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When “The Source” had a segment about gypsy refugee claimants in Toronto, I decided to write about it.
When the changes in the Canadian refugee claim process were announced a week later, I sat down to do it. Not many people here can understand the problem, not many people know enough about the gypsies or their problems. I know more than most, but after writing about 3,000 words, I just gave up. There is no way that I can paint a picture, give an answer, provide an explanation. I got lost in the stories and the references, read several studies, watched hours of interviews and documentaries until I realized that I cannot do it in a format suitable for this blog.

Yet again, the gypsies wore out their welcome. Canada wisely decided not to be the sucker for their scams. I am sure some of you think I am harsh. That they may actually be victims and this ugly conservative government just demonstrated again how mean and heartless they are.

What I tried to do with my writing is to offer a background. To show that if they are victims, they are only victims of themselves, their own culture and the same misguided good intentions trying to help them that keep our own natives miserable.

Their refugee claims are just about as outrageous as the claims of our own natives made on Iranian television.

Gypsies are a social problem wherever in the world they set camp. I could join the ranks of those trying to explain them, I could try to illustrate the problems with my numerous personal encounters and experiences but I do not feel confident that I can possibly get the message across. You cannot understand them unless you get close to them and probably not even then.

On the one hand, gypsies do have a miserable life; on the other, nobody knows what to do about it. Gypsies successfully resisted assimilation attempts for the past 700 years. They want to be nomads, they want to live outside civilization, they want to prey on us. They are the gadfly of Europe.

There is no lack of goodwill; there is no lack of trying. There is no limit to the condescending, bleeding heart liberals trying to solve the problems, “the Gypsy question.” They were studied to death and subjected to any number of reverse discrimination programs.

Every attempt I’ve seen ended in failure. When the first Roma ‘refugees’ arrived to Canada, I felt indignant about their claims being accepted. Isn’t that an insult to their home countries? Yes, they have problems, but there is no systemic discrimination against them, quite the contrary, most East European countries are going to great lengths trying to help them. What they get in return is the predictable abuse of the system and no change. Not in the conditions, not in the attitudes, not in the results. The most typical emotions of those who understand the Roma are frustration, desperation and resignation.

After the fall of the wall, gypsies had more opportunity to move around in Europe. All Western European countries are now trying desperately to get rid of them.

Once here, they immediately started abusing this system which would have been a pretty good deal for them even without the abuse. The deal for them was not the possibility of being accepted, but the few years of easy living afforded to them by the system.

In the end, I like the changes. Canada has enough problems without the gypsies, and we are not equipped to solve whatever problems they have.

….. but there is another alternative….

Instead of sending them back to Hungary, Czech Republic or Rumania, we can send them to Iran, the land of freedom and tolerance with our own oppressed natives……

=== === === ===

And if you are truly curious about the gypsies, here are some links:

Some movies:

Latcho Drom
Black Cat White Cat
Time of the Gypsies

New York Times movie review of the above
Article from “Police” magazine about Gypsy crime in the US.  (Entertaining)
Report of the gypsies getting to Canada

Another NYT article about Slovak gypsies from 2000

A WordPress blog about Ostrava gypsies from 2007

Huffington post article about the Canadian law before its passage

This is probably the best summary about the gypsies, written by the Hungarian ambassador to Norway.

Let me quote the last paragraph:

Reports in Western Europe and in the United States usually speak of the plight and the appalling conditions of the Roma in the former communist countries. The authorities and the public are often described as lacking goodwill and being prejudiced. Certainly any unfair treatment should be condemned and eliminated. Idleness and alcoholism, often but not always going back to unemployment, is a hotbed of a-social behaviour. Government programs must be matched by the efforts of the many Roma organizations and local self-governments to reduce crime and to engage the Gypsies in improving their lot by their own efforts. Education and work – this is the clue for easing and eventually eliminating this very serious ethnic problem

(Highlight is mine.)

4 replies on “Timeout…………..”

  1. EimaiSkorpios says:

    The Inspector General starring Danny Kaye – 1949

    “Play gypsy, sing gypsy, dance gypsy, laugh gypsy, cry gypsy, live gypsy, die gypsy
    Drink to goodbyes and drink to hellos.
    Drink to the open; drink to the closed.
    Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will drink with my nose.
    And so we drink!
    But first … we sing.”

    Perhaps if the Gypsies brought quaint, Hollywood-style caravans with them and wandered about from rural town to rural town, camped in the woods, danced and sang around their campfires while playing violins and concertinas … and if all the Gypsy women looked like Gina Lolobrigida (in 1954), they might get a pass from us.

    I’m afraid most Canadians have no idea what Gypsies really are. All we know of them is what we see in the fanciful Hollywood films and read about in old, European Fairy Tales.

    Zork, your coverage of this issue is very fair and enlightening. I especially had to laugh at the story in the Huffington Post. What a progressive rag.

    Once more, I’ll pass the your site link along to all my contacts.

  2. zorkthehun says:

    You have no idea how much I was suffering on this one before giving up, because I really know more than most. I worked on research projects about them, interviewed several plus another few who had to live around and work with them; some who were victimized by them; I spent time in jail with them and I know two Hungarian women who were working as translators for them here in the claim process system. I have douzens of funny and sad stories to tell, but no way to paint a picture that could dissuade anyone from the Hollywood clichés or the bleeding heart liberal condescension.

  3. Jiri Novy says:

    Yes Zork, I know about Gypsies problems from the old country. You are right, who would like to have them? Not even Canada!

  4. Oresztesz says:

    Ha. Kind of like how I gave up on painting a picture to anyone here in Mexico.
    It is even harder for me because Hungaro (Hungarian) and Gitano (gypsy) for a reason that is beyond me seems to be interchangeable here.
    As a therapist I can afford not to work with someone whose goal for therapy is unacceptable to me (hypnotize me so i can win at the casino, hypnotize me so I don’t get so upset when my boyfriend beats me and tells me about the other women he’s sleeping with) the people who plain don’t want help or the ones that don’t want it enough. But I am not a government, I can put up with the ill will of people getting upset by this.
    a reliable way of finding out if anyone applying for any kind of social help wants 1. “Give me back some of the money I have put into the social system while I set myself straight and get back at it” or 2. “give me as much money for as long as you can without any effort on my part” would solve it all.

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