Romas –Convenient Scapegoats In East Europe

A crowd of fans from the soccer club, 1.FC Brno, marched through a square in Brno shouting vulgarities at Romas and blacks while imitating monkeys. In the town of Chomutov, they fired a rocket in the air while shouting, “Czech Land To Czechs.” Even as the ignorant displayed their ignorance, hundreds of Romas throughout the Czech Republic were holding demonstrations to express their frustration at failure of the government to take a pro-active stance in the fight for Roma rights. There were Romas present in at least fourteen towns to make known their concerns at recent murders of their fellow countrymen and the need for action to foster respect for the dignity of all humans.

In Hungary, a recent survey indicated that 84% of respondents said that Roma people disliked working and that is why they encounter economic problems. Nearly 80% said it was hopeless trying to help build good relations between Romas and other Hungarian citizens. And, over seventy percent rejected any ideas about affirmative action programs.

The United States learned years ago that change begins with new laws that protect the rights of those subject to bigotry and prejudice. Eventually, if laws are enforced, most humans will grow accustomed to change in their views. They need to work and live with people who are different.