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Jaroslav Miko: Local elections are on the horizon, the Roma Luma party joining forces with Czech pseudo-patriots is incomprehensible

13.7.2022 9:43
Jaroslav Miko (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)
Jaroslav Miko (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

In association with the upcoming local elections and the rise of the new political party profiling itself as Romani, Roma Luma, a lively discussion is once again underway among the Romani users of social media about the point of having a political party that is based on a nationality principle, of being by and for Roma. I am generally an advocate of the opinion that a political party by and for Roma can make sense at the local level, where it can better aid in solving local Romani people's problems because such a party's representatives could be more familiar with what those are, but at the republic-wide level, such a political party does not make a lot of sense to me, if I am to be sincere.

It is a mistake to bet on an alliance with pseudo-patriots

However, there is a catch. The leadership of this new Romani party is currently - and absolutely incomprehensibly, in my view - betting on allying itself with people such as Prague assembly member Robert Vašíček and others, i.e., former members of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party who continue to be in contact with other figures who are, in my opinion, extremists.

People like Mr Vašíček are currently doing their best, with all their strength, to convince part of society that they are not racists, but patriots, and that Czech statehood and our cultural identity are under constant threat, which means there is a need for patriots to rescue the Czech nation from this predicament. From my perspective, this is just about ordinary intimidation of the public, the kind that was done during the crisis of immigration in 2015, i.e., the idea that somebody alien is going to get in here who will then take our country, our culture and our national identity away from us. 

Nothing of the sort was ever in the cards and is not on the horizon now. In reality, these pseudo-patriots are engaging in ordinary intolerance of difference and xenophobia.

It's the same in the case of the current war on Ukraine. Again, the public is being intimidated with the idea that allegedly Ukrainian men and women are the only people receiving any aid from the Czech state, to the detriment of our own citizens, so the claim can be made that "We, the patriots, are defending the interests of our citizens and that, after all, is patriotic." 

In reality, none of the aid being given to Ukrainian men and women is to the detriment of Czech citizens, the opposite is true - providing assistance is in the interests of the Czech Republic and the citizens of this country. It is in our own interest to provide help along with other states in the free world to Ukraine in her fight for her own independence, because if we were to once again put our heads in the sand and pretend this has nothing to do with us, that we have enough of our own problems to solve, then this problem with the appetites of imperial Russia would soon catch up to us, with all its negative reprecussions, including for our own safety.   

History already knows this from what happened at the beginning of the Second World War and the concessions made to Hitler, because at that time, in Britian and France, it is exactly such voices that were winning, those saying "It is not patriotic to concern ourselves with Czechoslovakia, Poland and other states, we just have to defend our own interests." Back then, as we already know today, that was naive and short-sighted, because these interests in our world are held in common and are indivisible.

These "patriots" would soon push us out of the EU and eventually under the influence of Russia

Marek Cavali, as chair of the political party Roma Luma, is basically dancing to the tune of these demagogues with ties to the SPD who are doing their best here to convince the fools who follow them that they are patriots, not racists, because it is not racist to defend the interests of this nation. However, these people are not defending the interests of this country - in reality they are doing exactly the opposite. 

We would soon end up outside the EU if we followed their policy, because they would call leaving the EU part of this fight for our independence and self-sufficiency. The Czech Republic would be quite economically weakened by such a scenario and eventually we would end up under the influence of Russia - a country where, by the way, most Romani people live on the outskirts of society without any kind of legal protection, as Russia no longer recognizes the European Court of Human Rights and its judgments. 

Our world is globally interconnected, and the notion that the Czech Republic, which is a small country, could be absolutely independent of all others while at the same time economically prosperous and strong is an absolute utopia. Even Switzerland, while it is not an EU Member State, has to accept EU legislation in order to take advantage of the common European market. 

Roma Luma, therefore, is basically against Czech Romani people's interests, because the party is joining forces with people advocating for a policy that is against the Czech Republic's interests, and those of her citizens, and those of her minorities, including the Czech Roma. For the sake of completeness, I would like to emphasize that this attitude of mine is not motivated by any personal dislike of the leadership of this political party.

I received an offer to run for office in Prague on the Roma Luma ticket, for which I thanked them before turning it down because, if I were to ever enter active politics, I would first have to arrive at the conclusion that such a move would be useful, and not just to Romani people. I am not yet convinced of that. 

Jaroslav Miko, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Election, Politics, refugee, Roma Luma



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