Racism Places Romas Under Peril In Hungary

The Roma minority continues to be the most persecuted in eastern Europe as well as the group which experiences the greatest poverty. Romas have been in eastern Europe for hundreds of years during which time myths and beliefs have built up concerning their behaviors and desires. Albert Pasztor, police chief in Miskoic, told the media in blunt terms, “except for bank and gas station robberies all crimes in Miskoic during the months of December and January were committed by gypsies.” A rather amazing statement which appears to suggest that non-Roma people in Hungary are law abiding to an extent not known elsewhere in the world. We in America would be more than happy to dispatch to Hungary some of our criminal bankers and investment brokers, none of whom is a Roma.

The emphasis in Hungary has been more towards anti-discrimination rather than economic an educational development. Statements like those of Pasztor reflect ignorance since it is doubtful if non-Roma criminals were classified in any way other than being criminals. Crime either comes from the wealthy who use stock markets or business to steal or it comes from poor people who are trying to survive. The Roma people need jobs, good education, and efforts to establish social relations with other members of the community.