Friday, July 30, 2010

Steve Sailer on My Ancestry

As a Gypsy quadroon, I cannot pass up linking to this post and article respectively — Gypsy facts and A Gypsy is haunting Europe… From the former we learn that "[t]he employment rate of male Gypsies 15-59 in Hungary fell from 85% in 1971 under the Communism dictatorship to 29% in 2003" and "[i]n 2003, only 5% of Gypsies aged 20-24 had graduated from high school." From the latter, we learn that "[i]n the Czech Republic, 75% of Roma children are educated in schools for people with learning difficulties, and 70% are unemployed (compared with a national rate of 9%)." Also, "[i]n Slovakia, Roma children are 28 times as likely to be sent to a special school than non-Roma; Roma unemployment stands at 80%." From the latter article:
    The Guardian, of course, blames this solely on discrimination. To even suggest that the Gypsies have a preference for, say, leisure over labor, or that they suffer a lot from dyslexia would be racist and thus unthinkable. (By the way, their apparent tendency toward dyslexia is balanced by their musical skill. The late classical pianist Balint Vazsonyi told me that in the top Budapest conservatory where he studied, there were numerous Gypsies who never learned to read music, but somehow made their way through this rigorous course of training on sheer musical ability.)

    The Gypsies have been horrifically persecuted down through the seven centuries they've been in Europe. Otherwise civilized European countries are said to have subjected them to lethal "Gypsy hunts" all the way up into the 19th Century. Hitler massacred hundreds of thousands. The Communists tried to strip away their culture (but failed), and the newly democratic countries of Eastern Europe have tried to wall them off. For example, one of the first acts of our allies in the Kosovo Liberation Front in 1999 after we bombed Serbia into submission for them was to ethnically cleanse the Gypsies from Kosovo.

    So, it can seem churlish to mention any reasons why their tormentors acted so dreadfully. In polite society, you are supposed to assume that this appalling history was simply caused by a 700-year long mass hallucination. But, you can't understand modern Europe without understanding the Gypsies, who make up a rapidly growing part of it.

    Gypsies, who are evidently of South Asian origin, are often compared to Jews because of their victim status. Yet, in many ways, they are the anti-Jews.
On a more positive note, we learn that "gypsy criminals are less violent than most criminals, preferring swindles to brute force." I'm reminded of the gypsies in Chile who ripped me off, even after commenting on how much I looked like a cousin. (The "in-group morality" Mr. Sailer speaks of didn't come in to play after they asked if I could speak the Romani language; I only knew machka, or cat, which was the name of my cousin's feline.) I'm also reminded of the Gypsy family that rented the other half of a duplex I shared with come college friends; their "business" was black-topping drive-ways, with paint presumably, as they would move on before winter set in. I have fond memories of the youngest of their many kids, Gizmo, who helped me save my roommate's dog Lady after she had eaten rat poison (pour salt down the throat to induce vomiting, not a task for one with a Black Lab pup).

Also on a positive note, Mr. Sailer notes that "Gypsies don't seem to kidnap children anymore," and informs us that their most famous victim was none other than Adam Smith: "At the age of 4 he was kidnapped by a band of Gypsies, though prompt action by his uncle soon effected his rescue. 'He would have made, I fear, a poor Gypsy,' commented John Rae, his main biographer." Smith, by the way, is a surname Gypsies took in English-speaking countries, including my grandmother's family.

Finally, Mr. Sailer quotes a certain "Rev. Larry Merino, who evangelizes among American Gypsies in Indiana," as saying:
    Gypsies believe a myth that says a lot about the conception most people have of this group. It seems that a Gypsy stole a fourth nail at the crucifixion site that was destined to be used to nail the Savior's head to the cross. Since this act of larceny turned out to be an inadvertent act of mercy, God gave Gypsies the right to take things that didn't belong to them. Many Gypsies believe this is actually true! This being the case, it takes a missionary to this group a long time to undo what has been part of their culture for centuries.
Related news today, which does not outrage me — Sarkozy orders illegal Roma immigrants expelled. Blessed Ceferino Jimenez Malla, and, more controversially, Saint Sarah, orate pro nobis.

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Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


I have loved that ancient legend since I first heard about it! =D

There are others, including one about three saints set adrift in a boat and landing on the coast of France. One of them was St. Sara, and French gypsies make an annual pilgrimage to her shrine in the South of France.

Then there is the tradition that one of the Wise Men was a gypsy, which is why modern gypsies still love to give people presents to this day.

But my knowledge is limited. Everything I know about gypsies I learned from the YA/MG novel The Family under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson.

3:53 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.