Tag Archives: roma

Who are the real Child Abductors?

A police photograph took over the news last week: a tiny girl sitting between her parents, all of them staring blankly into the camera. It is not a flattering picture: the man and woman seem tired,old and dead-eyed, and the little girl looks squeezed uncomfortably between them, with questioning eyes and tangled hair – like a dishevelled version of Maddie McCann. But none of this would have ever sparked anyone’s interest, if it hadn’t been for the fact that the little girl looks white, and her parents brown. Something has got to be wrong with this picture!

Or so the Greek police must have thought, when they found this family in a Roma camp they were raiding. In this environment, being a pale-skinned child that cannot speak Greek is deemed suspicious and reason enough to take her away and submit her to DNA testing. The results seemed to confirm the fears: Maria and her supposed parents were not related, ergo, she must have been abducted. The media was quick to conclude: “Once again”, those criminal vagabond gypsies had stolen a white child! The police, the charity organization responsible for Maria, and the news media started frantically searching for her parents. Where could they be found? Scandinavia was suggested as Maria’s likely origin, because, well, look at her! Continue reading

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News- and Blogwatch

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Women now have a majority in the Swiss government. That is a huge achievement, especially considering that Swiss women were not allowed to vote until 1971! So I should be excited, right? Well, I am, except for this:

The new entrant to the Swiss cabinet, Simonetta Sommaruga, who is 50 and from the Social Democratic Party, had made a name for herself as a champion of consumers, rather than women’s, rights. “She is very credible for people from all parties — she is not a feminist or leftist,” said Lukas Godber,[…]. (NY Times, Sept.22 2010)

And this:

Nor does the realignment represent any broader shift toward gender equality in other areas of Swiss society, Mr. Lutz said. “Women are still underrepresented in Parliament,” he said. “They are not equal in society. They earn less. How many women do you see in leading positions in business?” (NY Times, Sept.22 2010)

The Sweden Democrats (SD), which are quite ‘Swedish’ but not that democratic, have been voted into the Swedish parliament, prompting another article on the rise of Europe’s far-right.

Women are leaving Wall Street.

La dialectique casse des briques has a detailed summary of a conference held in Paris about France’s expulsion of the Roma. Among the speakers were French intellectuals Luc Boltanski and Jaques Rancière.

After the suicide of yet another bullied gay teenager in an American suburb, advice columnist and gay activist Dan Savage has started a Youtube channel with the slogan ‘It Gets Better’, where everyone can upload videos telling LGBTQ kids and teenagers to hang in there because their lives will improve drastically after high school and small town bigotry. Watch the videos here.