Home/Rod Dreher/The Problem Of Gypsies

The Problem Of Gypsies

The NYTimes shines a light on the persistence of discrimination in France against the Roma people, also known as gypsies, who are there illegally. Excerpt:

The complexity and tragedy of the problem are easily seen here in Paris at the Gare du Nord, one of the busiest transportation hubs in France. Near the third glass door from the left of the older building, young Roma men hover. Small, thin, often wearing bright clothing like green pants or a pink scarf, the men are prostitutes, looking for work or waiting for prearranged rendezvous.

Some are as young as 14, though they insist they are older; some are 16 and married, sometimes with children. They come from a community around Craiova, in south-central Romania. They troll the station to earn a living, which they say gets them about 100 euros a day, or $130.

A young man named Ruset said he was 19 and had left Romania as a child. He and his friends, like Bogdan, 17, and Gutsa, 17, whose wife is pregnant, “do business” at the station, he said; they live in a shantytown in a forest east of Paris, near the Noisy-Champs station on the suburban railway line. None wanted to have their family names used.

“France is terrible for us,” Ruset said, watching for the police, whom he called “superracist, hassling us all the time.” Echoing many of France’s estimated 20,000 noncitizen Roma, he said: “I would like to stay in Romania, but there is no chance to work there. France I liked well at the start, but today things are very hard.”

Despite the coming change in the rules, expulsions from France are increasing. In 2012, an election year, 12,841 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, nearly all of them Roma, were deported from France, compared with 10,841 in 2011, an increase of 18.4 percent; 9,529 were deported in 2010, according to the Interior Ministry.


In the forest, he and his extended family have built cabins of discarded wood. There is no running water. Asked about toilets, he laughed and said, “It’s a big forest.”

If the French police aren’t harassing teen prostitutes infesting railway stations, they aren’t doing their job. As does Steve Sailer, I find this report to be a textbook case of NYT p.c. pearl-clutching. Sailer:

I presume this example just pushed multiple buttons in NYT subscribers’ heads without raising conflicting thoughts about contradictions: Those horrible Parisian nativist racist homophobes, who are no doubt Red State Republican Evangelicals, are oppressing gay teen immigrants who are just trying to feed their wives and children.

In contrast, what percent of NYT readers, do you think, have the other reaction to this example about married teen male prostitutes: Wow, the Roma must have just about the worst culture in the world?

Verily. Read this Guardian report about the Romani custom of forcing their little girls to marry, and the terrible lot Romani women lead within that culture. The one thing every tourist to continental European cities must know is to watch out for gypsies. They will try to rob you. It’s not a racist scare meme; it’s a fact. Europeans who live with these people know this, and so do experienced travelers. The worst of it is when they involve their small children in their pickpocketing or other scams. Why should the French for one second put up with illegal migrants who rob people, work as teen prostitutes in their train stations, and live in lean-tos in the woods, where they take dumps? What is remotely desirable about having such people in one’s country? If they were poor people trying to make an honest living, one could have compassion. But why should anyone wish to welcome and provide for strangers who show up in one’s country to rob and to whore?

It is often very difficult for modern educated Western people to look at particular cultures and declare them to be corrupt or otherwise radically deficient. Why?

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

leave a comment

Latest Articles