. I'm not saying such Romani people do not exist at all, or that some might not prefer to sit at home on welfare.
Do you all really believe that welfare in the Czech Republic is actually a problem of the Roma, though? If so, you're knocking on the wrong door - and that goes for Křeček and Zeman (and the SPD, the DSSS, Tricolor and all the other fascists behind them).
Common sense, everyday mathematics is all you need to prove this. The expenditures for welfare for last year were approximately CZK 880 billion [EUR 33 billion].
Of that 56 % are retirement pensions, so non-pension benefits cost CZK 492 billion and change [EUR 18.5 billion]. There is not much point here in further analyzing the cost of social support, parental leave, housing allowances and I don't know what all else.
Now, there are 300 000 Romani people in the Czech Republic. Does anybody actually believe that each Romani person in the country, including infants, is receiving CZK 1.6 million [EUR 60 000] annually in benefits?
Probably not, right? I'd stay home on benefits also, if that were the case, and I'd be floating in a luxury swimming pool.
That kind of money would be super for taking out a mortgage, for example. Now, can it possibly be the case that there are no gadje [non-Roma] in the Czech Republic who are lazy as pigs and prefer to sit at home on welfare?
Nobody could seriously believe that. What, then, are we to name this problem?
Is this a problem of Romani people, or is the problem the Roma experience a problem of discrimination, of the education system, of impoverishment, of unemployment? How many Romani lawmakers have been seated in Parliament to vote in favor of the laws that make it possible for people to sit at home on their butts and receive money for it?
No Romani legislators have been sitting in Parliament at all, right? That's right - none!
How many Romani MPs have been fighting hard for Romani people to not be discriminated against on the labor market? I will answer my own question: NONE.
Nobody here is interested in that fact, though - it's easier for them to curse Romani people for allegedly not working. Mr Public Defender of Rights, wasn't it the Social Democrats who completely screwed up the social welfare system here, who set up the rules so people could make more money sitting at home on welfare than working?
Why the hell are you all complaining now about Romani people not working (in my view, just some, and in your view, all of us)? That's like a bank robber complaining that people here steal!
Mr Public Defender of Rights, if I didn't know that you were a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party, I'd bet you were a fascist. I'd guess you were a member of the "Workers Social Justice Party" or the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement.
This rhetoric of yours is the same as theirs. Some say it's populist, and I believe that some of the less intelligent inhabitants of the Czech Republic will actually take the bait.
What's worse than a populist, though? A racist who pretends to be a philanthropist.
Let's add demagogue to the mix while we're at it. Congratulations, you meet all of the (current) requirements to run for President of the Czech Republic.
It's a good thing Václav Havel did not live to see this, he probably would not be able to believe his eyes. Do businesspeople here have "experiences" with Romani workers that make them not want to employ anybody Roma?
Don't be silly. It's the year 2020, and you're talking about collective blame?
I could write 10 paragraphs about how many gadje I have had to fire who did not want to work and who if they did work, did a bad job. I could write here about how many gadje called in sick and I had to do their work for them, and then I ran into them coming out of the pub.
I could write about preferring to work on my own because I simply have had such negative experiences here with people (in general) that it's fair to say finding a high-quality employee is like winning the lottery. Has it occurred to you though, Mr Public Defender of Rights, that by repeating clichés of this exactly this kind, you are absolutely legitimizing the discrimination we Roma have been speaking about for the last 30 years here?
How is a young Romani man who has just finished school here supposed to comprehend the idea that he simply will never be hired for a good job with good wages because Křeček says nobody Romani ever shows up for work on a Wednesday? OK, if somebody actually does not come to work on Wednesday, then he should be kicked out.
Such a person should be fired without compromise. That's exactly what the trial period is for.
How, though, is one to attempt this if an employer simply will never hire a Romani man because Křeček is on the Internet interpreting the "experiences" of others with Roma? Isn't that racism?
Mr Křeček, don't make a fool of yourself. Your behavior is exactly exemplary racism and you are a textbook representative of it.
Are Romani people supposed to take responsibility for this? Super, I'll do that right away!
You all just have to make sure I will enjoy absolutely equal treatment during the awarding of contracts and the same conditions for evaluation as everybody else. I promise I will give work to other Roma.
You all just have to make sure I will receive a contract if I meet all the conditions while offering the best price. Mr Křeček, you have to believe me, though.
I have had my own experiences. Those experiences tell me that 90 % of the time I will not be awarded a contract because it is automatically assumed that, as a Romani man, I will steal, and that the Romani people whom I hire will not last until Wednesday.
The other 10 % are the people who cannot stand you and who will not be voting for Zeman, or "Freedom and Direct Democracy", or Czech Prime Minister Babiš. The same dilemma applies to the excluded localities.
You all have to make sure that each respectable Romani person has the same rights on the housing market as everybody else. You all have to make sure that nobody can discriminate against a working Romani person, and I guarantee you the excluded localities will stop existing.
Do any of you - Křeček, Okamura, Zeman, and the thousand other racists lined up behind them - actually believe Romani people would want to live in such places if they have at least an average IQ and have the opportunity of also getting a job? I'll let you in on a secret: They don't.
The Roma want to live like human beings, but that is exactly what you all, through your weeping and wailing, make impossible here (among other matters). Only those who are, in principle, degeš (look it up in the dictionary), ever want to live like degeš.
I know a ton of degeš who are gadje here. Capiche?
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