Friday, August 27, 2010

Roaming Roma, the quintessential humans

Sarkozy denies human progress (Picture by LilluundFreya)
France's president Sarkozy vows to continue expelling Roma people from 'his' country (see BBC article). A cynic might say he labels those few hundred Roma as a serious threat to the 62 million or so French people. Although the official, and thus dull reason is the EU rule that the Roma have been in France for more than 3 months and in that time have not found jobs and therefore must leave. In other words their holiday is over.

Only, they are not on holiday. They are travellers. People who are among the last surviving European nomads. They have their home wherever they park their caravan. As such they are the quintessential humans. Their genes are the genes that brought humanity down from the trees, exploring the African plains, drove the species to China, India and to Europe, to America and eventually to the moon. They represent the restlessness of humankind that has made us one of the most widespread species in earth's history.

Sarkozy looks on the Roma in a different, narrower beamed light. They are a nuisance. So he has the police break up their camps and deport them while he washes his hands in a bowl of EU scented innocence.

It is well known that Sarkozy does not like foreigners unless they are wrapped in pretty packages, come from Italy and are willing to adopt the French nationality. But his right wing views deny his ancestry. If the spirit that drives the Roma did not exist, he would still be up in a tree with a bone through his nose grunting "ungabunga" every time a flee bit him. Now there's an image I can smile at.

- Henk

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