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July 4, 2022



Patrik Banga on the Czech ombudsman's populism: The Roma warned that ghettos were growing here more than 20 years ago and nobody listened to us!

11.2.2022 15:53
Patrik Banga (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)
Patrik Banga (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)

According to journalist Patrik Banga, the most important thing in tackling social exclusion is to focus on educating children. He has reacted on social media to the populist statements made by ombudsman Stanislav Křeček and his recent debate on CNN Prima News with the journalist Jarmila Balážová. Banga also wonders why the television station called Balážová an "activist" on its website.

"Well, how do you say that? First of all, I think Jarmila is not an activist. She is a journalist. I have no idea why anybody who opposes somebody else must necessarily be an 'activist'. This conversation was not about US or THEM, it was about the ombudsman's utterly inappropriate remarks," Banga responded to the television debate.

Banga noted that Křeček's main concern is that it never be said "that the majority is responsible for the problems of the Roma (and here insert anything from education to employment). Jarmila absolutely correctly told him that NOBODY HAS EVER SAID ANY SUCH THING. Unfortunately, that just got lost," Banga posted to social media - news server is publishing his post in full translation here.

Patrik Banga on the Czech ombudsman

So, to be clear: We are living in the year 2022. For some time now it has not been the case that Roma = "special school". It has also long not been the case that Roma = "welfare". I don't know anybody in my circles who is dependent on welfare. If I remember correctly, it is we Roma who have been telling the media for 20 years that if we are to function as a minority in the same way as everybody else, we must also have the same conditions as everybody else.

That's exactly what Jarmila has repeatedly been trying to point out. Once somebody has come up with a mechanism to correct the absolute educational crime that caused entire generations of Romani children to be educated in an educational system that automatically sent them to "special schools", then anything and everything will be up for discussion. I repeat, as we already have several times: Lawyers simply do not scramble their way out of the "special schools".

Then people are surprised that children with just a basic education only do unskilled work. Some people are then surprised that in adulthood, such people would prefer to be on welfare because it is financially more profitable for them - although this is no longer the case today. Others are surprised that such people have nothing to pass on to their children - who fortunately are no longer attending "special schools" on as regular of a basis.

It's difficult to discuss logarithms with Dad if he only ever went to "special school", right?

Instead of tackling the important thing, the education of the next generation of children - the correction of an educational crime - we have been reading / hearing / watching somebody tell stories about "trashed apartments" for 30 years here now. Like, ok, apartments are also important. However, the ghetto didn't come about of its own accord, did it?

We did say 20 years ago that if we do not correct these mistakes right away, the ghettos would grow. Nobody listened to us!

I'm allergic to hearing these populist words over and over again.

My mother had no education. She worked her fingers to the bone all her life because she was not qualified for anything else. If we had not (with the considerable help of other people) resisted the moronic system that wanted to send us to the "special" or segregated schools, then we would have ended up just like those we are talking about here. We went to mainstream school, though. Then, naturally, we went to work. Wonder of wonders, our own standards have shifted. Our own children have their educations and, wonder of wonders, they also go to work.

How was that possible? We had to forcibly create the same conditions for ourselves that everybody else had. Not everyone can really do that, though. Just as not everybody knows how to run a business. Not everybody will get it together to go abroad for a career, either. 

Instead of talking about apartments, let's look for support for bringing children from the poorest families into a good education. This is the BEST investment. It's enough. Education and work will be the absolute standard for such people's children. In three generations it will no longer be a problem. If we teach employers not to look at Roma with prejudices, then we will never have to talk to the likes of Křeček or Okamura again. I just don't know who they will exploit once it is no longer possible to criticize the Roma.

PS: By the way... we haven't had a Romani MP here in the Czech Republic in 20 years. We have a lot to learn from the Slovaks.

Patrik Banga, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 511x

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