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Reader feedback: Do not say, "Fix it yourself"

Re: Usurers target the Roma, By Martina Jurinová, Oct 4 - Oct 10, Vol 10, No 38

Yes, everyone has loan sharks. However, in America, we have learned that black-on-black crime has been a problem for a long time and continues to exist. It was many years before the police did anything about it.

People said that [the blacks] had to "clean up" the crime in their neighbourhoods themselves. But how could they do that 50 years ago when there were no black police officers, and when white police officers did not venture into black neighbourhoods? The result was that crime was left to go rampant. Everyone should get equal police protection.

When a Roma has to call the police against another Roma in Slovakia, the police don't get involved. They call it a "Roma thing". Many Roma believe there is no point in calling the police. If you want the Roma to change their behaviour and make the effort to call the police, you must also change the behaviour of the police to ensure that all citizens who call for help receive equal protection. Telling the Roma to fix it among themselves is not a solution. Throwing your hands in the air and saying, "It is the Roma's fault for borrowing money from Roma loan sharks" or "It is the Roma's fault for being loan sharks" is very easy and unproductive.

Munich, Germany

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