The Roma are a small community in Canada, numbering roughly 80,000. Some families have been living here since the early 20th century. These families, which still speak the native Romani language and share a culture dating back to the eastern and central Europe of the 16th century, are now into fifth and sixth generations. Many more Roma came to Canada during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956; and numerous others have arrived in the last two decades to escape vicious and violent attacks from neo-Nazi groups in Hungary and the Czech Republic.
There will always be those who claim the Roma engage in lawlessness and crime. And in Europe, statistics do demonstrate a significant increase in theft by those living in Roma encampments. These numbers have been used by French authorities to justify large scale deportations of Roma.
Yet to ascribe such negative characteristics to an entire people is grossly unfair. Jewish history is replete with Jews described as thieves, beggars and cheats. Many Jews trying to come to North America from Europe in the early 20th century were denied entry as a result. Poverty and discrimination may beget lawlessness. But targeting an entire identifiable group for the actions of some is not the answer.
In the late 1990s, a group of Roma refugees arrived in Canada and were temporarily housed in a downtown motel. In short order, members of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front demonstrated in front of the hotel with hateful pickets and the straight-arm Nazi salute, terrorizing the new arrivals. Police acted, and anti-hate charges were laid. It took almost a decade, but the demonstrators eventually were convicted.I don't know how much Farber et al have read about the Roma--beyond a cursory scan of Wikipedia, I mean. Having read several books on the subject, I know that their "lawlessness" is not a function of "poverty and discrimination." It is, sad to say, woven into their culture--even if they were Nazis' victims like the Jews. Hence this:
Nine more people are facing criminal charges related to the largest human trafficking ring in Canadian history.
RCMP laid the charges under Project OPAPA, which brought down an extended Roma family who recruited mostly men from their native Hungary to work for the family’s construction businesses. Once in Canada, they were treated like slaves.
RCMP Constable Lepa Jankovic said the charges are related to an alleged mail theft ring that was one part of the extended family’s criminal organization.
It’s alleged the group would steal checks from mailboxes across London, Halton, Waterloo and the Toronto area totaling loses in the “millions of dollars,” she said.
It’s believed the mail theft end of the organization picked up steam after investigators busted the human trafficking ring.
Most of the thefts took place between March 2010 and July of this year, Jankovic said.
On Thursday RCMP and CBSA arrested Zoltan Horvath, 21, in Hamilton and charged him with being part of a criminal organization.
Similar arrest warrants have been issued for Zsolt Szolnoki, 41, Zsolt Pataki, 36, Maria Kolompar, 34, Gyozo Kolompar, 20, Zoltan Horvath, 43, David Zsolnoki, 36, Szandra Zsolnoki, 21 and Jeno Bogdan, 21. They are believed to be living outside of Canada, according to an RCMP news release.That's a whole lot of Zsolts, Zoltans, and Zsolnokis, who, had we not been such bleeding hearts, might be plying their trade back in Hungary or wherever.
The thing I would ask Messers Farber et al: if Roma are being "terrorized" by "neo-Nazis" in Canada, same as back home, why come here at all?
Update: The Beeb did an expose last year revealing lucrative Roma criminiality--involving very young children--in the U.K. It ain't a pretty picture.
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