Friday, February 18, 2011

Seperate and Unequal

A beautiful gypsy girl sat before me yesterday, telling of a common moment of hatred.  Kačí, as she prefers over Kačenka, answered a loaded question about people who treat her bad at school, with lost eyes.  I read confusion,and dejection with ease from the 7 year old girl. She spoke with lowered brow about a boy who tells her she's a 'stupid gypsy' as though obligation.  My prepared response about how we ought to smother people like this with kindness and learn to live above such hatred only sounded assuming.  The fact is, I'm a white boy from California and Kačí is one of the few 'lucky' gypsies allowed to go to a white school. 

Ever wonder what the fate of the U.S. would of amounted to if the 1890 Louisiana law, "Separate, but equal" would of held up?  Want a taste of  pre-Mandela South Africa under the weight of apartheid?  The Czech Republic's lack of action, in breaking down the walls of segregation and Jim Crow-ism, is seemingly prehistoric.  I stand in the middle of it all, invisible and broken-hearted.

The fact is, I shouldn't even call them 'Gypsy.' I've heard many times now, "Gypsy is developing into a bad word."  I hear it's used in regards to anyone who steals, or isn't educated!  Let's equate it with the "N" word, in the United States.  That punch in the stomach of a word.  A tool for creating divide and ensuring the nationals their superiority.  The Romani people, as they are properly referred to, suffer varying degrees of the same fate all over Europe. Who knew that the Romani people were the victims of attempted genocide by the Nazis during WWII?

I wish I were more powerful, spoke brilliant Czech and had the secret for promoting a more unified Czech Republic.  I don't.

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