Reader feedback: Nothing but generalisations

Re: Reader Feedback: "Roma not oppressed", Volume 8 No 32, August 26 to September 1.

You (the letter writer, Tiax) claim to have known many Roma, but does your "knowledge" stem from simple observations? It does not appear that you have conducted any socio-economic research or engaged in ethnographic discourse with the Roma. Instead, all I see are sweeping generalizations.

Just for fun, let us continue with your preferred analytical method - the generalization - in describing (non-Roma) Slovaks. (By the way, I am going to assume you are a white, male Slovak.) You are all simplistic villagers with a predilection for beer and all cabbage-based or fried foods. When traveling abroad, you prefer to pack salami, bread and pickles in your suitcases rather than eat in restaurants. All of you, with the exception of the Mafia, drive around in little Skodas. While you have access to health care, it is antiquated and only slightly better than that found in Third World countries. You also have pungent body odor best characterized as "Smelly Slovaks in a Hot Summer Tram." All of you, regardless of gender, have hairy armpits and legs; facial hair is also normal on women. Coincidentally, your ranking of Roma lifestyle priorities can also be said about Slovaks.

These are ridiculous generalizations for I know they are false; and they are not my own creations. I have heard them many times from people, much like you, Tiax, who simply spout off baseless conclusions.

Paul K.

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