Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

23 September 2010

European Discrimination Against Mid-19th Century Slave Peoples

A favorite pastime of Europeans is to criticize the United States for its discrimination against black Americans or more recently for some complaints by Americans about illegal immigrants.  Our homegrown Progressives commonly view Europe, especially Western Europe, as the land of Nirvana.  They only wish our governments were as socially responsible as they believe the more socialist governments of Europe are.  As a result, Obama and his like have recently complained to the U.N. Human Rights Council about how horribly America still discriminates against black Americans and illegal immigrants. Obama's Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for alleged discrimination against illegal immigrants and a complaint with the same U. N. Human Rights Council.

But the European Union has a major discrimination problem of its own.  The 4-10 Sep 2010 and the 18-24 Sep 2010 issues of The Economist discuss this problem.  It is the Roma, or Romanies, or Gypsies as they are variously called who it is thought migrated from Rajastan in India at about 1000 AD.  The Romanies were slaves in Romania until about the mid-19th Century.  Then in WWII, the Nazis uprooted them, took their possessions, and killed about 500,000 of them in concentration camps.  When the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe, they provided jobs, housing, and reduced the discrimination.

Now that the Eastern European countries are in the European Union, there are anti-discrimination laws, but they are largely unenforced.  They are commonly discriminated against in jobs.  In Slovakia, they are 10% of the population, but are 60% of the special needs school population.  Many are in the special needs schools to escape the bullying in the regular schools.  Boys are often put to work at an early age, cutting any schooling they get short.  Girls are often married off as teenagers.  The conditions of Roma settlements are often as bad as those of poor areas of Africa and India.  Their incomes, health, illiteracy, criminality, and life expectancy are worse than any other group in Europe.  Since the population of many European countries is shrinking and the Roma have large families, these problems will have a growing impact on Europe if they are not addressed.

Spain and Macedonia treat them better than many countries, while Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia treat them very poorly.  An MEP from Hungary called for the mass internment of the Roma.  Violent attacks are often made on them.  The entrance of the Eastern European countries into the EU with its freedom of movement rules has allowed some Romani to seek a better life in Western Europe.  However, the Western Europeans have become upset with the appearance of shanty towns, an increase in pickpocketing and begging by children, and an increase in rapes and fighting.  In Western Europe, Roma have been evicted forcibly in Greece, attacked by mobs in Belfast, Ireland, and firebombed in Italy.  The Italian government began deporting them.  The French government has deported 8,000 Romani this year, sending them back to Romania and Bulgaria.  In fact, French police were ordered to clear 300 camps, with priority being given to removing the Roma camps.  When the European Commission complained to Nicolas Sarkozy, he suggested that Luxembourg, where the EU's justice commission resides, should provide the displaced Romanies a home.

The population of Roma in a number of countries in Europe:

Romania, 1,850,000
Bulgaria, 750,000
Spain, 725,000
Hungary, 700,000
Slovakia, 500,000
France, 400,000
Czech Republic, 300,000
Great Britain, 265,000
Macedonia, 198,000
Italy, 145,000
Albania, 115,000
Moldova, 108,000
Germany, 105,000
Kosovo, 38,000
Croatia, 35,000
Montenegro, 20,000
Slovenia, 9,000

There is one country, according to The Economist, where the Romani are treated just like other immigrants and those immigrants are treated pretty well.  Of course, those of you who are not Progressives know the answer immediately.  The country that has welcomed them and allowed them to make a much better life for themselves is the United States of America.  Yes, that same country Obama and the Progressives so love to denigrate.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this issue to light. Too often are we reminded how "progressive" the European Union is and Europe in general. Too often we are reminded to look to Europe as an example of "progress." Yet, these dark stories, such as this issue of Gypsies, remain under the carpet because the collectivist controlled media wishes to make collectivism look "progressive." Well, the only true progress is individualism, where every individual is free to pursue his or her own dream to the best of his or her potential; that is progressive. Collectivism is a progress back to the feudal lords, of course, in the name of the "common good." Another issue you may want to look into is how Italy is treating African immigrants poorly. Europe is one giant hypocritical union.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for your comment. I will try to look into the treatment of Africans in Italy.