You cannot go back and change the beginning


You cannot go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.

Sometimes I wonder whether we are deliberately being made to stay stuck in the past, that is to say the bad bits, the constant persecution and slavery and the culmination of this in the Samudaripen.

There is no way that with all the memorial events we can bring back the dead and nor do those events and all that seem to have much affected and impacted on the Gadje in changing their behavior towards us, as a People. The opposite seems to be the case more and more. The same is true also and especially for projects like the so-called “Decade for Roma Inclusion” which caused more exclusion. But, hey, there is lots of money in it for those organizing such events and projects. And now, would you believe it, we are having yet another such “decade”, this one being sponsored by the European Union. Some more lova for the boys, I am sure. But I digressed.

While we are being encouraged to look back to the events of the past and organize events to commemorate them in order, it is said, to educate the Gadje about them and what has been happening to us, we are not looking to the present and do not see the dangers headed our way. Things have not changed despite the decades of “education” of the Gadje through such events. They are still as ignorant as before and their attitudes and prejudices have gotten worse, and those have been aided and abetted, to a large degree, by things such as the previously mentioned “Decade of Roma Inclusion” making them believe that the Rom get privileged treatment ahead of them in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, etc. The light at the end of the tunnel, folks, is an oncoming train and not the end of the tunnel.

The past is the past. Don’t look back because we are not going that way. Look forward, see the present and the present danger that can only get worse in the future unless we see it and are preparing to stand against it. Yes, we, the People, and not hoping that the Gadje will change their ways just because they keep hearing more and more about the things that have been done to us in the past. They have heard it now for many decades but they are not listening and they are not going to listen and that means that we need to change things ourselves.

They are not going to do it for us; the opposite is the case rather, but far too many do not want to see that. As far as they are concerned, like in the words of General Sheridan who said “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” they see this transposed to us, and if not physically dead then ethnically, which means dead as a People in a very short space of time. Even the EU, with all the nice words towards us, has only one aim and that is the elimination of the Romani People as an ethnic entity. We seem to stand in the way of “progress”. They will never admit that, obviously, and try to blind us, and everyone else, with their words, but their actions and inactions speak louder than any of their words.

We have had, and it is not that long ago, a so-called “Decade for Roma Inclusion” (which included Eastern European Roma only so as to create a rift between those in the West and those in the East) but the result was less inclusion rather than more and has resulted in more Antigypsyism than before. Was it intended to do just that? It would appear so because it created in the minds of the Gadje the idea that the Rom were going to be given more than they were. At the same time this “Decade” by aiming ONLY at the Roma in Eastern Europe caused divisions between the different Romani groups, with those in the West feeling not just neglected but slighted and ignored. This was to be expected and, I would suggest, was an intended outcome.

The other divisive issue is the blanket naming of all Romani groups as Roma, or better still all other groups being subgroups of the Roma. This does not go down well with those that do not call themselves Roma, be they Sinti or others, and divides us no end. But, then again, that was and is the very intention of this; to cause such a split.

It was obvious from the very beginning that those that do not and never have subscribed to the term “Roma” though are happy being called Romani, but often call themselves Gypsy, Zigeuner, Tsigane, Gitanos, Ciganos, Cygani or such, would not be happy to be called subgroups of the Roma, and especially not have such designation forced upon them from the outside.

However, the aim was and is to create disunity, and putting a certain group of the People above others and designating, as the Gypsyologists, Gadje and Rom alike, have done, a particular group of that one group as the highest order, so to speak, does just that.

If we, all of us who are the Romani People, would but unite it would scare the Gadje to death, and especially the authorities. Hence they have groomed and cultivated some Gypsyologists, and many an activist, to destroy us, as a People, in very subtle ways. We have to put an end to that and we can do that if we put aside the differences, especially the ones that have been implanted in our minds by the doshman, and unite, but not under an artificial banner to which not all are prepared to subscribe. There is another way; we only have to look for it and, if necessary, create it. The way the Native Americans have done it, or our Calon brethren in Brazil could show the way.

Michael Smith

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