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Yo, That's Racist: "Gypsy" Is A Racial Slur

This Gawker article about a child being taken away from a Roma couple because she didn't look like them is disgusting.

The term "gypsy" is a non-preferred and often derogatory term for Roma people. For those of you who aren't aware of anti-Roma bigotry, the Roma are an indigenous people of Europe who continue to be pushed from nation to nation and mistreated. They are frequently denied legal status and therefore social services. There are many stereotypes about the Roma, but the most predominant is that they are all sociopathic drifters who steal children and anything else that isn't tied down.


Like many ethnic minorities who have been deprived of legal means to support themselves and their families, the Roma have a high crime rate. This fact is used as an excuse to continue to discriminate against Romani people. The fact that many Romani people choose to "live apart" as a direct result of centuries of bigotry is also used against them.

It's one thing if this child is actually a victim of trafficking. Making her alleged abductors' race part of the story is entirely unacceptable. To wit, being Romani has fuck-all to do with child trafficking. If this case has anything to tell us about child trafficking, it is that the most systemically reviled and commonly suspected of people can move a child from country to country in the EU without detection. If this case has anything to tell us about being Romani, it is that Romani people have little legal recourse for actions taken against them by the government in areas where they have historically resided.

It may feel sometimes as though people have done something so awful as to warrant the worst of treatment. This is a comprehensible feeling; it is not comprehensible course of action or way of thinking. The worst among us do not deserve racism.

That "they" are sometimes guilty is not an excuse to disproportionately investigate, and accuse, and convict, and sentence "them."


ETA: A bunch of information has been added to the article linked at the header here which discusses "The Roma issue" and quotes some Roma people. The comments are still stroke-inducing but at least the Gawker writer nominally got their shit together. (Or reverse-nominally, as the article now includes some thoughtful information but the obvious slur in the title remains).

ETA2: Due to help from folks in the comments I have edited my post for background accuracy about the Roma ethnic group.

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