Discrimination And The Roma People

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Discrimination and the Roma People Jennifer Allen-Antle The Roma people, also called Gypsies or Travelling People, have lived a very different life than most other cultures. They have been discriminated against from private groups as well as governments. In this paper I will discuss the discrimination and prejudice towards the Roma including their persecution by the Nazis and modern day discrimination in Europe. In this paper I will use the proper term of Roma unless quoting directly, as that is the term preferred by the Roma in their fight to be recognized as an ethnic group. Everywhere Gypsies are the lowest of the low. Why? Because they are different. Because they steal, are restless, roam, have the Evil Eye and that stunning beauty that makes us ugly to ourselves. Because their mere existence puts our values in question. Because they are all very well in operas and operettas, but in reality…they are anti-social, odd and don’t fit in. “Torch them!” shout the skinheads. Gunter Grass, “Losses” (Stewart, 1997:1) Romans, Gypsies and Travellers as a distinct ethnic group have been identified as early as the fifteenth century in Europe. Now, they live as outsiders in society, keeping to their ways and most resisting assimilation. They are a proud ethnic group. However they, like most other ethnic groups, have gone through lots of discrimination throughout the years. (Saul and Tebbutt, 2000) Perhaps we should first look at the outward appearance of the Roma to understand the discrimination. They have been described as having dark skin and dark hair. As we have seen with other ethnic groups, such as the Indians and African Americans, the darker the skin the lower you are classed. In fact, their dark coloring can be attributed to their ancestors, the Punjabi of northern India. Another way the Roma people differ is their nomadic ways. Through the years,
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