Tomáš Ščuka: We may disagree with him, but Romani candidate for extremist party is entitled to his opinions
On 5 and 6 October we will be voting in the local elections to the councils of cities and municipalities as well as to the Senate, the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. I have been unable to avoid noticing the sharp reactions of some Romani people to the young Romani man who has decided to run as a candidate for the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement of Tomio Okamura (SPD) in Karviná.
When I first read the critical comments about his candidacy I understood the negative remarks and the great indignation coming from other Romani people. Frequently such cases are perceived as betrayal, as selling out, etc.
The majority society here views such cases of Romani candidates with humor, they find them amusing. I get it - our freedom of speech provides us with easy opportunities to express ourselves on social networks about unusual phenomena or attitudes in the life of this society, of which we are a part.
On the other hand, I believe these so-called deviations or fluctuations of behavior or attitudes, unfortunately, do have a place in the social environment. During our lives we regularly encounter people who are out of line with the mainstream of majority opinion, or not in line with the rules of social behavior.
These differences may surprise us for a short while, but we do not normally pay attention to them for long. I am asking myself, therefore: Should we perceive such extremes similarly when they appear inside our Romani community?
My answer is YES! We Roma also have the right to be extreme!
While we do not have to like the fact that a young Romani man is running as an SPD candidate, it is necessary to realize that this is not the first such case in this area, and it will not be the last. Certainly we can remember the Romani candidates in the 1990s for the Republican Party of Miroslav Sládek.
Let's also recall the vocal Romani supporters of Jiří Čunek, or of Mayor Řapková of Chomutov, who brought forward her own radical "solution to the Romani question." Actually we should never forget these cases - on the contrary, we should learn to accept them just as we accept the way the rest of society runs.
As the Romani minority, we are different from everybody else primarily because of our culture! Democracy itself, though, its principles and values, must be respected in all its aspects.
Being of the same nationality or skin color has nothing to do with democracy. Each of us bears our own responsibility for our own decisions and steps.
Believe me, candidacies of this sort are not usually successful. Such people are just shooting themselves in the foot - and what's more, in public!
First published in Romano hangos
- Czech Police charge right-wing extremists who assaulted citizens of India
- Local Prague candidate seems to have given Nazi salute at demonstration, extremist party she is running for disavows her
- Czech Police refuse immediate comment about extremist stickers on bus used to transport 280 arrested environmental activists
- Czech PM, in speech about EU, says migration problems have caused a rise in extremist politics
- Czech President's staff criticize inclusion of "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party in extremism report
- Czech Interior Ministry: SPD movement has assumed the agenda of the extreme right
- Czech Govt has yet to release report stating that the SPD party poses more of a threat than extremists do
- Czech President pushing Czech PM into Government with right-wing extremists
- Czech Interior Ministry's quarterly report on extremism: Politicians exploited fears of immigration
- Czech experts point to association between indebtedness and extremist voting patterns
- Julius Zajac: Ascendancy of extremists and liars may augur a new kind of totalitarianism in the Czech Republic
- Czech PM, extremists praise Czech President's Christmas speech, presidential candidates criticize it
- Czech expert on extremism says solidarity through hate is very strong now
- Spiegel Online reports Czech Republic has a problem with extremism
- Czech Republic commemorates Velvet Revolution, Prague Police arrest two right-wing extremists
- Czech Interior Ministry and Prague City Hall stop leasing properties to publisher who released Nazi calendar, MPs plan to ban the sale of Nazi symbols
- Czech court returns to case of hateful online comments about non-"white" first-graders, but witnesses fail to appear
- Ukraine: Racists attack Romani family of four, setting fire to their home and threatening a pregnant woman with rape
- Sweden: Iconic incident of woman swatting neo-Nazi with her purse was also captured on film
- Germany: Halle terrorist charged with double murder and 68 counts of attempted murder
- Two men in Czech Republic indicted for approving of neo-Nazi terrorism in Christchurch, New Zealand
- Czech Constitutional Court agrees with politician who sued over nickname ridiculing him in the press
- Germany: Extremist group in the AfD party says it is dissolving
- Irena Biháriová on developments in Slovakia: Who is really being ostracized?
- Czech and Slovak extremists do their best to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking the EU and public broadcast media
- Romani activist will seek to become chair of Progressive Slovakia party
- Czech lower house committee suspends discussion of stripping ultranationalist MP of immunity from prosecution for xenophobic remarks