Wednesday, April 8, 2015

International Romani Day


Today is International Romani Day, which serves to celebrate Romani (Rromani, Rroma) culture and raise awareness about the rampant human rights abuses against them.

Most people in the US are very much unaware of what Romani peoples deal with because they are hardly found in the US. A lot of USians won't even recognize the word "Romani."

Romani is the correct term for those who are still often referred to as "gypsies." A lot of white people in the US will try to refer to themselves as such as some kind of hippie bullshit about what free spirits they are, unaware of the fact that the word is a racial slur. Do not use that word. Also do not use the word "gypped." That word is derived from the word "gypsy" because of the stereotype that Romani persons are cheaters and swindlers.

The Romani are still subjected to widespread racist discrimination in Europe, including workplace and housing discrimination, police abuse, denial of health care, forced evictions, educational discrimination, and everything else you can think of. Romani individuals are spit on and assaulted in the streets at random. They suffer high rates of poverty and tend to live in "isolated slums."

It's fucking horrifying, and no one really seems to care.

If you care, start by reading this Amnesty International report on the history of and ongoing abuse of these people. And for the love of god, don't call yourself a fucking gypsy and stop appropriating their culture, fellow white women.


Daniel Copeland said...

I'm given to understand that my genetic grandfather's ethnic self-identity was "Gypsy" -- though he was long-dead when I learned this, which was when my father's birth-mother made contact with us shortly before she died. He may himself have used the word "Romani", I don't know. Be that as it may I have certainly known people who self-identified ethnically as "Gypsies". I'll use the word "Romani" myself unless I know that the person I'm speaking to considers themselves a "Gypsy", but I'm not going to go correcting people who do self-identify as "Gypsies".

Lindsey Weedston said...

Well yeah, of course, if you are Romani, you can self-identify as that. I was directing my admonishments at fellow US-based non-Romani people.