Insändare|American Romanichal, Jack Pearce and Amanda Schreiber

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Jack Pearce är från St Louis Missouri och Amanda är från Seattle Washington båda tillhör de romanifolks (American Romanichal) som bor där. Jack och Amanda är några av de personer som vill knyta kontakt med oss resande/romer här i Skandinavien. Vi romanifolks från olika länder knyts mer och mer ihop via de DNA-tester som finns idag och det blir tydligt att vi romanifolks som finns över hela världen är släkt med varandra.

Interview with an American Romanichal, Jack Pearce and Amanda Schreiber

Amanda: Appropriators?

– It’s easy to see. They don’t realize we can trace them by the false info that is found in books about us.
This age of instant information is also the age of instant misinformation. It’s hard to beat a good story. The more shocking it is, the better.  Many work to combat false histories, yet real sources of our history are still overwhelmed with imitations, capable of doing what a thousand years of oppression and racism so far couldn’t… erase us from history.
That will be our future if we don’t stop it. Some of our own will say that we are no longer Romani; the “real” Romani died and we’re just shadows; done by our own hands because we allowed it.
Many have gone to battle to ensure our voices are heard. Some have been gorga who spoke on our behalf because it was the decent thing to do. Others have been us who refuse silence;who want to BE the change they want to see in all of us and these fakes mock our struggle.

Amanda:  My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Gypsy Sisters?

– These shows continue to damage and inspire the appropriators.Have you ever seen a drunken family member do the most embarrassing thing imaginable?
You close your eyes and pray that it didn’t happen?
Unbelievable. 6 seasons of MBFAFW and they’ve yet to pronounce ”Romanichal”correctly.
Cast members thought they’d be legends. What they didn’t know is that they’re not famous; they’re infamous.
A few Romanichal and Roma actually thought they’d be presented in a positive light. Instead they gave the show the ounce of credibility it needed.
They wanted real Romanies to counter the large number of gorgas presented as Romanichal, but in the most outlandish scenarios. They also say in the show, that Romanichal are Roma when we make a distinction among us here.
80% of the show is gorga actors foaming at the mouth to be on television. As if someone gave them a book of Romanichal culture, it’s customs and beliefs and then they tore it up and said let’s do the exact opposite and it’s made us a laughing stock,managing to keep a few that live on the fringe of our society in the episodes. For fortune and fame, they failed.
For acceptance among the Romanichal community, they failed.
What both shows DO manage is to reinforce every stereotype, every misconception, and then create a hundred more. No positive thing has come from it. We now have mainstream media gossip pages that are tracking every negativity about these ”stars”and attribute it to the Romanichal.
MBFAGW & GS had presented us to the world as illiterate, with no education, promiscuous,criminally inclined, abusive and drug-addicted people on top of every other stereotype amassed over the centuries. And it’s disappointing and embarrassing that our cousins across the world may think we are all like this. The truth: we most definitely ARE NOT.
Countless attempts have been made with the production teams to stop this false narrative of our people. The response given:
”Why don’t you show us what a real ”Rumney” is.
I say, “No thanks.”

Amanda: Gatekeeping:

– I’ve been called the keeper of the gate, that I’m wrong for doing that.
Why? This is all I am, it’s all I know. Why should I let someone change the truth?
“You’re offended we ask who you are? The question is, if I don’t know you, then you don’t know me. How come you’re not asking me who I am or who my people are?”

Amanda: They accuse us of bigotry if we say no.

– They’re always on me about keeping people we supposedly deem “unworthy” out.
The fact is, we’ve helped more people than turned away. I can’t say it more plainly:
“You do not have Romani ancestry and why do you think you do.”
See this history? It’s all I have.
This is my life.
I’m not allowing lies to replace us.
“If you’re looking for ancestors, they are not here. Look in another direction. Otherwise I have to believe it’s not about your ‘true’family, it’s about pretending, and what you are not… is me, someone is already playing my part.”

Amanda:  When our folk invite them in?

– When it’s apparent that they don’t have our heritage,why would anyone continue to support their claims, least of all, our own? There’s no good that can come of it, especially not when the fakes starts trying to become sources of information on Romani life and history.
They read books by false scholars. They stalk us, befriend us,and collect information.
People who support false claims do harm, even inadvertently. Those who support fakes to enrich their egos should be shunned.
I feel as though I’m being robbed and someone is claiming my birthright. How can the truth of our experience be known from a liar? It’s replacing us with replicas; we become a blur.
I’m tired of it. I never realized how many fakes there are and to what lengths they’d go. May they run into some who handle things differently.

Amanda: “They are harmless”

– Why should I shut up? Why aren’t ALL of us bothered by the lies?
When you don’t tell the fakes what they want to hear they say, “Jack, you don’t represent all the Romani people so I’m not listening to you”. I reply, “but I do in your case, otherwise you wouldn’t be talking to me. I don’t speak for everyone, but for now, there is no one else for you to speak to. I know it’s disappointing, but that’s life”, but it never seems to be good enough.
That’s for the fakes, the wannabes, those who think that we are Jews, and to the Roma that think they are the “real” Romani, the false scholars and fake activists. Stop making us out to be something we’re not.
Let us be us. We don’t need embellishing. Just take us as we are.

Amanda: How can we protect ourselves from the appropriators?

– First I’d like to know what our people think a cross the world, of where this issue is moving, and how it is for them. Is it the same? And if so,let’s use this problem for good, and start communicating at full force so we are of the same mind, and use all the tools in power to stop it, together.

Jack Pearce and Amanda Schreiber