Author: Nataša Zečević AUTHOR Nataša Zečević
Natasa ZecevicThe Newest Articles

MAY 16 2012 23:25h

Ostojic and Roma population: Racism under cover of social democratization




Medjimurje would be a safe area if there were no criminal offences committed by Roma people. This was a racist statement of the minister of interior Ranko Ostojic during his visit to Mejdimurje.

Yes, in order to corroborate his racism, Ostojic said that around 50 percent of offences in that area were committed by Roma people. So if they committed around 50 percent of offences, who committed another 50 percent then? Are they chipmunks, rats, cats, dogs, sparrows or pigeons?

- I respect human rights of all national minorities of Croatia, but I have to point out that more than 50 percent of property offences on the area of Medjimurje are committed by the Romani national minority. If there were no such offences, the County of Medjimurje would be one of the safest counties in Croatia – said the minister of police.

If such statement was given by the former minister Tomislav Karmarko, the major part of the public and other SDP members would have probably imagined trucks into which Karamarko’s people are putting Romani people in order to deport them over the state border so they could not steal and spread dirt any more. Because, that’s the way how Romani people act in Medjimurje.

But if 50 percent of property offences are committed by Romani people, than other 50 percent is committed by Croatian people I guess, so called ‘not-Romani’. And that is, how it seems, completely all right as according to the minister Ostojic. It isn’t a problem nor it is a reason to fuss about. That’s how Croatians - ‘not-Romani’ have a right to steal from Croatians - ‘not-Romani’. However, Romani people have no right to steal from Croatians – ‘not-Romani’.

According to that assertion, Ostojic will send more contact police officers and police patrols to Romani settlements in order to stop the spread of Romani crime. But, as he claims, he won’t turn Romani settlements into ghettos. That would be unethical, I think. Unlike the statement that Medjimurje would be a safe place for a living if there were no criminal offences committed by Romani population.

This very statement of Ostojic, about Medjimurje being a safe providence if there were no Romani thieves, is a pure racism we haven’t heard for a while. And this racism has been heard from one Croatian minister. Ostojic damaged his Government by making such statement as he additionally discriminated one minority and enlarged the difference between ‘’us’’ and ‘’them’’. Not only he discriminated them, he additionally stigmatized them.  What else a Romani person might be, except a thief? So he eventually ends as one.

But when he chose that kind of discourse, it would have been interesting to point out how many of ‘’them’’ have a job in police department, for example? How many of ‘’them’’ have finished obligatory elementary school? How many of ‘’them’’ committed murder in the Zagreb center around 8.30 PM? How many of ‘’them’’ are members of SDP party? How many of ‘’them’’ live on a social welfare, and how many of ‘’us’’ live on a social welfare?

Finally, since when do stealing and thievery have a national stigma? Since, the biggest thievery of this state was committed under cover of national stigma, not Romani stigma.
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