It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Gypsies: The Last Acceptable Form of Racism

page: 1
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in


posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 10:29 PM
According the Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative Party Chairman and British Muslim, Islamophobia had "crossed the threshold of middle-class respectability" in Britain and was now seen as normal and uncontroversial. The last form of racism that was seen as acceptable amongst the masses in the UK. Although her views have merit, and something which must considered as being expected in view of the British involvement in the "War on Terror" in the Muslim World. I, myself, have seen another ethnic group come under another 'acceptable racism' in the UK (and in Europe) and that is those of the Gypsy/Traveller community.

The British press (tabloids and broadsheets) are filled with stories of rich, rural communities being "victimised" by these invading nomadic folk. Laying waste to all they come into contact with. The online comments page of these papers are filled with vitriol, which if aimed at any other ethnic group, would have been met with instant deletion by the moderators. As per the norm, the Daily Mail is leading their readers on a hate campaign against them and any other ethnic minority group which is receiving support from the Government.

TV and film follow suit. A recent Channel 4 production called 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding', has only heightened their angst against them as the differences between the communities is laid bare on the small screen for all to see.

So whilst I feel that Warsi has validity in her claim, she must remember that she isn't alone.

posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 10:45 PM
reply to post by Extreme Pilgrim

Being from California I must say that outside of obscure references to magic, curses, and history we hear next to nothing about the Gypsies. I even scan over the UK news about once a week or so. Granted I'm looking at technology and world stories American media misses I would have thought I would have at least seen something!

Also being from California I would suspect this is very similar to how many feel it is okay to bash Hispanic migrant workers (Illegal Immigrants) and can get away with it because it is popular to do so.

I see this as little different than (Yeah I'm going to go there) what Hitler did. Taking a group it is okay to blame problems on and the local politicians support it so the real difficult issues can be ignored and they can gain support by pretending to do something about an "easy" to identify issue. When in reality the issues that need to be tackled are so complex and deep and often stemming from the special interests that support the politician it is easier and more profitable to find a scapegoat group to go after.

posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 10:58 PM
I would say that people of Roma/Romnichal ethnicity, are considered to be ''fair game'' for racial discrimination and abuse in Britain.

It's the ''ethnic group that got away'', so to speak, where you get liberal minded people making throwaway derogatory comments abouts ''gypos'', while wringing their hands about other perceived sleights against more ''fashionable'' ethnicities.

In football grounds around the country, it's common to hear mocking chants of ''gypo'' and ''where's your caravan ?'', at any player who has long hair and a cliched Roma appearance.

Yet these same fans would kick up a stink if any other racial group was the target for insults.

Prejudice against gypsies/Roma/Romnichal people stems from the same source as all other intolerance: Ignorance and fear.

Yes, some Romnichal live a life where they have a transient location because of crime and anti-social behaviour, but it's not exactly as if some people of all other races don't indulge in this kind of stuff !

edit on 13-2-2011 by Sherlock Holmes because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 05:56 AM
I don't know if you saw this thread Here about the tv series you mention. There are a lot of interesting points made in it and I don't think anyone is being racist or bigoted about gypsies. Many people are just re-counting their own experiences, many of which are negative. I personally have both positive and negative opinions.

Sadly though, if an illegal camp pops up on your doorstep, you'll probably experience the more negative attitude!

posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 06:25 AM
There's a BIG distinction though between two very different groups, namely those of Roma descent and the predominantly Irish tinker community who, due to political correctness gone awry, had themselves deemed an "ethnic minority".
Now, I have come across true Roma people before, travelers mostly, and they are no problem. They are clean, polite, and do not cause grief to all around them. The same cannot be said however of many in the Irish tinker community I have had dealings with over the last few years. Many of them are indeed into every illegal activity going and theft and fly tipping are a way of life. This is the face of travelers that most people see and, quite rightly, object to very strongly. On the one hand, they bleat about how we should accept their traveling lifestyle, yet then scream racism when they illegally occupy private or public land and try to establish permanent camps. I'm sorry, you can't have it both ways. Either they accept the same social and legal rules as the rest of us or they should indeed be held accountable as the rest of us would.
Racism is bandied about and yes, many people do like to talk about the dirty thieving Gypos, but they have brought that on themselves through their own actions.
It is just a shame that the actions of one group have tarnished the view of all travelers, romany or otherwise.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 11:04 PM
There is a very large community of the travelers in Murphy Village, South Carolina. They are a very secretive community. They don't take much to outsiders, and live very different way of life which I feel makes a lot of people suspicious of them. I've personally heard a lot of good and bad, but I think all in all they don't get a very fair shake. Their livelihood has been eroded by the changing times.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 11:11 PM
The proper term is antiziganism. And yes, it, along with Islamophobia and anti-Indian bigotry, remains one of the only "acceptable" forms of ethnic hatred still considered "permissable" even in the United States. In fact the treatment of Roma and Indians in popular culture is often identical, though of course the "gypsy" is more prevalent in Europe, while "injun" is mostly America.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 11:13 PM

Originally posted by Britguy
It is just a shame that the actions of one group have tarnished the view of all travelers, romany or otherwise.

No, the shame is that you allow it to do so. The actions of the few have done nothing to the greater community; it's the racists judging the community as a whole by the actions of the jackass that are doing the "tarnishing."

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:09 AM
As elucidated in above posts - lots of people called gypsies/travelers.

As far as the Romani people go, I was shocked by the film Drag me to hell.
I know that every film needs a villain, but that kind of ethnic stigmatizing would have caused riots if applied to any other group.
Not only was the cursing gypsy made physically repulsive in every way imaginable, but the entire community was shown as cold and wicked.
Amazing how we reserve political correctness only for some.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:48 AM
Clearly a group of non-specific travellers have never set up camp at your back doors then...You would know if they had! Yes, there are many groups of travellers who keep themselves to themselves (and if you read the other thread on the subject, you would see my opinion - but can't be bothered typing it out again, and I've already given the link to the thread) and they are no problem at all! Then there are a different group of travellers, who set up camps, wherever they choose and mostly leave a trail of destruction.

In fact it is a bit like the difference between the majority moderate muslims, not a problem, and the extreme fundamentalists, big problem.

And yet again it is people who do not live in the UK calling those of us who do, and are discussing issues within the UK, and who have first hand experience of the problems, racists! But considering the vast majority of the "problem travellers" in my area are in fact, Scottish, and I am Scottish myself, I really don't see how I can be considered racist.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:07 AM
reply to post by destination now

I wasn't responding to anyone specific.
I can only concur with the thread title, as far as film goes the Romani are heavily stigmatized.
And that is the last acceptable form of racism.
In South Africa they are in any case the least of my concerns, and I doubt they'd ever come here whatever their ethnicity.
I'm just saying that I saw a US film that was racist in ways it couldn't be with other groups.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:32 AM
reply to post by halfoldman

Sorry, I was referring to other posts, which seem to be implying that those of us in the UK who have a problem with some travellers are racists...

Ironic that it is an American film that depicts the racism against the group, so not really the problem of UK citizens then...

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:56 AM
reply to post by destination now

As for the UK travelers, or whatever, I recall the film Snatch where Brad Pitt plays a "pikey".
I always wondered who the hell these people were, and most people from the UK told me they were part-gypsy.
However, thanks to some posts I'm now finally getting some info and idea.
Funny: Mickey from Snatch speaks "Pikey";
(although it must be said that they come off as the heroes of the flick)

edit on 17-2-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 02:20 AM
reply to post by halfoldman

Yes, I've seen Brad attempting to mimic the "pikey" speak. The language is an art it Irish? Is it Scottish? Is it English? It changes all the time, as do their names, with whole communities adopting a group name, with variations of spelling e.g. McDonah, McDonagh, MacDonach and every other conceivable variation (and that's just one of the Scottish versions!) The trick is to speak quickly in an indeterminable accent, so that no one really catches what is being said (useful for negotiating a contract to tarmac your driveway, then changing the terms of the contract once they've ripped your old driveway up!) And if you've seen the film, you'll see that the reluctance to deal with the "pikeys" is clearly portrayed, and for good reason! But I think the reason that they are sort of portrayed as heroes is as much to do with Guy Ritchie's anti-hero theme in his movies, as opposed to a genuine attempt to portray the "pikeys" as decent people.

Yes, there are many genuine, decent people within the Gypsy Travelling communities, but there is also a very negative, problematic section as well, and it's not limited to just a few, there are hoardes of non specfic travellers, who do cause many problems in many areas, not just, as the OP suggests for the rich landowners, but for ordinary people in towns all around the UK.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 02:48 AM
reply to post by destination now

Fascinating on the language.
Apparently UK gays had a language (or code) called Polari that was once commonly used until the 1970s.
Some say part of that dialect came from "carnies" and "tinkers".
However, with the decriminalization of homosexuality much of that grammar disappeared, and only words and phrases remain.
We had a similar code in SA called "Gayle".
A scene from the film Velvet Goldmine revived some nostalgia.
Turn your eek and varda that dish!
I wonder how closely it was related to other underworld codes, like Pikey.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 02:57 AM
reply to post by halfoldman

Yes, you're probably right, in fact we do have a few words in common usage that originate from the gypsy community, e.g Chavs, who, if you are unfamiliar with the term are young, tracksuit & fake burberry wearing youths, who hang around in gangs causing trouble, which orginates from the gypsy, chavvie, which translates as child. So although the meaning has changed a bit, the word is still in use.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 03:27 AM
Here's some of the issue, coming from someone that lived 2 miles down the road from a travellers site.

1) Most of them stick together and do not mix..This causes the 'unknown' effect.

2) On many occasions we had travellers pull up in a van trying to sell items in bulk. Example, TV's. Shows us boxes of TV's in a back of a van. Get's one down and opens the box. Wow, nice new TV. Travellers try to make a deal to take all the TV's. You check the other boxes, full of old broken TV's. Got to love the cheek of it.

3) When the younger guys go out for a drink, they can be very rowdy, and unfortunately trouble seems to follow. Most have been fighting from a very young age, making them dangerous. Outside a pub I used to work at, a traveller was convicted of manslaughter after punching someone, that went straight down and hit is head on the curb of the road and died.

4) Personally been attacked by a group of drunk travellers...nothing major, but they thought it was funny to walk up to a stranger and smack them in the head and walk off laughing.

5) The police can't/won't do anything. Previous issues at the site cause the police to block off all roads in and out of the site, have helicopters monitoring the situation from above, and let them sort it out themselves. The police won't go in, even if a gun is involved.

6) Other groups of travellers passing through make a site anywhere they can. I understand why, because they have no choice. However, when they leave, they do leave the place in a state. Rubbish everywhere, broken washing machines, just a mess. And I'm mean when staying in a public park, where kids play.

You can't tar every traveller with the same brush, but the only time 'settled' people take notice of travellers is when they cause trouble. Thus the sigma.

edit on 17-2-2011 by dsm1664 because: spelling of a 5 yr old monkey on acid

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:07 AM
reply to post by destination now

The word 'Chav' originates from people from Chatham, Kent. The word has evolved over the years, and was associated with young travellers, but now it's used mostly for 'lower class' youths that like wearing branded clothes.

Used to live just down the road from Chatham. As a kid, used to get the train up and hang around the shopping center (as you do). Kids from Chatham were known as Chavs, then 20 years later the word is used to cover young travellers, then the Jeremy Kyle generation.
edit on 17-2-2011 by dsm1664 because: added info

edit on 17-2-2011 by dsm1664 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:36 AM
reply to post by dsm1664

I've never heard of the Chatham link before, but loads of references to chavvi being a gypsy child, usually boy.

Here's a Link to a powerpoint presentation about the travelling communities in England (couldn't find the Scottish one) The word originates from AngloRomani

Here's the information from the relevant slide:

Community language - Anglo-Romani ‘poggerdi jib
kushti - nice, lovely
dik akai - look here
divvi - stupid
holler - shout
chavvi - child
mush - man
chai - daughter, girl
rakkli - woman
Gaugo - non-Gypsy
chop - swap

Here's another reference to the AngloRomani use of the word chavvi from Manchester Uni
Sorry the link takes you back to the dictionary homepage, you have to type the word chavvi into the angloromani word forms search box at the top to get to the meaning.

But these words have been around for a very long time, I think preceeding the Chatham evolution of the word
edit on 17-2-2011 by destination now because: to add a bit

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:57 AM
reply to post by destination now

Think it's debatable.

My parents also associated the word 'Chav' meaning people from Chatham.

Probably cross association over a period of time.

top topics

<<   2  3  4 >>

log in