the appalling treatment of jewish people and muslims in france and the violence and oppression they face has gotten some more attention these past few months following certain events and i am endlessly glad and grateful about that and support all conversations around it.

but i want you all to know that they are not the only groups that the french government and its people are treating inhumanly. france is one of the worst and most overtly violent countries in its treatment of romani in the entirety of europe.

in 2014 they evicted 13.483 romani from the country. that’s almost three settlements per week. the people evicted were making use of their right to move freely within the EU as citizens of countries like romania and the evictions not only violate EU but also international law.

romani are not allowed to attend school in france either. more than half of romani children surveyed were not attending school and when asked why the parents said they provided all identification and enrolment papers and were rejected anyway on grounds of their ethnicity. this is flat out illegal.

violence and hate crimes against romani are astronomically high in france. reports of romani settlements being burned down or demolished after its inhabitants are forcefully chased out of them are common and the police does nothing about it. in fact, the police is often leading the violence themselves. roma lead the list of hate crimes in europe and france is no exception.

politicians and major public figures often engage in outright hate speech and it’s at best tolerated and at worst encouraged. events like a french mp saying “maybe hitler didn’t kill enough of you” are not isolated incidents.

france isn’t the only perpetrator of violence and oppression of course. romani endure things like forced sterilisation, denial of health care, education or housing and extreme poverty in all of europe. (more sources: 1, 2, 3). but they are definitely among the worst. 

one of the reasons why france is able to get away with this is because almost no one knows or cares about what is happening to france’s romani population. there are no big news articles, no protests, no discussions around this except for very few spaces which don’t have a wide reach. that’s not acceptable at all.

france needs to be held accountable for the violence they perpetrate against the marginalised members of their population and their crimes (because they are crimes!) need to be shared with as many people as possible. if you can, please educate yourself, share information and consider donating to errc.org to help them fight for romani rights.

Today is International Romani Day. 

The Romani are a widely-dispersed ethnic group that lives mostly throughout Europe and the Americas. They face prejudice and bigotry in many nations, much of it government-sanctioned. They were one of the primary groups targeted for genocide by the Nazis

Though many Americans are unaware, the word “gypsy” is a racial slur. Dressing up “as a gypsy” is not appropriate, even in a fantasy setting or for a Renaissance fair. Using the word if you are not actually Romani is not permissible. 

It is International Rromani Day.

Today many of us will be posting about our lives, our families, and Rroma issues. Some of us will be tagging posts with the g-slur in order to flood that racist tag with REAL rroma instead of white hipsters. 

other tags to check out: 

#realrroma

#internationalrromaniday

#internationalromaniday (these two are spelled differently)

Najis tuke for your support and understanding. OPRE ROMA!!

Hydra aren’t Nazis & Avengers isn’t racist

As an actual person of Romani/Jewish extraction…ffs, while I appreciate the problems with whitewashing characters, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are not the two whose hill you want to die on.

They were raised by a cow-woman named Bova on Wudagore mountain and the Romani stuff was there just to pull in the “dark magic” stuff for Scarlet Witch, and the Magneto stuff was shoe-horned in when they were making him into a hero.

And as to getting a PoC to play the characters…no. I have no idea what some people seem to think a Romani person (or a Jew) looks like, but most of us look like whatever country’s host population looks like. There are plenty of blond haired, blue eyed Romani, and the fact that people don’t know that is more disheartening than making a couple of characters into generic Eastern European rather than go through the headache of bovine midwives and licensing headaches.

Romani aren’t some sort of weird Other that doesn’t look or talk like you. Most Romani would pass for generic white or…well, “generic eastern European”, and whatever image people have in their heads of my people are about a 100x more offensive than Elizabeth Olsen playing either a Romani or a person of generic Eastern European heritage.

And…god, both sides of my family suffered horrifically at the hands of Nazis. HYDRA are not Nazis. They worked with the Nazis because they’re a fascist cult. Red Skull is a Nazi. Hydra has had heads and splinter groups all over the globe encompassing all sorts of backgrounds, many of which comprised of members of the untermensch races that Hitler hated. 

In Marvel comics they have long gone out of their way to make it clear that HYDRA =/= Nazi, only that some members of Hydra worked for the Nazis, and Hydra itself goes back centuries and spans the globe.

I’ve love to see a Romani superhero…but, to be honest, he’d just look like me, and I just look like a guy you’d pass on the street. One of the benefits or being my flavour of Romani and Jew in America is that I don’t stand out, I’m just another generic white guy, but I actually grew up in an area that had Neo-Nazis who would have gladly murdered me if they knew what I was.

Please, I can understand and appreciate that some of you are trying to be helpful, but as a person who actually belongs to both ethnic groups you’re championing…stop, because you’re wrong about Hydra (because I’ve read Marvel since I was a boy, and they really are NOT Nazis), and please stop assuming that Romani are some weird ethnic other.

And, btw, Romani are NOT the same as Irish Travellers, which are often the focus of TV shows like “My G**** Wedding” and such. 

Oh, and as to the G-word, I bear no ill will to Elizabeth Olsen for using it and being corrected because she STOPPED using it. It’s hard for Americans and even some other people across the world to realize it’s considered a slur when TV shows use it as their titles.

PLEASE REMEMBER THE HOLOCAUST.

But also remember ALL the groups who suffered those injustices.

Here’s to Romani people.
Here’s to homosexuals.
Here’s to disabled people.
Here’s to Slavs.
Here’s to mentally ill people.
Here’s to people murdered because of religion.
Here’s to people murdered for their political ideology.
Here’s to people of colour.
Here’s to war prisoners.
Here’s to Poles.
Here’s to Jewish people.

To all of them. May this not be repeated. May this not be forget.

Turkish Romani women who were part of a settlement demolished several days ago in Istanbul.

They were given no other housing or shelter options and were left, homeless, in the harsh winter cold. 

“They came only three days ago and told them to leave. But we didn’t know that [police] would come this morning. They came at 5 a.m. while people were still asleep and destroyed the shacks without giving them enough time to pick up their clothes. Let alone socks, many don’t even have even shoes with them,” Nebahat Bilgiç, the head of a local association to help Roma people, said.

Hanife Bayır, the mother of a small baby, said most of her modest goods remained under the debris. “I don’t even know how I can give my baby what she needs,” she said.

Mother of two and pregnant with her third child, Nefiye Yüksekova pleaded with the authorities to provide them with shelter, even a temporary one. “We just had time to get out from our house with the kids during the demolition. We need somewhere to stay, it is freezing,” she said.

Hi there, my name is Sam and I’m an actual Rroma guy (he/him/his) who runs a horror and fandom-centric fragrance shop on Etsy with roughly 150 fragrances for sale called Cherry-ka’s Trunk (my shop’s tumblr is actualgodofwine).

The rampant antiziganism on Etsy is one of my biggest issues with the site. Lots of stuff (and lbr at least 99% of it is by people who are not Rromani) gets tagged as “gypsy” which is an antiziganist slur. Lots of it employs anti-Rromani stereotypes and almost none of it has any basis in anything that’s actually Rromani.

While I’m on my soapbox, as a Romani-Jewish man in the Marvel and DC fandoms who worships the ground Dick Grayson walks on and is thrilled to see himself in Wanda and Pietro Maximov, I’d love to take this opportunity to point out to Joss Whedon and also fandom in general that Wanda and Pietro are Jewish-Rromani, and Dick Grayson is Rromani so yanno white hipsters can’t have them. They’re ours. :)

Also Hydra is a (fictional here) Nazi organization. If we could maybe stop making and buying Hydra merchandise, that would be great.

So today, I’d like to ask everyone to please be aware of and spread this information, and to support Rromani business owners, Rromani fans, and Rromani people as a whole.