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I'm sorry, WHAT??

Okay, I had heard in passing about the whole France-deporting-scads-of-Roma thing, but what with all the mucus and the fever, world news was not high on my list of priorities the last couple days.

Consequently, tonight on the PBS NewsHour was the first time I saw Nicolas Sarkozy standing behind a microphone in front of TV cameras, giving a rationale that pretty much boils down to "They corrupt nice white men and steal children ZOMG!"

WHAT THE WHAT WHAT WHAT???

Mr. President? Just because Granny threatened to sell you to the Gypsies when you were naughty doesn't mean they were actually buying. Or stealing. Or whatever.

Also, the Roma do not in fact originate in Romania. The names are false cognates. Anthropology FAIL. If you really want to deport them to "where they came from," take it up with India. And good luck with that.

I just can't even what the what what ARGL.

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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
cdaae
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Quite apart from it obviously being disgusting, I cannot see how it can possibly, possibly be legal. Romania is part of the EU, France is part of the EU, EU citizens have the legal right to live in any EU country. I don't understand what possible legal grounds he could be claiming. It's blatant discrimination, blatantly against EU Human Rights law, and blatantly against whatever bit of the EU law that allows free movement of people across EU countries.

If the EU doesn't somehow prevent this, the whole institution will be shown to be a sham.

Grrrr.
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's the thing that's really confusing me. The EU is saying "You can't do that," for the reasons you outline, and France is just saying, "Well, we are! So there!" And Romania, bless them, is going, "Heads up, we got people coming, make a place for them."

I'm just baffled. Not that I've ever been the biggest fan of the current French government (or the previous few, for that matter) but WHAT.
cdaae
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
Yeah. It's like the whole thing is a hand of poker and Sarkozy is hoping the EU is just a load of bluffing. Because presumably if it's all bound by treaties, then if you blatantly break the treaties, you should be kicked out. But I have zero understanding of how it's meant to work. In fact, it's so generally baffling that I think I'll have to ask my father to explain it to me tomorrow (on the assumption that it's the kind of thing he ought to know).
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
The actual legal smokescreen seems to be that the camps they've established are illegal, presumably in terms of zoning or whatever. But you still don't deport people for that. You send the housing ministry to work out some sort of compromise with them.

Y'know, unless you're a shameless bigot. Ugh.
havocthecat
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
I KNOW OMG. *facepalm* If I can do enough research to know all that for BtVS fanfic, POLITICIANS can do enough research to know all of that for REAL WORLD ISSUES.
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
And okay, since my original OMGFUMINGWHATWHATWHAT reaction, I've read a little more, and realized that these folks appear to have migrated most immediately from Romania. But still. EU citizens! They can do that! You don't keep them from doing that just because they're the ethnic group who TRADITIONALLY did that!
brightknightie
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
xenophobia
As you probably know, discrimination toward Roma has been growing in Europe ever since the collapse of the USSR. France is not alone or new in this behavior; Sarkozy is just being more blatant about it. As I understand it, previously, there were always individual charges against deported individuals (trumped up when needed). France has actually seen protests against Sarkozy's actions in recent days.

The Roma individuals who are being deported are reported to be citizens of Bulgaria and Romania. Mr. Sarkozy is not deporting western European Roma, as far as I have heard. Have you heard otherwise? This is not a justification in any way, but merely context: my understanding is that except for some Travellers, western European Roma are highly integrated, while eastern European Roma have maintained much independence from the dominant culture.
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)
Re: xenophobia
Yes, it's the blatant that's blowing my mind. Maybe I should be glad Sarkozy is being more honest about it, I don't know.

It does appear to be mostly those who migrated most recently from Central and Eastern Europe, yes, and who are living in traditional (and allegedly illegal) camps. As far as I've been able to determine, that's the only legal grounds the French government actually has for deporting EU citizens who are supposed to be able to move freely between EU nations.

Mostly it's just the shock of actually seeing the man stand up in front of the media with absolutely no apparent shame and say what he said. I seldom watch any TV news anymore, but the PBS NewsHour always seems to have something eye-opening when I do.
brightknightie
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Re: xenophobia
>"and who are living in traditional (and allegedly illegal) camps"

From what I've read, outlawing "camping" was a primary strategy used on both sides of the Iron Curtain to suppress Roma traditions during the twentieth century. (Granted, the spectrum run was from Britain mostly fining people, to some of the communist countries forcing people into horrid state-built accommodations that directly conflicted with cultural norms and then being furious when that didn't magically assimilate them.)

When I'm spending money again, I'm planning to buy one of the few books about North American Roma history (library doesn't have them). Amazon lists one about California Roma dating to the '70s that looks to be the most comprehensive, which is weird -- no new scholarship in forty years?

>"but the PBS NewsHour always seems to have something eye-opening when I do."

They're the best! My local NPR station airs the audio of the PBS NewsHour at 3 PM local time; sometimes, in my current circumstances, I go for a walk with my walkman then. You can tell that it's very serious journalism and scholarship when the audio alone is complete, clear and thought-provoking, with little to no loss from omitting the video.
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: xenophobia
I randomly know that there is a (presumably very small) Roma studies program at some university in Texas, because I read an op-ed column by its chair in an Austin newspaper during the Pooh tour. So there must be something out there, but that's the extent of the information I have.
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can't even come up with anything this coherent on the veil ban. And this was not exactly coherent.
irish_horse
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Don't even get me started on the burqua ban. More governmentally-sanctioned racism in the works... ARGLGGH
tricksterquinn
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
I am deeply, deeply baffled. And outraged. But honestly, mostly like "But how can they even DO that?" and yeah "...but... Romania?"

I have a lot of large, angry ??????? floating over my head right now.
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
Apparently that's where the groups in question migrated from most immediately. But still, hello, EU citizens migrating within the EU!

It makes my head hurt.
nique
Sep. 15th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
I caught this story last week or so off the BBC's website, and yes. Just... very much not impressed. Although it's occasionally nice to see somewhere other than the US stick its head up its ass, just as a reminder that we don't hold a monopoly on idiotic behavior.
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
Sadly, yes, governments (and individuals) have their heads up their asses all the time, all over the world. This one is just spectacular enough to actually get some play in our myopic news sphere. :-P
therealjae
Sep. 15th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
I know, right???

-J
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
People! With the stupid! I. Just.
irish_horse
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
The levels to which my frustration and spite have ascended (or descended, depending on your point of view) in relation to the latest European racism debacle cannot even be put to words. It's always easy to kick the Roma when you want to distract your citizenry from the real batshit hellbath that you've allowed your country to become. Same shit, different century. >:C
wiliqueen
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Ugh indeed. :-(
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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