Marie Siváková: Reaction of an ordinary Roma/Czech woman to President's allegation that 90 % of "inadaptables" are Romani
"Where is my homeland?" is the opening refrain of the national anthem of the Czech Republic. I, too, am asking: Am I able to consider the Czech lands my home?
This country where a certain part of the majority society hates me, considers me a parasite and "inadaptable"? Well yes, naturally. I am at home here!
Am I, to some people, an "inadaptable" pest, a weed? I am to those who never answer me when I greet them in the elevator, to those who stomp on my foot when we're on the bus together and don't apologize, to those who do not know how to behave, who don't work themselves, who couldn't measure up to me in many ways and who, just because they have light-colored eyes and hair, condemn me for my brown ones.
Hmm... people like that cannot convince me that this is not my home. I was born here, I have lifelong friends here from my high school days.
My initials have been carved into a tree trunk here for 20 years, I pay taxes, I am a paid member of the Association of Parents and Friends of the School, I clean up after my dog when I walk him because I want to live in a clean environment. Imagine, I even have a Lítačka transport card and a library card, and please note that I paid for them with my own money.
Good God, where else am I, if not at home?! I am not any different to anybody else, I'm not "the decent one", I am not playing at being a gadji [non-Roma] - this is just how Romani people live.
I am just as much as Romani woman as I am a Czech one. The fact that some Czechs have "tarred all Gypsies with the same brush" because they may have had a Romani neighbor once who was a cretin is just testimony to the fact that they themselves do not have their heads on straight.
I am a member of a so-called "visible minority" in this country - we're the ones who stand out, we're the ones under the microscope. Any time we put a foot wrong it will not be excused, it's as if everybody else is just waiting for some "Gypsy" to make a wrong move so they can all point the finger at us, so they can throw stones at us - stones they must take care to avoid being targeted by themselves.
According to our President, among the "inadaptables", 90 % are Romani. Damn, I don't know here he gets those statistics, but I guess it must be from some ghetto where the majority society forced all of the socially vulnerable Romani people to live together so the town could rest easy.
In my world, I, my partner, my Mom, my two brothers, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law and both my sisters-in-law all work. My father, who is now retired, draws a pension that is higher tham many of his white friends - because he worked longer than they did.
Those are just the people from my immediate surroundings - I am not counting the many other relatives, friends and acquaintances of mine who work and who are Romani. You will certainly comprehend, therefore, that I cannot quietly agree with the President's allegations.
I will not be bothered, though, by the fact that some individuals condemn me at first sight, that they believe the hoaxes, the outcry on TV, and that now they believe what the President has said. This is my home, and I live here in such a way that both I and my family are doing well and there is nothing of which we should be ashamed.
I do not let racism anywhere near me. I do not surround myself with people who begrudge me for being dark because there is nothing else about me with which they could find fault.
I will never wrack my brains over how to convince racists and xenophobes to change their opinions. If an ordinary, thinking Romani person cannot convince somebody that people are all different, and that Romani people are not just "inadaptables", then nothing will ever convince them.
- Czech President says 90 % of "inadaptable citizens" are Romani
- Jan Horváth: We need a better President of the Czech Republic. Kampel amenge feder prezidentos
- Czech towns criticize abolition of ordinances about sitting, advisor to Labor Minister references "inadaptable gypsies"
- Renata Berkyová for DVTV: Even the Czech President doesn't know how to honor the memory of Lety, the pig farm remains
- Karel Holomek: Czech President's proposal to leave pig farm on genocide site is out of touch
- Analysis: "Inadaptables get free apartments" - the Czech lie that kills
- Czech politician alleges he has resolved the issue of "inadaptable Gypsies", Faktus says the facts show otherwise
- Commentary: Czech mayor declares war on "inadaptables" again
- USA: Passer-by calls police on black man babysitting white children
- Czech Internet users celebrate the deaths of migrant children in Turkey
- Czech ultra-nationalist party joins local assembly in the country's second-largest city
- ROMEA to Czech President: Romani life in communist Czechoslovakia included forced assimilation, forced sterilization of women, segregated education
- Czech politicians respond to President's antigypsyism: He divides us so we won't unite against him
- Czech sociologist refutes President's allegations about Romani unemployment, agrees with ROMEA
- Czech President insults Romani people yet again after casting his ballot
- ROMEA: Czech President has manipulated facts yet again - we can prove 70 % of Romani people in this country work
- Czech extremist party's campaign rally in Prague legally blocked by counter-event
- USA: Four racists arrested over last year's violence in Charlottesville
- Czech school targeted with hate over its non-white first-graders last year receives donation of laptop computers
- Czech President alleges Romani people "don't want to work" and that "slapping them" is the best way to deal with them
Tags:Miloš Zeman, Nenávist, Racism, Soužití
Civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council call on public broadcaster to hold a real debate about Romani issues16.10.2018 10:58
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