A President Who Got Derailed

President Traian Basecu told the Organization for Security and Cooperation that discrimination must end against Jews and Romas in Europe. Shortly after making this impassioned speech in defense of equality for all people, President Basecu was accused of referring to a journalist as a “stinky Gypsy.” When confronted with his statement, Basecu said he meant no disrespect to the journalist and his comment was simply an example of a “verbal derailment”

The reality is that Romas (the European expression for gypsy) encounter tremendous discrimination in Rumania as they do in most east European nations. If President Basecu is serious about translating into action his words, he might begin by ensuring that Roma children gain access to education and their parents be allowed to live in peace and security rather than be denied housing and be subjected to beatings.