Now, I was meaning to start a pit thread about these jokers a week or two ago but have been a little preoccupied . When I went to link to the offending website, I found it had just been taken down - No apology for it, just took it down. Just because they hide their bigotry, doesn’t mean I can’t point it out though.
Shit, all this time I thought I was a member of an ethnic group. Apparantly I’m just a member of a crime family. Let me know when I’m due my share of that tax-free wonga, okay mush.
My world revolves around caring for my family: A disabled mother and a pregnant wife. When I was a kid and travelling it revolved around getting smacked around at school (by other kids and teachers) for being a ‘Gyppo’ or a ‘Pikey’, being verbally abused by residents anywhere we stopped, watching my dad getting beat up by 6 or 7 coppers at a time and having social workers try to put me in a home. But, then again, that could part of the ‘con’. Stealing is as natural to me as eating and sleeping? Fuck off, just fuck off. And I don’t look upon the rest of society as “prey”, I do look upon the racist, bigoted, fuckwits in the Wise County Sheriff’s Dept as scum though.
And can any Doper’s tell me what a ‘Prayer Meeting’ has to do with law enforcement?
But Wise County Sheriff’s Office ain’t all that bad. They do have a policy on Bias Profiling
Yeah, right. :rolleyes:
Wise County Sheriff’s Office: Not only are you a bunch of fucking bigots, but you were stupid enough to post your bigotry on the web. I hope civil rights groups find your crappy little site (or the Google cache of it) and screw you the fuck over. Fuck you.
Unless he lives in Wise County and has been a victim of unfair treatment by the Sheriff department, I don’t think they could do much for him. They could force them to take down the page, but it looks as though that has happened already.
It appears that the author of this screed, Sgt. Melton, is no longer working for the Wise County Sheriff’s office. Her name shows up in a lot of places in the Google cache of the site, but it appears they have expunged every page she used to be on.
Well*, if y’all didn’t go 'round stealing babies then maybe you wouldn’t be so reviled.
[sub]Okay, that was a lame joke[/sub]
My home town of Texarkana is not known for much diversity, but there is a significant number of Roma, permentantly living here. In fact, they lead rather traditional Roma lifestyle, living basically within the “Gypsy Camp” where the related families live adjacent to each other on communal property. Since my dad was friends with the patriarchs of the two main families, I’ve known them my whole life.
What I didn’t know is that there is no significant Roma prescence in most areas. I found out a few years ago that many people don’t even have a clue that Roma live in the US.
One day a friend of mine was visiting town with me and it came up that she had never met a Gypsy and until she’d seen a special on Roma on PBS, she didn’t know anything about them. So my dad promptly ushered everyone into the mini-van and drove out there to show her they’re real.
When we pulled up, my dad went up to the house and spoke to the mother of the teens sulking near their cars. Then this middle-aged wife of my dad’s friend ambled up to the car stuck her head in the door, smiled graciously and said with a laugh “We’re not fairy tales, would you like to touch me.”
The mystery novel “32 Cadillacs” by Joe Gores is a very funny book indeed. It describes quite a number of scams commited by Gypsies. Fiction ought not to be used as a source, but the author says that each swindle is based on a real episode. Gores was an investigator before becoming an author.
In short, this book suggests a basis for the prejudice cited in the OP.
Homebrew: My father-in-law also mixed with Roma quite often. One of his close friends and colleagues when he worked in banking was Roma - Albeit passing himself off as Hispanic.
I’ve always found it interesting that quite a few people in North America don’t know that Roma exist there. Mainly because they were some of the earliest settlers there. That, and that Law Enforcement Officers are being taught that you can’t move in America for all the ‘Gypsies’.
From a program announcement for the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy:
You can read Google’s text version of the original .pdf here
I find the term ‘overwhelming numbers’ to be a little disconcerting - Sounds like a pest control guy talking 'bout a cockroach infestation.
To follow on from Captain Amazing’s last post, people of many ethnic groups commit fraud. However, in the US, certain types of fraud are classed as ‘Gypsy crime’ regardless of the ethnic group of the perp.
A serious thesis of this otherwise funny book is that commiting fraud is trait associated with the Roma culture. I have no idea whether that’s so or not; I’d want to see the evidence one way or another.
Another alleged aspect of the Roma culture is a resistance to letting women learn to read. Does anyone know whether that has any validity?
IIRC, National Geographic magazine had a lengthy article regarding Roma in East Europe in the past year or so. What was ironic/funny was that despite the usual touchy-feely angle to the culture overall and how they were misunderstood, the author of the article was compelled to add an ancecdote about how the Roma with which he was visiting robbed him, and I think they roughed him up, as well.
As far as stereotypes go, I think Texas cops are living up to theirs quite nicely…
december: Yes, fraud is associated with the Roma. As I have said, certain types of fraud are called ‘Gypsy crime’, regardless of the ethnic origin of the person commiting it.
I have a feeling that you won’t find any decent data as to crime levels in the Roma community, the best information I can find is that in Romania - Where the Roma make up 11 percent of the population - they commit 11 percent of the crime. Link
Now, I must say that I’m confused by your posts in this thread. Let’s say that the ‘Gypsies’ treated to a ‘prayer meeting’ were commiting fraud (although the Sheriff’s Office don’t appear to have pressed charges), are you saying that the shit that Wise County Sheriff’s Office posted on their site is acceptable?
DocHopper: My wife picked that issue up when she was over in the States a few weeks back. It’s the April 2001 issue, pages 72-101.
Not being an apologist for December but the notion that Roma/Gypsies/Travellers are associated with particular types of scams is not entirely false, and there have been fairly notorious groups of Travellers in various places in the US that have perpetrated these scams as their day in, day out way of making a living.
As a statistical measure of Roma crime vs crime in the larger population of offenders I would imagine the stats break down very much as you indicated, along the lines of population representation and they are probably no more or less criminal than others in the same the socio-economic cohort.
I think what many people are fascinated or intrigued by in the Roma culture is the strength with which old country cultural traditions have been maintained while living in the thick of modern society. This in group/out group identification can cut both ways however, and Roma culture (fairly or unfairly) does not have the reputation for being particularly progressive when it comes to valuing education for young women.