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04 November 2003

Acceptable racism

George Monbiot's opinion piece in the Guardian is about a shocking racist incident that occurred just last week in rural England, and is apparently not even considered a crime or racist by most. In fact, the MP for the area where it occurred blamed the whole thing on the victims. What group is it that can be insulted and assaulted with impunity in modern Europe? (Indeed, this group suffers less in the UK than in many other countries.) They are the gypsies, or "travellers" as they are called here, or Roma, as is their offcial designation. Monbiot then turns to the question of why the racism against the Roma is so acceptable, and I have to say his thesis is a bit of a stretch. I think he got it the first time - they are stateless, therefore without rights, and with fearful barriers to organising to better their lives.

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