Re: "Rhetoric, not reality: Practical solutions for Roma still missing," Editorial, Vol. 8 No. 30, August 12-18.
When Mohammad Ali, the great heavyweight fighter, stepped off the plane in Africa, he looked around and said "Thank God my ancestors caught the boat."
That is the way I feel after reading the comments by the local people. I am an American Rom, and thank God my ancestors caught the boat. A country and a people are judged by their treatment of the lesser of their population. What does that say for the Slovaks? That they do not have the intelligence to care for their people, they don't know how to set up resources to teach or train an abused people. Is there no job training for these poor miserable people?
Here in the United States, the Rom are well educated, many are school teachers, university professors, doctors and airline pilots, they own various businesses. My son just graduated with two (2) degrees, many Rom are college graduates. Can you say the same for your people? I think not. You are there because many good soldiers of the allied forces fought the Nazis to free you. Many of those soldiers who fought and died were Roma!
When you have been beaten and tortured, when you have been kicked to pieces by the people around you because of the color of your skin or your different culture, and all hope has been taken from you, you will know what it is to be driven to crime to feed your family. How many of you people have taken food to the poor? How many have brought medicine? How many have extended a hand to help someone up when he is down?
You want to take your place in the EU. The EU is for human beings caring for human interests. Your government is doing nothing to help the suppressed. When some people tried to establish some decent housing and a programme to give the Rom children a headstart in school, was a medical office set up to care for them and teach them birth control? Where is your government? Is there a government office distributing pamphlets on hygiene, inoculations or birth control?
If the only place you could exist was a dump with no water or toilet facilities, how clean would you be?
You can only blame others for your own inadequacies for so long, and then you must face yourself. Right now to the world you are not looking good.
26. Aug 2002 at 0:00