A Gypsy is haunting Europe…
Saturday`s addition of ten new countries to the European
Union has elicited much concern among Western Europeans
about increased immigration from Eastern Europe.
However, it`s been hard for us naïve American readers to
decode exactly which potential immigrants the Westerners
fear most. The politically correct prestige press is of
little help, so you have to turn to blunt-spoken
tabloids like Britain`s Sun, which recently
Gypsies set to flee their homes."
now as many as 12 million Gypsies in the world (their
birthrate is far higher than that of other Europeans). A
large proportion have until now been bottled up in
Eastern Europe. They are in many ways the European
Union`s worst nightmare, even though the great and the
good of the EU lack a socially acceptable vocabulary for
even discussing in public their concerns about Gypsies
fashionably known as Roma or Romani).
The Guardian (UK) wrote (Jan. 8, 2003) about the
Gypsies under the title "Shame
of a Continent," the shame being that other
Europeans try to stay as far away from Gypsies as
possible. The Europe Union has been telling the new
members that they must start being nice to the Gypsies.
In the only insightful comment in the article, Gary
"It is not so much a love of the Roma as a fear of
them that has prompted the EU to advocate their rights.
In 18 months` time, when the 10 candidate countries
finally join, the right to free movement throughout the
other 15 wealthier nations will be extended to all their
citizens. That includes the Roma. Britain and others
will no longer be able to deport them. So they want to
do everything they can to improve their lot now, in the
nations where they live, in the hope that a
better-educated, housed, employed and less harassed Roma
population would be less likely to leave."
some Amazing Gypsy Facts, courtesy of the Guardian:
Czech Republic, 75% of Roma children are educated in
schools for people with learning difficulties, and 70%
are unemployed (compared with a national rate of 9%). In
Hungary, 44% of Roma children are in special schools,
while 74% of men and 83% of women are unemployed. In
Slovakia, Roma children are 28 times as likely to be
sent to a
special school than non-Roma; Roma unemployment
stands at 80%."
Guardian, of course, blames this solely on
discrimination. To even suggest that the Gypsies have a
preference for, say, leisure over labor, or that they
suffer a lot from dyslexia would be racist and thus
unthinkable. (By the way, their apparent tendency toward
dyslexia is balanced by their musical skill. The late
Balint Vazsonyi told me that in the top Budapest
conservatory where he studied, there were numerous
Gypsies who never learned to read music, but somehow
made their way through this rigorous course of training
on sheer musical ability.)
have been horrifically persecuted down through the seven
centuries they`ve been in Europe. Otherwise civilized
European countries are said to have subjected them to
hunts" all the way up into the 19th Century. Hitler
hundreds of thousands. The Communists tried to strip
away their culture (but failed), and the newly
democratic countries of
Eastern Europe have tried to wall them off. For
example, one of the first acts of our
allies in the Kosovo Liberation Front in 1999 after
Serbia into submission for them was to ethnically
Gypsies from Kosovo.
So, it can
seem churlish to mention any
reasons why their tormentors acted so dreadfully. In
polite society, you are supposed to assume that this
appalling history was simply caused by a 700-year long
mass hallucination. But, you can`t understand modern
Europe without understanding the Gypsies, who make up a
rapidly growing part of it.
are evidently of
South Asian origin, are often compared to Jews
because of their victim status. Yet, in many ways, they
are the anti-Jews. The part-Jewish, part-Gypsy American
author Isabella Fonseca
"The Gypsies have no heroes.
There are no myths of origin, of a great liberation, of
the founding of a `nation,` of a promised land. . . .
They have no monuments, no anthem, no ruins, and no
Book. Instead of a sense of a great historical past,
they have a collective unease, and an instinctive
cleaving to the tribe."
in Southern California, far from the centers of Gypsy
life, I knew only endearing, exciting images of Gypsies
derived from Romantic masterpieces like Bizet`s
Carmen and Hugo`s
Hunchback of Notre Dame.
My disillusionment began when backpacking around Europe
in 1980. Wherever American and Australian college
students came together, the conversation soon turned to
how to avoid being victimized by
thieves, especially their
American, I knew that the teenage males of some ethnic
groups had a higher
proclivity to steal, but I had never before heard of
a group where many parents trained their toddlers to
steal. Even more horribly, some parents break their
children`s teeth or bones as part of an
insurance scam or to make them into better beggars.
supposed to think about the victims of Gypsy criminals
because, after all,
crime victims are not real victims (i.e.,
they are just
random human beings, not an organized
political pressure group).
defense, gypsy criminals are less violent than most
swindles to brute force. Still, the National
Geographic reporter Peter Godwin, sent to write a
story about the persecution of the Roma (April
2001), was, in a scene reminiscent of anti-American
correspondent Robert Fisk`s famous
encounter with a Muslim mob, beaten up and mugged by
a gang of gypsies he was trying to help.
Gypsies don`t seem to kidnap children anymore. (Their
most famous victim was the unworldly economist
"At the age of 4 he was kidnapped by a band of
Gypsies, though prompt action by his uncle soon effected
his rescue. `He would have made, I fear, a poor Gypsy,`
commented John Rae, his main biographer.")
the Gypsy culture trains its children from a very early
age to be economic parasites. The Gypsies possess a
classic "in-group morality." While extremely
loyal to their clan, their culture inculcates in
them an almost sociopathic disregard for the rights of
Rev. Larry Merino, who evangelizes among American
Gypsies in Indiana, notes:
"Gypsies believe a myth that says a lot about the
conception most people have of this group. It seems that
a Gypsy stole a fourth nail at the crucifixion site that
was destined to be used to nail the Savior`s head to the
cross. Since this act of larceny turned out to be an
inadvertent act of mercy, God gave Gypsies the right to
take things that didn`t belong to them. Many Gypsies
believe this is actually true! This being the case, it
takes a missionary to this group a long time to undo
what has been part of their culture for centuries."
there`s never been a Zionist or separatist movement
among Gypsies. Jews could successfully start their own
national homeland, away from their persecutors, but
the Gypsies can`t imagine living in their
own country with no productive
non-Gypsies to leech off.
Communists made this traditionally nomadic people more
sedentary, so an immediate deluge of Gypsies moving west
may not be likely. Nevertheless, it`s hard to imagine
that all the Gypsies will stay in drab, hostile Eastern
Europe when there are so many more cash-heavy and
pockets to pick in the fat lands of the West.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and