Antiziganism | Wikipedia audio article

Antiziganism (also antigypsyism, anti-Romanyism,
Romaphobia, or anti-Romani sentiment) is hostility, prejudice, discrimination or racism which
is specifically directed at Romani people (Roma, Sinti, Iberian Kale, Welsh Kale, Finnish
Kale and Romanichal). Non-Rom groups such as the Yenish and Irish
and Scottish Travellers are often given the misnomer “gypsy” and confused with the Romani
people. As a result, sentiments which were originally
directed at the Romani people are also directed at traveller groups and they are often referred
to as “antigypsy”. The term Antigypsyism is recognized by the
European Parliament and the European Commission as well as by a wide cross-section of civil
society.==Etymology==The root Zigan comes from the term Cingane
(alt. Tsinganoi, Zigar, Zigeuner) which probably
derives from Athinganoi, the name of a Christian sect with whom the Romani became associated
in the Middle Ages. According to Martin Holler, the English term
anti-Gypsyism stems from the mid-1980s, and became mainstream in the 2000s and 2010s,
whereas the term antiziganism was borrowed from the German Antiziganismus more recently.==History=====In the Middle Ages===In the early 13th-century Byzantine records,
the Atsínganoi are mentioned as “wizards … who are inspired satanically and pretend
to predict the unknown”. By the 16th century, many Romani who lived
in Eastern and Central Europe worked as musicians, metal craftsmen, and soldiers. As the Ottoman Empire expanded, they relegated
the Romani, who were seen as having “no visible permanent professional affiliation”, to the
lowest rung of the social ladder.===16th & 17th centuries===
In Royal Hungary in the 16th century at the time of the Turkish occupation, the Crown
developed strong anti-Romani policies, as these people were considered suspect as Turkish
spies or as a fifth column. In this atmosphere, they were expelled from
many locations and increasingly adopted a nomadic way of life.The first anti-Romani
legislation was issued in the March of Moravia in 1538, and three years later, Ferdinand
I ordered that Romani in his realm be expelled after a series of fires in Prague. In 1545, the Diet of Augsburg declared that
“whosoever kills a Gypsy (Romani), will be guilty of no murder”. The subsequent massive killing spree which
took place across the empire later prompted the government to step in to “forbid the drowning
of Romani women and children”.In England, the Egyptians Act 1530 banned Romani from
entering the country and required those living in the country to leave within 16 days. Failure to do so could result in confiscation
of property, imprisonment and deportation. The act was amended with the Egyptians Act
1554, which directed that they abandon their “naughty, idle and ungodly life and company”
and adopt a settled lifestyle. For those who failed to adhere to a sedentary
existence, the Privy council interpreted the act to permit execution of non-complying Romani
“as a warning to others”.In 1660, the Romani were prohibited from residing in France by
Louis XIV.===18th century===
In 1710, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, issued an edict against the Romani, ordering “that
all adult males were to be hanged without trial, whereas women and young males were
to be flogged and banished forever.” In addition, in the kingdom of Bohemia, Romani
men were to have their right ears cut off; in the March of Moravia, the left ear was
to be cut off. In other parts of Austria, they would be branded
on the back with a branding iron, representing the gallows. These mutilations enabled authorities to identify
the individuals as Romani on their second arrest. The edict encouraged local officials to hunt
down Romani in their areas by levying a fine of 100 Reichsthaler for those failing to do
so. Anyone who helped Romani was to be punished
by doing a half-year’s forced labor. The result was mass killings of Romani across
the Holy Roman empire. In 1721, Charles VI amended the decree to
include the execution of adult female Romani, while children were “to be put in hospitals
for education”.In 1774, Maria Theresa of Austria issued an edict forbidding marriages between
Romani. When a Romani woman married a non-Romani,
she had to produce proof of “industrious household service and familiarity with Catholic tenets”,
a male Rom “had to prove ability to support a wife and children”, and “Gypsy children
over the age of five were to be taken away and brought up in non-Romani families.”In
2007 the Romanian government established a panel to study the 18th- and 19th-century
practice of Romani slavery by Princes, local landowners, and monasteries. Slavery of Romani was outlawed in the Romanian
Principalities, Moldavia and Wallachia, around 1856.===19th century===
Governments regularly cited petty theft committed by Romani as justification for regulating
and persecuting them. In 1899, the Nachrichtendienst in Bezug auf
die Zigeuner (“Intelligence Service Regarding the Gypsies”) was set up in Munich under the
direction of Alfred Dillmann, and catalogued data on all Romani individuals throughout
the German-speaking lands. It did not officially close down until 1970. The results were published in 1905 in Dillmann’s
Zigeuner-Buch, which was used in the following years as justification for the Porajmos. It described the Romani people as a “plague”
and a “menace”, but almost exclusively characterized “Gypsy crime” as trespassing and the theft
of food.In the United States during Congressional debate in 1866 over the Fourteenth Amendment
to the United States Constitution which would subsequently grant citizenship to all persons
born within U.S. territory, an objection raised was that a consequence of enacting the amendment
would be to grant citizenship to Gypsies and other groups perceived by some as undesirable. Pennsylvania Senator Edgar Cowan stated, …I
am as liberal as anybody toward the rights of all people, but I am unwilling, on the
part of my State, to give up the right that she claims, and that she may exercise, and
exercise before very long, of expelling a certain number of people who invade her borders;
who owe her no allegiance; who pretend to owe none; who recognize no authority in her
government; who have a distinct, independent government of their own—an imperium in imperio;
who pay no taxes; who never perform military service; who do nothing, in fact, which becomes
a citizen, and perform none of the duties which devolve upon him, but, on the other
hand, have no homes, pretend to own no land, live nowhere, settle as trespassers where
ever they go, and whose sole merit is a universal swindle; who delight in it, who boast of it,
and whose adroitness and cunning is of such a transcendent character that no skill can
serve to correct or punish it; I mean the Gypsies. They wander in gangs in my State… These people live in the country and are born
in the country. They infest society. In response Senator John Conness of California
observed, I have lived in the United States now many a year, and really I have heard more
about Gypsies within the last two or three months than I have heard before in my life. It cannot be because they have increased so
much of late. It cannot be because they have been felt to
be particularly oppressive in this or that locality. It must be that the Gypsy element is to be
added to our political agitation, so that hereafter the negro alone shall not claim
our entire attention.===Porajmos===Persecution of Romani people reached a peak
during World War II in the Porajmos (literally, the devouring), a descriptive neologism for
the Nazi genocide of Romanis during the Holocaust. Because the Romani communities in Central
and Eastern Europe were less organized than the Jewish communities and the Einsatzgruppen,
mobile killing squads, who travelled from village to village massacring the Romani inhabitants
where they lived typically left few to no records of the number of Roma killed in this
way, although in a few cases, significant documentary evidence of mass murder was
is more difficult to assess the actual number of victims. Historians estimate that about 2,000,000 Roma
and Sinti were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators, or more than 85% of the Romani
in Europe at the time. Nazi racial ideology put Romani, Jews, Slavs
and blacks at the bottom of the racial scale. The German Nuremberg Laws of 1935 stripped
Jews of citizenship, confiscated property and criminalized sexual relationship and marriage
with Aryans. These laws were extended to Romani as Nazi
policy towards Roma and Sinti was complicated by pseudo-historic racialist theories, which
could be contradictory, namely that the Romani were of Egyptian ancestry. While they considered Romani grossly inferior,
they believed the Roma people had some distant “Aryan” roots that had been corrupted. The Romani are actually a distinctly European
people of considerable Northwestern Indian descent, or what is literally considered to
be Aryan. Similarly to European Jews, specifically the
Ashkenazi, the Romani people quickly acquired European genetics via enslavement and intermarriage
upon their arrival in Europe 1,000 years ago. In the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia,
the Nazi genocide of the Romani was so thorough that it exterminated the majority of Bohemian
Romani speakers, eventually leading to the language’s extinction in 1970 with the death
of its last known speaker, Hana Šebková. In Denmark, Greece and a small number of other
countries, resistance by the native population thwarted planned Nazi deportations and extermination
of the Romani. In most conquered countries (e.g., the Baltic
states), local cooperation with the Nazis expediated the murder of almost all local
Romani. In Croatia, the Croatian collaborators of
the Ustaše, were so vicious only a minor remnant of Croatian Romani (and Jews) survived
the killings. In 1982, West Germany formally recognized
that genocide had been committed against the Romani. Before this they had often claimed that, unlike
Jews, Roma and Sinti were not targeted for racial reasons, but for “criminal” reasons,
invoking antiziganist stereotype. In modern Holocaust scholarship the Porajmos
has been increasingly recognized as a genocide committed simultaneously with the Shoah.===Catholic Church takes responsibility===
On March 12, 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a formal public apology to, among other groups
of people affected by Catholic persecution, the Romani people and begged God for forgiveness. On June 2, 2019, Pope Francis acknowledged
during a meeting with members of the Romanian Romani community the Catholic Church’s history
of promoting “discrimination, segregation and mistreatment” against Romani people throughout
the world, apologized, and asked the Romani people for forgiveness.==Contemporary anti-Romanyism==
A report issued by Amnesty International in 2011 claims that “systematic discrimination
is taking place against up to 10 million Roma across Europe. The organization has documented the failures
of governments across the continent to live up to their obligations.”Anti-Romanyism has
continued well into the 2000s, particularly in Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Kosovo. In Bulgaria, Professor Ognian Saparev has
written articles stating that ‘Gypsies’ are culturally inclined towards theft and use
their minority status to ‘blackmail’ the majority. European Union officials censured both the
Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2007 for forcibly segregating Romani children from regular schools.The
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, has been an outspoken critic
of anti-Romanyism. In August 2008, Hammarberg noted that “today’s
rhetoric against the Roma is very similar to the one used by Nazis and fascists before
the mass killings started in the thirties and forties. Once more, it is argued that the Roma are
a threat to safety and public health. No distinction is made between a few criminals
and the overwhelming majority of the Roma population. This is shameful and dangerous”.According
to the latest Human Rights First Hate Crime Survey, Romanis routinely suffer assaults
in city streets and other public places as they travel to and from homes and markets. In a number of serious cases of violence against
them, attackers have also sought out whole families in their homes or whole communities
in settlements predominantly housing Romanis. The widespread patterns of violence are sometimes
directed both at causing immediate harm to Romanis, without distinction between adults,
the elderly, and small children and physically eradicating the presence of Romani people
in towns and cities in several European countries.===European Union===The practice of placing Romani students in
segregated schools or classes remains widespread in countries across Europe. Many Romani children have been channeled into
all-Romani schools that offer inferior quality education and are sometimes in poor physical
condition or into segregated all-Romani or predominantly Romani classes within mixed
schools. Many Romani children are sent to classes for
pupils with learning disabilities. They are also sent to so-called “delinquent
schools”, with a variety of human rights abuses.Romani in European cities are often accused of crimes
such as pickpocketing. In 2009, a documentary by the BBC called Gypsy
Child Thieves showed Romani children being kidnapped and abused by Romani gangs from
Romania. The children were often held locked in sheds
during the nights and sent to steal during the days. However, Chachipe, a charity which works for
the human rights of Romani people, has claimed that this programme promoted “popular stereotypes
against Roma which contribute to their marginalisation and provide legitimacy to racist attacks against
them” and that in suggesting that begging and child exploitation was “intrinsic to the
Romany culture”, the programme was “highly damaging” for the Romani people. However, the charity accepted that some of
the incidents that were detailed in the programme in fact took place.The documentary speculated
that in Milan, Italy a single Romani child was able to steal as much as €12,000 in
a month; and that there were as many as 50 of such abused Romani children operating in
the city. The film went on to describe the link between
poverty, discrimination, crime and exploitation.A United Nations study found that Romani people
living in European countries are arrested for robbery much more often than other groups. Amnesty International and Romani rights groups
such as the Union Romani blame widespread institutionalised racism and persecution. In July 2008, a Business Week feature found
the region’s Romani population to be a “missed economic opportunity”. Hundreds of people from Ostravice, in the
Beskydy mountains in Czech Republic, signed a petition against a plan to move Romani families
from Ostrava city to their home town, fearing the Romani invasion as well as their schools
not being able to cope with the influx of Romani children.In 2009, the UN’s anti-racism
panel charged that “Gypsies suffer widespread racism in European Union”. The EU has launched a program entitled Decade
of Roma Inclusion to combat this and other problems.====Austria====
On 5 February 1995, Franz Fuchs killed four Romani in Oberwart with a pipe bomb improvised
explosive device which was attached to a sign that read “Roma zurück nach Indien” (“Romani
back to India”). It was the worst racial terror attack in post-war
Austria, and was Fuchs’s first fatal attack.====Bulgaria====In 2011 in Bulgaria, the widespread anti-Romanyism
culminated in anti-Roma protests in response to the murder of Angel Petrov on the orders
of Kiril Rashkov, a Roma leader in the village of Katunitsa. In the subsequent trial, the killer, Simeon
Yosifov, was sentenced to 17 years in jail. As of May 2012, an appeal was under way. Protests continued on 1 October in Sofia,
with 2000 Bulgarians marching against the Romani and what they viewed to be the “impunity
and the corruption” of the political elite in the country. Volen Siderov, leader of the far-right Ataka
party and presidential candidate, spoke to a crowd at the Presidential Palace in Sofia,
calling for the death penalty to be reinstated as well as Romani ghettos to be dismantled.Many
of the organized protests were accompanied by ethnic clashes and racist violence against
Romani. The protesters shouted racist slogans like
“Gypsies into soap” and “Slaughter the Turks!” Many protesters were arrested for public order
offenses. The news media labelled the protests as anti-Romani
Pogroms.Furthermore, in 2009, Bulgarian prime minister Borissov referred to Roma as “bad
human material”. The vice-president of the Party of European
Socialists, Jan Marinus Wiersma claimed that he “has already crossed the invisible line
between right-wing populism and extremism”.====Czech Republic====Roma make up 2–3% of population in the Czech
Republic. According to Říčan (1998), Roma make up
more than 60% of Czech prisoners and about 20–30% earn their livelihood in illegal
ways, such as procuring prostitution, trafficking and other property crimes. Roma are thus more than 20 times overrepresented
in Czech prisons than their population share would suggest. According to 2010 survey, 83% of Czechs consider
Roma asocial and 45% of Czechs would like to expel them from the Czech Republic. A 2011 poll, which followed after a number
of brutal attacks by Romani perpetrators against majority population victims, revealed that
44% of Czechs are afraid of Roma people. The majority of the Czech people do not want
to have Romanis as neighbours (almost 90%, more than any other group) seeing them as
thieves and social parasites. In spite of long waiting time for a child
adoption, Romani children from orphanages are almost never adopted by Czech couples. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 the jobs
traditionally employing Romanis either disappeared or were taken over by immigrant workers.The
Romanis are at the centre of the agenda of far-right groups in the Czech Republic, which
spread anti-Romanyism. Among highly publicized cases was the Vítkov
arson attack of 2009, in which four right-wing extremists seriously injured a three-year-old
Romani girl. The public responded by donating money as
well as presents to the family, who were able to buy a new house from the donations, while
the perpetrators were sentenced to 18 and 22 years in prison. In January 2010, Amnesty International launched
a report titled Injustice Renamed: Discrimination in Education of Roma persists in the Czech
Republic. According to the BBC, it was Amnesty’s view
that while cosmetic changes had been introduced by the authorities, little genuine improvement
in addressing discrimination against Romani children has occurred over recent years.====Denmark====
In Denmark, there was much controversy when the city of Helsingør decided to put all
Romani students in special classes in its public schools. The classes were later abandoned after it
was determined that they were discriminatory, and the Romanis were put back in regular classes.====France====France has come under criticism for its treatment
of Roma. In the summer of 2010, French authorities
demolished at least 51 illegal Roma camps and began the process of repatriating their
residents to their countries of origin. The French government has been accused of
perpetrating these actions to pursue its political agenda. In July 2013, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a very controversial
far-right politician and founder of the National Front party, had a lawsuit filed against him
by the European Roma and Travellers Forum, SOS Racisme and the French Union of Travellers
Association after he publicly called France’s Roma population “smelly” and “rash-inducing”,
claiming his comments violated French law on inciting racial hatred.====Germany====
After 2005 Germany deported some 50,000 people, mainly Romanis, to Kosovo. They were asylum seekers who fled the country
during the Kosovo War. The people were deported after living more
than 10 years in Germany. The deportations were highly controversial:
many were children and obtained education in Germany, spoke German as their primary
language and considered themselves to be Germans.====Hungary====
Hungary has seen escalating violence against the Romani people. On 23 February 2009, a Romani man and his
five-year-old son were shot dead in Tatárszentgyörgy village southeast of Budapest as they were
fleeing their burning house which was set alight by a petrol bomb. The dead man’s two other children suffered
serious burns. Suspects were arrested and are currently on
trial.In 2012, Viktória Mohácsi, 2004–2009 Hungarian Member of European Parliament of
Romani ethnicity, asked for asylum in Canada after previously requesting police protection
at home from serious threats she was receiving from hate groups.====Italy====In 2007 and 2008, following the brutal rape
and subsequent murder of a woman in Rome at the hands of a young man from a local Romani
encampment, the Italian government started a crackdown on illegal Roma and Sinti campsites
in the country. In May 2008 Romani camps in Naples were attacked
and set on fire by local residents. In July 2008, a high court in Italy overthrew
the conviction of defendants who had publicly demanded the expulsion of Romanis from Verona
in 2001 and reportedly ruled that “it is acceptable to discriminate against Roma on the grounds
that they are thieves”. One of those freed was Flavio Tosi, Verona’s
mayor and an official of the anti-immigrant Lega Nord. The decision came during a “nationwide clampdown”
on Romanis by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The previous week, Berlusconi’s interior minister
Roberto Maroni had declared that all Romanis in Italy, including children, would be fingerprinted.In
2011 the development of a National Inclusion Strategy Rom Dei Sinti and Caminanti under
the supervision of European Commission has defined the presence of Romani camps as an
unacceptable condition. As already underlined by many international
organizations, the prevalent positioning of the RSC communities in the c.d “nomad camps”
fuels segregation and hinders every process of social integration / inclusion; but even
where other more stable housing modalities have been found, forms of ghettoization and
self-segregation are found, which hinder the process of integration / social inclusion.====Romania====Roma make up 3.3% of population in Romania. Prejudice against Romanis is common amongst
the Romanians, who characterize them as thieves, dirty and lazy. A 2000 EU report about Romani said that in
Romania… the continued high levels of discrimination are a serious concern…and progress has been
limited to programmes aimed at improving access to education. A survey of the Pro Democraţia association
in Romania revealed that 94% of the questioned persons believe that the Romanian citizenship
should be revoked to the ethnic Romani who commit crimes abroad.In 2009-2010, a media
campaign followed by a parliamentarian initiative asked the Romanian Parliament to accept a
proposal to change back the official name of country’s Roma (adopted in 2000) to Țigan,
the traditional and colloquial Romanian name for Romani, in order to avoid the possible
confusion among the international community between the words Roma, which refers to the
Romani ethnic minority, and Romania. The Romanian government supported the move
on the grounds that many countries in the European Union use a variation of the word
Țigan to refer to their Gypsy populations. The Romanian upper house, the Senate, rejected
the proposal.Several anti-Romani riots occurred in recent decades, notable of which being
the Hădăreni riots of 1993, in which a mob of Romanians and Hungarians, in response to
the killing of a Romanian by a Gypsy, burnt down 13 houses belonging to the Gypsies, lynched
three Gypsies and forced 130 people to flee the village.In Baia Mare, Mayor Cătălin
Cherecheș announced the building of a 3 metre high, 100 metre long concrete wall to divide
the buildings in which the Gypsy community lives from the rest of the city and bring
“order and discipline” into the area.The manele, their modern music style, was prohibited in
some cities of Romania in public transport and taxis, that action being justified by
bus and taxi companies as being for passengers’ comfort and a neutral ambience, acceptable
for all passengers. However, those actions had been characterised
by Speranta Radulescu, a professor of ethno-musicology at the Bucharest Conservatory, as “a defect
of Romanian society”. There were also a few criticisms of Professor
Dr. Ioan Bradu Iamandescu’s experimental study, which linked the listening of “manele” to
an increased level of aggressiveness and low self-control and suggested a correlation between
preference for that music style and low cognitive skills.In 2009, pop singer Madonna defended
Romani people during her concert in Bucharest.====Slovakia====
Three Slovakian Romani women have come before the European Court of Human Rights on grounds
of having been forcefully sterilised in Slovakian hospitals. The sterilisations were performed by tubal
ligation after the women gave birth by Caesarean section. The court awarded two of the women costs and
damages while the third case was dismissed because of the woman’s death. A report by the Center for Reproductive Rights
and the Centre for Civil and Human Rights has compiled more than 100 cases of Roma women
in Slovakia who have been sterilised without their informed consent.====United Kingdom====
According to the LGBT rights organisation and charity Stonewall, anti-Romanyism is prevalent
in the UK, with a distinction made between Romani people and Irish Travellers (both of
whom are commonly known by the exonym “gypsies” in the UK), and the so-called “travellers
[and] modern Gypsies”. In 2008, the media reported that Gypsies experience
a higher degree of racism than any other group in the UK, including asylum-seekers. A Mori poll indicated that a third of UK residents
admitted openly to being prejudiced against Gypsies.Thousands of retrospective planning
permissions are granted in Britain in cases involving non-Romani applicants each year,
and that statistics showed that 90% of planning applications by Romanis and travellers were
initially refused by local councils compared with a national average of 20% for other applicants,
disproving claims of preferential treatment favouring Romanis. Travellers argued that the root of the problem
was that many traditional stopping places had been barricaded off and that legislation
passed by the previous Conservative government had effectively criminalised their community. For example, removing local authorities’ responsibility
to provide sites leaves the travellers with no option but to purchase unregistered new
sites themselves.In August 2012, Slovakian television network TV JOJ ran a report about
cases of Romani immigrant families with Slovakian or Czech citizenship, whose children were
forcibly taken away by the British authorities. It has sparked Romani protests in towns such
as Nottingham. The authorities refused to explain the reasons
for their actions to the Slovak reporters. One of the mothers alleged that she was allowed
visitation with her newborn baby only in an empty room; as there was no furniture, she
was forced to change her baby’s dirty nappies on the floor, which was reflected negatively
in a social workers’ report. Then, when she would not change the diapers
on a subsequent occasion following this experience, failure to change them was reflected negatively
in the report as well. TV JOJ also alleged that in another case,
a biological mother suffered a nervous breakdown because her children were being taken away,
which was seen as proof that she was not able to take care for them and they were then put
up for adoption. The problem was further escalated after reports
that some Slovak children would be put up for adoption either in the UK or elsewhere,
especially after a British court rejected the request of a grandmother, living in Slovakia,
for legal custody of her grandchildren. This dispute has sparked protests in front
of the British embassy in Bratislava, with protesters holding signs such as “Britain
– Thief of Children” and “Stop Legal Kidnappers”. According to Slovak media, over 30 Romani
children were taken from their parents in Britain. The Slovak government voiced its “serious
concern” over the readiness of British authorities to remove children from their “biological
parents” for “no sound reason” and further stated its readiness to challenge the policy
in front of the European Court of Human Rights.=====England=====
In 2002 Conservative Party politician, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bracknell Andrew
MacKay stated in a House of Commons debate on unauthorised encampments of Gypsies and
other Travelling groups in the UK, “They [Gypsies and Travellers] are scum, and I use the word
advisedly. People who do what these people have done
do not deserve the same human rights as my decent constituents going about their ordinary
lives”. MacKay subsequently left politics in 2010.In
2005, Doncaster Borough Council discussed in chamber a Review of Gypsy and Traveller
Needs and concluded that Gypsies and Irish Travellers are among the most vulnerable and
marginalised ethnic minority groups in Britain.A Gypsy and Traveller support centre in Leeds,
West Yorkshire, was vandalised in April 2011 in what the police suspect was a hate-crime. The fire caused substantial damage to a centre
that is used as a base for the support and education of gypsies and travellers in the
The Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament in 2001 and in 2009 confirmed that
widespread marginalisation and discrimination persists in Scottish society against gypsy
and traveller groups. A 2009 survey conducted by the Scottish Government
also concludes that Scottish gypsy and travellers had been largely ignored in official policies. A similar survey in 2006 found discriminatory
attitudes in Scotland towards gypsies and travellers, and showed 37 percent of those
questioned would be unhappy if a relative married a gypsy or traveller while 48 percent
found it unacceptable if a member of the gypsy or traveller minorities became primary school
teachers.A report by the University of the West of Scotland found that both Scottish
and UK governments had failed to safeguard the rights of the Roma as a recognized ethnic
group and did not raise awareness of Roma rights within the UK. Additionally, an Amnesty International report
published in 2012 stated that Gypsy Traveller groups in Scotland routinely suffer widespread
discrimination in society, as well as a disproportionate level of scrutiny in the media. Over a four-month period as a sample 48 per
cent of articles showed Gypsy Travellers in a negative light, while 25–28 per cent of
articles were favourable, or of a neutral viewpoint. Amnesty recommended journalists adhere to
ethical codes of conduct when reporting on Gypsy Traveller populations in Scotland, as
they face fundamental human rights concerns, particularly with regard to health, education,
housing, family life and culture.To tackle the widespread prejudices and needs of Gypsy/Traveller
minorities, in 2011, the Scottish Government set up a working party to consider how best
to improve community relations between Gypsies/Travellers and Scottish society. Including young Gypsies/Travellers to engage
in an on-line positive messages campaign, contain factually correct information on their
In 2007 a study by the newly formed Equality and Human Rights Commission found that negative
attitudes and prejudice persists against Gypsy/Traveller communities in Wales. Results showed that 38 percent of those questioned
would not accept a long-term relationship with, or would be unhappy if a close relative
married or formed a relationship with, a Gypsy Traveller. Furthermore, only 37 percent found it acceptable
if a member of the Gypsy Traveller minorities became primary school teachers, the lowest
score of any group. An advertising campaign to tackle prejudice
in Wales was launched by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in 2008.=====Northern Ireland=====
In June 2009, having had their windows broken and deaths threats made against them, 20 Romanian
Romani families were forced from their homes in Lisburn Road, Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Up to 115 people, including women and children,
were forced to seek refuge in a local church hall after being attacked. They were later moved by the authorities to
a safer location. An anti-racist rally in the city on 15 June
to support Romani rights was attacked by youths chanting neo-Nazi slogans. The attacks were condemned by Amnesty International
and political leaders from both the Unionist and Nationalist traditions in Northern Ireland.Following
the arrest of three local youths in relation to the attacks, the church where the Romanis
had been given shelter was badly vandalised. Using ’emergency funds’, Northern Ireland
authorities assisted most of the victims to return to Romania.===Non-EU countries=======Canada====
When Romani refugees were allowed into Canada in 1997, a protest was staged by 25 people,
including neo-Nazis, in front of the motel where the refugees were staying. The protesters held signs that included, “Honk
if you hate Gypsies”, “Canada is not a Trash Can”, and “G.S.T. – Gypsies Suck Tax”. (The last is a reference to Canada’s unpopular
Goods and Services Tax, also known as GST.) The protesters were charged with promoting
hatred, and the case, called R. v. Krymowski, reached the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005.On
5 September 2012, prominent Canadian conservative commentator Ezra Levant broadcast a commentary
“The Jew vs. the Gypsies” on J-Source in which he accused the Romani people of being a group
of criminals: “These are gypsies, a culture synonymous with swindlers. The phrase gypsy and cheater have been so
interchangeable historically that the word has entered the English language as a verb:
he gypped me. Well the gypsies have gypped us. Too many have come here as false refugees. And they come here to gyp us again and rob
us blind as they have done in Europe for centuries.… They’re gypsies. And one of the central characteristics of
that culture is that their chief economy is theft and begging.”====Kosovo====
From the end of the Kosovo War in June 1999, about 80% of Kosovo’s Romanis were expelled,
amounting to approximately 100,000 expellees. For the 1999–2006 period, the European Roma
Rights Centre documented numerous crimes perpetrated by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians with the purpose
to purge the region of its Romani population along with other non-Albanian ethnic communities. These crimes included murder, abduction and
illegal detention, torture, rape, arson, confiscation of houses and other property and forced labour. Whole Romani settlements were burned to the
ground by Albanians. Romanis remaining in Kosovo are reported to
be systematically denied fundamental human rights. They “live in a state of pervasive fear” and
are routinely intimidated, verbally harassed and periodically attacked on racist grounds
by Albanians. The Romani community of Kosovo is regarded
to be, for the most part, annihilated.At UN internally displaced persons’ camps in Kosovska
Mitrovica for Romanis, the refugees were exposed to lead poisoning.====Norway====
In Norway, many Romani people were forcibly sterilized by the state until 1977.Anti-Romanyism
in Norway flared up in July 2012, when roughly 200 Romani people settled outside Sofienberg
church in Oslo and were later relocated to a building site at Årvoll, in northern Oslo. The group was subjected to hate crimes in
the form of stone throwing and fireworks being aimed at and fired into their camp. They, and Norwegians trying to assist them
in their situation, also received death threats. Siv Jensen, the leader of the right-wing Progress
Party, also advocated the expulsion of the Romani people resident in Oslo.====Switzerland====
A Swiss right-wing magazine, Weltwoche, published a photograph of a gun-wielding Roma child
on its cover in 2012, with the title “The Roma are coming: Plundering in Switzerland”. They claimed in a series of articles of a
growing trend in the country of “criminal tourism for which eastern European Roma clans
are responsible”, with professional gangs specializing in burglary, thefts, organized
begging and street prostitution. The magazine immediately came under criticism
for its links to the right-wing populist People’s Party (SVP), as being deliberately provocative
and encouraged racist stereotyping by linking ethnic origin and criminality. Switzerland’s Federal Commission against Racism
is considering legal action after complaints in Switzerland, Austria and Germany that the
cover breached antiracism laws. The Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel investigated
the origins of the photograph taken in the slums of Gjakova, Kosovo, where Roma communities
were displaced during the Kosovo War to hovels built on a toxic landfill. The Italian photographer, Livio Mancini, denounced
the abuse of his photograph, which was originally taken to demonstrate the plight of Roma families
in Europe.====New Zealand====
The Great Replacement manifesto by Christchurch mosques shooter Brenton Harrison Tarrant described
Roma/Gypsies as among one of the non-Europeans alongside African, Indian, Turkish, and Semitic
(Jewish and Arab) peoples that the shooter wanted to be removed from Europe.====United States=========Elsie Paroubek Affair (1911)=====
In 1911 Chicago, the highly-publicised disappearance of the five-year old Elsie Paroubek was immediately
blamed on “Gypsy child kidnappers”. The public was alerted to report seeing “Gypsies
with a little girl” and many such reports came in.Police raided a “Gypsy” encampment
near 18th and South Halstead in Chicago itself and later expanded the searches and raids
to encampments throughout Illinois, at such widespread locations as Round Lake, McHenry,
Volo and Cherry Valley – but finding no trace of the missing girl. The reason for her capture was attributed
by police to “the natural love of the wandering people for blue-eyed, yellow-haired children”..
Lillian Wulff, age 11 – who had actually been kidnapped by some Romanis four years earlier
– came forward to offer assistance, leading the police to further fruitless raids, as
well as to detaining the supposed “King of the Gypsies”, Elijah George – who, however,”failed
to give the desired information”, and was released. Elijah George was detained in Argyle, Wisconsin,
and this served to spread the anti-Romani hysteria outside Illinois. The police finally abandoned this line of
investigation. Still, when the girl’s body was finally found,
her distraught father Frank Paroubek charged: “I am sure the gypsies stole my girl and then
when they knew we were after them, they killed her and threw her body into the canal.” The anti-Romani agitation might have been
exacerbated by the fact of the missing girl being a Czech American, with the Czech American
community mobilizing massively to help the searches and support the family. This might have had the Inadvertent result
of importing to America the prejudices prevalent in Czech society.=====Present Situation=====
At the present time, because the Roma population in the United States has assimilated quickly
and Roma people are not often portrayed in US popular culture, the term “Gypsy” is typically
associated with a trade or lifestyle instead of the Romani ethnic group. While many Americans regard ethnic costume
offensive (such as blackface), many Americans continue to dress as gypsy characters for
Halloween or other events. Additionally, some small businesses, particularly
those in the fortune-telling and psychic reading industry, use the term “Gypsy” to describe
themselves or their enterprise, even if they have no ties to the Roma people. Some do, however, as perhaps up to a million
Americans have Romani ancestry (see Romani American), but they are usually of only partial
descent. While some scholars argue that appropriation
of the Roma identity in the United States is explained by misperception and ignorance
rather than anti-Romanyism, Romani advocacy groups themselves decry the practice.==Environmental struggles==Environmental issues caused by Cold War-era
industrial development have disproportionately impacted upon the Roma, particularly in Eastern
Europe. The traditional nomadic lifestyle of the Roma
make the people most often settle on the outskirts of towns and cities, where amenities, employment
and educational opportunities are often inaccessible. As of 1993, Hungary has been identified as
one country where this issue exists: “While the economic restructuring of a command economy
into a western style market economy created hardships for most Hungarians, with the national
unemployment rate heading toward 14 percent and per capita real income falling, the burdens
imposed on Romanis are disproportionately great.”Panel buildings (panelák) in Chanov
ghetto near Most, Czech Republic were built in the 1970s for a high-income clientele,
authorities introduced a model plan, whereby Roma were relocated to these buildings, from
poorer areas, to live among Czech neighbours. However, with the rising proportion of Roma
moving in, the Czech clients gradually moved out in a kind of white flight, eventually
leaving a district in which the vast majority of residents were Roma. A poll in 2007 marked the district as the
worst place in the Ústí nad Labem Region. Buildings were eventually stripped of any
valuable materials and torn down. The removal of materials was blamed on the
Roma who had last inhabited the building. Despite a total rental debt in excess of €3.5
million, all of the tenants in the remaining buildings continue to be provided with water
and electricity, unlike the situation in many other European countries. When newly built in the 1980s, some flats
in this settlement were assigned to Roma who had relocated from poverty-stricken locations
in a government effort to integrate the Roma population. Other flats were assigned to families of military
and law-enforcement personnel. However, the military and police families
gradually moved out of the residences and the living conditions for the Roma population
deteriorated. Ongoing failures to pay bills led to the disconnection
of the water supply and an emergency plan was eventually created to provide running
water for two hours per day to mitigate against the bill payment issue. Similarly to Chanov, some of these buildings
were stripped of their materials and were eventually torn down; again, the Roma residents
were identified as the culprits of the material theft.The various legal hindrances to their
traditional nomadic lifestyle have forced many travelling Roma into unsafe areas, such
as ex-industrial areas, former landfills or other waste areas where pollutants have affected
rivers, streams or groundwater. Consequently, Roma are often unable to access
clean water or sanitation facilities, rendering the Roma people more vulnerable to health
problems, such as diseases. Based in Belgium, the Health & Environment
Alliance has included a statement in relation to the Roma on one of its pamphlets: “Denied
environmental benefits such as water, sewage treatment facilities, sanitation and access
to natural resources, and suffer from exposure to environmental hazards due to their proximity
to hazardous waste sites, incinerators, factories, and other sources of pollution.” Since the fall of communism and privatisation
of the formerly state owned water-supply companies in many areas of central and eastern Europe,
the provision of decent running water to illegal buildings Roma that often occupy became a
particular issue, as the new international owners of the water-supply companies are unwilling
to make contracts with Roma population and “water-borne diseases, such as diarrhoea and
dysentery” became “an almost constant feature of daily life, especially for children”. According to a study by the United Nations
Development Program, the percentage of Roma with access to running water and sewage treatment
within Romania and the Czech Republic is well below the average in those countries. Consequently, a proliferation of skin diseases
among these populations, due to the low quality of housing standards, including scabies, pediculosis,
pyoderma, mycosis and ascariasis, has occurred; respiratory health problems also affect the
majority of the inhabitants of these areas, in addition to increasing rates of hepatitis
and tuberculosis.Additionally, the permanent settlement of Roma in residential areas is
often met with either hostility by non-Roma or the exodus of non-Roma, similar to white
flight in the United States. Moreover, local councils have issued bans
against Roma, who are frequently evicted.==In popular culture==
In “The Big Clan” episode of the television show “Dragnet,” originally broadcast on February
8, 1968, Sgt. Friday (Jack Webb) indicates the gypsies are
a criminal organization. In the 2006 mockumentary Borat, Sacha Baron
Cohen’s character explains that his home town has “a tall fence for keeping out Gypsies
and Jews”; the scene featuring this town was filmed in Glod, a Roma village in central
Romania. He makes many more anti-Romani statements
throughout the film. The Adventures of Tintin comic The Castafiore
Emerald criticises anti-Romanyism. After Captain Haddock invites a group of Roma
to move onto his property, they are falsely accused of stealing Bianca Castafiore’s priceless
emerald. Tintin objects to other characters who express
their suspicion and uncovers the real culprit to have been a magpie. In several adaptations of Victor Hugo’s The
Hunchback of Notre Dame such as the 1996 Disney version, Claude Frollo is portrayed as having
a strong, genocidal hatred of gypsies, although this characteristic is not so evident in the
original novel. Many instances of Anti-Romanyism can be observed
in Kristian Novak’s 2016 novel Ziganin but the most beautiful.==See also==
Afrophobia À la zingara
Antisemitism Aporophobia
Caste Cultural assimilation
Discrimination Discrimination law
Environmental racism in Europe Human Rights
Institutionalized discrimination Indophobia
Racism Second-class citizen

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