By: Andrijana Nikolic
Roma Live In Ghetto’s With Invisible Walls Created by The Media
In fact, the reporting is almost always sensational and almost always negative. We read everyday news about ourselves.
- One Hundred Robberies in France carried out by Croatian Gypsy youth.
- We must stop Gypsy Crime.
- Gypsy children being thrown under cars and then the Gypsy families black mail the drivers.
- Will we ever have peace from the Gypsies?
- How Can We Get Rid Of The Gypsies?
These are just some of the headlines we see every day on various websites and news articles. It is important to understand that in Central Europe one is first a Roma and then a citizen. It starts very young as all Roma grow up knowing violence and rejection from their peers. In the end for most Roma, life within the society becomes simply intolerable.
I am angry when I think of the little boy who is afraid to go to school because he will be constantly humiliated and mocked for being who God has created him to be – Roma. However, you look at it Gypsy Blood is considered bad blood.
Looking at the statistics in Croatia tell their own story. Three hundred and thirty Roma finished High School and twenty-three have college education. Of the college-educated Roma only two were able to find jobs. In Croatia we have affirmative action laws but they are simply ignored. A Roma student in Zagreb graduated with a degree in Medical Radiology Engineering. No matter what the reason he was always rejected in employment applications, his weakness? Roma blood flowing through his veins. Another student who graduated with a degree in Special Education has been unemployed for twenty years.
According to some research, every ninth Roma Child graduates from elementary school, and high school. Of these, 98% have no jobs and as a result are on welfare. We are forced to live in a society where the most important reality is the colour of your skin and the origin of our blood.
According to a Roma Association in Serbia of the 500.000 Roma in that country, 300.000 of them live in unsanitary settlements. I am angry that many of my people live in conditions which are not suitable for animals let alone human beings created in the image of God!
Perhaps the greatest sin of this kind of discrimination is that in the end the Roma themselves begin to believe they are useless and unworthy.
The result is mutual hatred and bitterness between Roma and non-Roma. Behind the veil of anger, the majority of Roma are living with deep emotional wounds that come from self-loathing and rejection. It is a level of pain that is hard to imagine for non-Roma.
As a Christian Roma I must pray for my people. My prayer has to be for deep healing in my community. A community where one day little Roma boys and girls can walk down the streets with a powerful message in their hearts – If God be for us who can be against us?
Andrijana Nikolic is a Roma trainee journalist with the Roma Bible Union
mentoring ministry called KASKADA. She is also active as a youth and
children’s worker in many different areas in Central Europe among the Roma.