About 100 years ago, a famous British man wrote a poem about poor and uneducated little brown people (of the Phillipine Islands) and how it was the white man’s “burden” to help them.
I was reminded of that sentiment once again this morning after reading an open letter from billionaire George Soros in the Guardian exhorting once again a policy of forcing education on Gypsy children, this time in order that they may become “productive” workers:
Across Europe, millions are suffering from unemployment and the prospect of a long period of economic stagnation. But no group has been harder hit than the Roma.
There are more than 10 million Roma living in Europe, mostly concentrated in the Balkans and in the European Union’s newest member states, especially Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Hungary. What is truly shocking is that their living conditions have actually deteriorated since many of them became EU citizens. At the same time, the majority population’s attitude has become more hostile almost everywhere in Europe.
The two trends are mutually reinforcing: marginalisation breeds contempt, and vice versa. The only escape from this trap is investment in education, which would pay enormous social dividends.
The good news is that we know how to prepare Roma children to be productive members of society.
Really? Let’s analyze what he’s saying here, which is what is truly shocking:
- Gypsies had a better life under Communism than they do under democracy
- Soros knows how to make Gypsies be “productive” workers!
I had no idea that penal labor camps and forced sterilization of women under Communist dictatorships was such a jolly good time for Gypsies! Mercy me.
As for Soros’s claim that he and his Roma Education Fund (REF) “know how to prepare” Gypsies to become hard workers, here are his own words from the Guardian article:
My foundations have been active in educating Roma for more than 25 years. Over that period, we have educated a small cohort of young Roma who retain their identity and yet can break the hostile stereotypes held by those with whom they interact.
“Small cohort” therefore can be translated as “a tiny pittance”, a few hundred people a year (extrapolating from the REF’s website) who get university scholarships from the REF. Meanwhile there are 10 million Gypsies (Soros’s number) in Europe so that’s what we call a drop in the bucket.
Not that this lack of “success” is stopping the REF from proudly announcing their objectives:
Ensuring access to compulsory education, for example, through the involvement of parents in education, initiatives to reduce dropouts, and provision of free textbooks and other educational materials.
In a nutshell, Soros (and the REF) believe that using force to compel Gypsy children to attend (and not drop out of) school is the right way to “assimilate” Gypsies into the labor force.
I’ve written about this dozens of times, including here, and Soros is right, in that sense. If you want to obliterate Gypsy culture then yes, the only solution is using the police (or other government agents) to force Gypsy children to go to school (and not drop out). Of course first you have to believe that the REF and the government know what’s better for Gypsy children than their parents do!
Back to his Guardian article:
To break the negative stereotypes, Roma children must be educated to celebrate and take pride in their Roma heritage. That is what the REF has done. As it is, educated Roma do not fit the stereotypes, so they can easily blend into the majority population.
Unlike George Soros, I both personally know and interact with Gypsies on a daily basis. I know homeless gypsies, alcoholic gypsies, toothless gypsies, some gypsies who comb through trash to make a little bit of money, illiterate gypsies, drug addicted gypsies, gypsy mothers who had their children taken away from them, gypsies who are mentally handicapped and gypsies who haven’t had a bath in over a year. And not one, not one of them needs any help in “celebrating and taking pride” in their heritage.
Every gypsy I know is already damn proud of who they are and their customs and language and music and everything else. That’s because all the gypsies I know are gypsies, who don’t “easily blend in” with other populations. They know exactly who they are and don’t give a fiddily fuck whether you (a non-Gypsy) like them or not.
The only Gypsies who need help in celebrating and taking pride in their culture are the ones who don’t have it anymore, the much-heralded “assimilated” ones who went to university and are now sitting in an office under fluorescent lights and wondering why their soul feels dead inside.
Meanwhile Soros, just like every other blabbermouth “do gooder” on the subject of Gypsies, completely ignores what I’ve pointed out before, which is that nowhere do you see any Gypsy leaders calling for 1) compulsory education for their children or 2) help in becoming assimilated.
Who is the racist one here? Me who lets Gypsies be Gypsies or Soros et al who want to dictate what is best for Gypsies? Let me tell you, Gypsies have no interest in being assimilated or forced to attend school or any of the rest. Even one of their own, Nicolae Gheorghe (about whom my arch enemies The Economist bragged he could “easily blend in” with European leaders) was attacked by his own frigging people when he tried to ram this assimilation crap down their throats.
And let’s not forget that Gypsies have guaranteed representation in Parliament in Romania and their leader Nicolae Paun is allied with the PSD (the most powerful party at the moment in this country) and yet not even Paun is calling for this compulsory assimilation shit.
It’s certainly understandable why a regular person, particularly one living in Britain (where The Guardian is based), might heartily wish that Gypsies would indeed assimilate and send their kids to school and not throw garbage everywhere and talk at a normal volume. But George Soros? He’s not an ordinary person and he doesn’t have to deal with Gypsies in his regular life. So why all the interest in destroying Gypsy culture just to boost up the workforce?
One commenter on the article has a damn good guess:
Cannot quite decide though, if he is a champagne socialist or perhaps a nouveau Fabian.
Whatever, until we have a wholesale reform of the banking sector and the money markets only the very rich can afford to think like this.
Whether the comment was ironic or not, let’s not forget that Soros made a 1 billion pound profit by wrecking the British economy in 1992. It was all perfectly legal, of course, but that little shenanigan ended up costing the British working class (of which 99.99% of them are not Gypsies) about 3.4 billion pounds which could’ve paid for a lot of compulsory schooling and other fine things. Soros likewise profited hugely and caused great damage from similar moves in Malaysia and Thailand.
As for Soros being a Fabian (he certainly knows what it is as he studied it in 1949 in London) and what a “Fabian” even is, I’d have to write a lengthy article (but you can get a taste of it via Wikipedia) although he never calls himself by that title. But the Fabians certainly have a rather evil view of society in which a few “pure” and enlightened leaders run a government that will use state institutions (including most definitely compulsory education) to train the “perfect” citizen.
The Fabians were also big fans of the Half-Caste Act of Australia, a series of laws from about 100 years ago in which the white Europeans compelled the native people (aborigines) to assimilate into white (European) society by taking their children away from their parents and forcing them to go to school.
Jeez, that sounds familiar! Although of course nowadays we dress it up in less colonial-sounding language, making it seem like we’re all just so gosh darn concerned about Gypsies not getting enough chances to make money and pay taxes.
You know what? Somehow the Gypsies managed to survive Hitler’s death camps, Stalin’s gulags and 50 years of Communist repression. Seems to me all they want is to just be left alone to do their own thing. Is that really so hard to accept?
7 thoughts on “The White Billionaire’s Burden”
At first sight this article looks pretty true.
But when you know the discriminating living conditions of the gypsies in Romania f.e. you know perfectly well that this article is totally bullshit and full of lies. I am not talking about the gypsies who travelling the country with their caravans. F.e. in Romania the gypsies children can only attend the schools for mentally retarded children and they can’t get a degree to go to university.
In the Czech Republic where, until recently, the Roma children–Gypsy children–were not allowed to attend high school graduation, had to eat at separate tables and were not allowed in the gymnasiums–the teachers insisted they weren’t clean.
Until recently, in the Czech Republic it was against the law for a “special” school graduate to even proceed to high school. The entrance exams there and elsewhere, according to a ERRC report, are culturally biased. “Thus, Romani children may and often do get questions ‘wrong’ because they simply lack familiarity with such concepts as ‘insurance companies’ or ‘cutlery.’
In Kispalad, Hungary, houses were built: arranged around one main street–Roma on one side, non-Roma on the other. The houses for the gypsies were built without bathroom or telephone, but did have electricity and television.
People who see Roma as inferior say some of the same things Irish Catholics and Protestants say about each other, or Israelis and Palestinians, or white racists about blacks: They’re stupid and lazy, they have no morals, and they are dirty, although they do have a talent for music. The stereotypes make it easier to justify separate and inferior schools and exclusion from jobs, civic life and power of any kind. Or, in Hitler’s case, extermination.
Good article, BUT: you seem to believe that you know your gipsy types quite well:
“homeless gypsies, alcoholic gypsies, toothless gypsies, some gypsies who comb through trash to make a little bit of money, illiterate gypsies, drug addicted gypsies, gypsy mothers who had their children taken away from them, gypsies who are mentally handicapped and gypsies who haven’t had a bath in over a year. ”
…but as someone who lived in Romania all his life, let me complete that list for you:
“flower-selling gipsies that earn more than a university professor, dangerous gang-banger gipsies that mug you, steal your property and rape women, and all sorts of other hoodlums. Not to mention superstar manele artists”
Allthough I agree with you on Soros and almost all your ideas above, it is beyond me why you brag about knowing your gipsies but chose to ignore so many of them…
“The only Gypsies who need help in celebrating and taking pride in their culture are the ones who don’t have it anymore, the much-heralded “assimilated” ones who went to university and are now sitting in an office under fluorescent lights and wondering why their soul feels dead inside.”
Oh God how that hurt…
Oh yeah I’m sure the gypsies freaking LOVE being illiterate, spending hours on the streets in winter to beg, not having a house, not having enough food to feed their families and being shunned by society because they are seen as uncivilised. That’s why they resist change!
I’m guessing that those that you know probably don’t know any better or don’t see trying to uplift themselves from poverty as worth the effort (there’s educated/hard working people on the streets out there) and I can tell you that most don’t understand why society works the way it does. All the while there’s a majority of them out there who do want to improve themselves.
Comparing them to the aboriginals in Australia is completely wrong, we’re not invading the lands of the gypsies where they were living in peace and happiness for thousands of years.
You seem to have integrated part of the romanian groupthink about what ‘gypsy traditions’ are and mixed them with a US-style ethnic based view of society. It will help no one, a pity, since you seem well intentioned.
The only thing I know of Gypsies are 1. Hollywood stereo types. 2. The crimes they commit as reported in various news outlets. 3. What my Romanian friends have said about them (not typically good comments) 4. Watching two reality shows highlighting Gypsy life/marriage. 5. What I’ve read on your blog. I have not seen them in any other context. How about a peek into their world, not just these seemingly narrow perspective? Just a thought.