Think Europe’s so great?

Think again. So, if you know me, you know the one thing I hate most in intellectual worlds is the circle jerk that is Western Europe. Sure, this blog is called 3rd World Imagineer, so you can tell pretty quickly where my biases lie, but when is the study abroad set going to stop throwing accolades on the place that, among other things, fostered the Nazi’s and invented ethnic cleansing? Oh yes, we ignorant Americans have so much to learn!

You may ask, but sonja, wasn’t that 100, 60, and 40 years ago? NO! No no no, my maosketeers!  In fact, it was today, this week, this year, and all the freaking time. Right now, Western Europe’s study abroad darling, Italy, is doing the most racist thing to happen in Europe in…well, it hasn’t been that long. I could go on for years about how fascist and racist and xenophobic supposedly “liberal” and “enlightened” Western European countries are. But this just rankles above the rest. 

The long-suffering Roma,aka Gypsies, about a third of whom were murdered in the Holocaust and whose lives have gotten nothing short of impossible since the fall of the Soviet Union (where  discrimination was at least illegal on paper!) got hit with another blow recently in Italy. IF you’ve been reading, I’ve blogged a few times about this already, but things have gotten a lot worse this week. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has declared it will take a “census” of the Roma, by fingerprinting every Roma man, woman, and child. 

“IF you substitute the word Jew for the word Roma, you’re exactly where you were 60 years ago” said Glen Ford on Talk of the Nation.  

According to NPR, most Italian officials would like you to believe that “wherever there are Roma there are robberies” . A rash (or if you’re NPR, a spate) of rapes and robberies are being blamed on the Roma (does this sound familiar? Anyone????), and so the plan is to fingerprint the Roma. All of them. Just so they have it.

It’s not just Roma who are suffering. Anyone who is brown, black, Jewish or Muslim is starting to feel the tight, tight borders of Europe’s so called tolerance. IN my humble opinion, fuck anyone who comes back from Western Europe with their nose in the air, talking about all that America has to learn. As fucked up as we are, it looks like we’re the ones they should be learning from.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Think Europe’s so great?

  1. Mark

    FIRST!

    Anyway, I agree for the most part. At first I thought the Holocaust comparison was a tad on the extreme side, but upon further reflection, the whole thing did begin with systematic victimization like this – plus, the victimization of the Roma and other people NEVER gets reported. I’m normally averse to throwing around Holocaust comparisons (if only because I feel like comparing so many things to it cheapens its impact), but I feel like in this case you took a good point and made it work. So, good job.

    With that said, there is a problem in Italy with Roma crime, whether it’s violent or of the pickpocketing variety. It’s gotten much worse in recent years, to the point where the government is afraid it could affect tourism. Unfortunately, this is just about the worst way they could possibly deal with it – and supposedly the EU has already rebuked it. At this point, with world pressure likely to come down on them, I’d be surprised if Italy was actually able to go through with this.

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