Roma personalities condemn Danko's racist comment

They call on politicians to stop misplaying the “Roma card” and polarising society.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej DankoSpeaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (Source: SITA)

"The insensitive language of top political representatives is unacceptable, and the statements of several politicians (including top representatives of Freedom and Solidarity) about the Roma are far from the decency line," reads the statement issued by 150 Roma and pro-Roma personalities. They were responding to Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko's statement aimed against Deputy Speaker of Parliament, SaS MP Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová.

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Danko (SNS) called her "a little gypsy" in a political talk show broadcast by private news channel TA3 on January 27.

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Were the Roma forgotten?

More than 100 public figures signed a call on January 30, in which they criticised Danko for his racist comment. In addition, they demanded him to apologise to Ďuriš Nicholsonová. She also considers Danko's words offensive as a woman, mother and deputy speaker of parliament.

Read also: Danko offends SaS MP, the party turns to the prosecutor’s office Read more 

"We're struck by the fact that we don't see sensitivity towards the national minority in statements calling for sensitivity," reads the statement.

The signatories do not understand Ďuriš Nicholsonová's spontaneous response, asking why she considers the affiliation to the ethnic minority offensive to a woman, mother and deputy speaker of parliament. They also do not understand the January 30 call.

"Will they be satisfied if Andrej Danko apologises to Mrs Nicholsonová?" the statement reads. "Have you forgotten about the Roma?"

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Apology only to the Deputy Speaker

Though the signatories understand the need to point to the offensive statements towards ethnic minorities in the public space, they do not understand why the speaker of parliament should apologise only to Nicholsonová.

They pose a question whether he should also apologise to all Roma for using their ethnic affiliation as part of the offence.

"We want to believe that all above mentioned responses also defend the Roma," the statement reads. "We want to believe that they are not only an opportunity to fight Danko, but an honest outrage over the vulgarisation of society and their disagreement with pulling the Roma card and causing the polarisation of society."

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