Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Little Blond Girl Found in a Gypsy Camp

When we were living in Italy in the 1980s, we sent our small children to an asilo, that is a nursery school run by Catholic nuns and paid for by the Italian government. One day, my wife went to pick up the kids and was met by alarm by one of the nuns. She was hurrying to ensure that the gate was locked. Why? Because gypsies had been seen walking in the neighborhood. There was a fear that they might actually steal one of the children.

You may laugh, but read on.

During the same time, the wife of one of my fellow DEA agents was at a weekend open air market in Milan buying fruit and vegetables. She was pushing her less-than-one-year-old boy in a stroller. As she was paying for the food, her attention was distracted from the stroller. When she turned around, the stroller and her baby were gone. Fortunately, the culprit was still in sight. It was a gypsy woman who was making off with her son. The mother was able to chase the woman down and retrieve her son and the stroller.

That brings us to the present.

In the past few days, Greek police raided a Gypsy camp and discovered a little blond girl who clearly did not belong there.  It has caused international news and even in the US, efforts are being made to determine if she could be one of our own missing children.

Now I know I am going to get nasty comments from some of you readers accusing me of being a racist and all that. I don't care. Some truth needs to be spoken here. This stuff does happen.

Gypsy camps in Europe are a fact of life. No need to recount the history of the gypsies here. It is well-known, especially in Europe. Gypsies are a nomadic people descended from India who more recently have migrated to western Europe largely from Romania and Bulgaria. Typically, they do not work; they do not send their kids to school; they do not assimilate; they live by begging and stealing. Their camps are filthy eyesores where non-Gypsies dare not enter. I have seen how their women will roam European streets in groups and swarm women to steal their purses.

And yes, they will also steal children.

It is undeniable that gypsies are despised by Europeans. When they enter a store or restaurant, they are chased out by the manager because they know they are there either to steal beg or to steal. In France, there is an effort to send them back en masse to Romania. It must also be added here that gypsies were one of Hitler's targets during World War II. Hundreds of thousands were murdered by the Nazis much as they did with the Jews. There is no way to condone that.

But the gypsies are a problem, and no amount of political correctness should be allowed to sugarcoat that fact. There are some who have found their way to North America. God forbid that they be allowed to come here in large numbers.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

A good way to lie is to tell a selected portion of the truth. Gary isn't lying, but he is promulgating a well-developed European perspective that is the half-truth sort of lie. The way to break through such self-righteous delusion is not to scream "racist," which Gary actually enjoys and easily foils. It is to take a good hard look at the whole truth.

I know of no better place to begin than The Economist's recent obituary for Nicolae Gheorghe, a Roma who was equally chat with a woman rattling a plastic cup outside a bakery, sternly wag his finger at a mother with school age children begging on the steps of a church, and campaigning for human rights for gypsies.

There is a vicious circle here that needs to be broken, and doing so is certainly a piece of work. Roma have been marginalized in Europe from the time they arrived, probably as refugees from several more powerful tribes between India and Hungary. They were never allowed to assimilate, and in the past fifty years, were forcibly "assimilated" in the same manner native Americans were "assimilated" at schools like Carlisle, in Pennsylvania. They did what they could to survive, just as Jews really did specialize in money lending, at a time when Christians were forbidden to lend money at interest, but desperately needed to borrow it, while Jews were forbidden to enter many crafts and professions.

Now, of course, gypsy culture IS wrapped around what makes them distinctive, including begging, child stealing, and prostitution. There are some who feel "this is who we are," just as a fair number of ghetto blacks have bought into the notion that being stupid, lazy, unmotivated, and thievish is the essence of "being black."

So, we have problems, in various places around the world, of demarginalizing and assimilating people without destroying them, and dealing with the fact that a fair number are locked into a culture that is anti-social and undesirable to assimilate with.

Again, read about Gheorghe's work. He had a good segment of the right answers. Hopefully there are more like him.

Findalis said...

Many of the Roma who have made their way into the US and Canada are hardworking, decent, honest people. In fact they are embarrassed by their criminal element and shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

These honest men and women do not like the name Gypsy (It is similar to the 'N' word) and prefer to be called Roma.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Well said, Findalis.