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November 21, 2018
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Czech Police officer explains why he donated to Romani Scholarships

18.2.2018 10:44
Pavel Chalupský, supporter of the 2017 campaign
Pavel Chalupský, supporter of the 2017 campaign "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL".

One day a few months ago I saw a hate campaign online by some Czech citizens against a primary school in Teplice. Then I found out that other Czech citizens had organized a collection for the children of that school and to support Romani students.

As a police officer, I have worked for 21 years in the department investigating criminal activity among minority communities. I know very well what kind of environment the perpetrators of criminal activity are recruited from.

I know the conditions these people have grown up in, who their role models were, what their prospects were. It could almost be said that those conditions predetermined them to end up in either a childcare institution or a prison.

Over the years I have realized that the path that leads to inclusion in society runs through a community's children. It is through their education, showing them a different way of life than the one they see for themselves every day.

Demonstrating to children that a different life is possible is the way. This means showing them positive role models.

Inclusion depends on children knowing more than just life on the street. Over the years I have seen the results among the members of families with whom nonprofit organizations have worked.

Yes, of course, THEY themselves must want to change. Yes, of course, there are still families who are not interested in changing.

However, the growing tendency for people to want to change is apparent. Those who want to see this, will.

I am also aware that the hatred that has arisen against the unsuspecting pupils of this first-grade class has a positive aspect to it. Why do I say that?

Isn't that a contradiction in terms? No, it's not.

That hatred was a trial balloon to see whether we are asleep or awake. This is a test of our civil society.

This is a test of us all to see whether we manage to stand up to evil, hatred, and intolerance of diversity, or whether we will be indifferent. Let's try to imagine if such hatred had been directed against our own children.

We would speak up in such a case - but when it's somebody else's children? Dark-skinned ones?

Those children in Teplice were "gypsies", Arabs and Vietnamese. All children, though, irrespective of their skin color, have the same rights that WE do.

For that reason, I supported the collection called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL". I didn't hesitate one second.

Pavel Chalupský, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Romani people, Stipendia, Students, study



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