Romany (romanyg) wrote,
Romany
romanyg

If I fall in the forest, do I make a sound?

So, er, hey. Trying to catch up, speeding through all the Racefail and Mammothfail posts, so I follow a link over to The Angry Black Woman and find this post: Dear Hollywood, Gypsy Curses? NOT Okay., which points out the absolute fail of Sam Raimi's film Drag Me To Hell for reinforcing the racist stereotype of the scary old gypsy lady using her scary gypsy magic to curse someone. Should be all YAY!

Except. The comments.


I'm used to people not knowing much, if anything, about the Romani except for media and cultural stereotypes. So I expected to see some not-so-informed comments in response to the post. Most were totally cool and just the nodding in agreement type. Until Scott chimes in with a Yeah, I knew some of those people once comment:


Good post. Lenny Bruce once observed, everyone in New York sees gypsies, but did you ever know anybody who was tight with a gypsy? I lived upstairs from a gypsy family for three years. We got along. I walked their dog. They taught me how to read palms, but Romani are pretty inward-looking, suspicious and prefer to have us leave them alone more than promote dialogue. If Jews or people of color had done the same, we’d all still be living in 1890.

I’ve met Sam Raimi. He graduated from Tisch Film. Enough said. I like Evil Dead, Xena and Spiderman, but Sam is not a deep thinker. My contention that Romani need to be open to dialogue doesn’t suggest that Raimi is not simply a lazy tool. Lori S. is right. If gypsies were so freaking powerful, why do they remain the most internationally persecuted people on the planet?



What the...? Explosions of RAGE! Why do they remain that way, Scott? Because you're not exactly helping. Open to dialogue? GAH!

nojojojo had this to say further down:


Scott,

"I lived upstairs from a gypsy family for three years. We got along. I walked their dog. They taught me how to read palms, but Romani are pretty inward-looking, suspicious and prefer to have us leave them alone more than promote dialogue. If Jews or people of color had done the same, we’d all still be living in 1890."

Do you blame them? Between Sam Raimi, and you stereotyping and blaming them for their own oppression, they can’t win for losing. Dude.

I’m not sure you intended to come across this way, but can you check your language in the future, so you don’t?



Which, yeah, *total* point. Except The Angry Black Woman responds directly to nojojojo *in defence of Scott's comment*:


actually, I didn’t read Scott’s comment that way (but I’m biased, because I know him). I wouldn’t characterize the notion that Romani would rather be left alone than engage in dialogue “blame” but rather “a reason for their actions”. I can see how not wanting to deal with outsiders (which is how I’ve typically heard this expressed, but must admit I don’t know for sure if it’s actually the case) is a natural reaction to oppression and persecution. I can also see how that could be detrimental to fighting said persecution, but that isn’t the fault of the Romani, but the people who think: “well, they don’t complain about the evil gypsy woman stereotype, so it must be okay!”

anyway, that’s how I read it.



Okay, breathe, Rom, breathe. That is not what he said. Perhaps that's her extrapolation, but that is not what he *said*.

So I had to put in my $0.02 (still in the moderation queue, but hey, I just submitted it):


Scott,

I have to disagree as well (and frankly, it's taken me over two hours to calm down enough to use the word 'disagree') on a few points. First off, I think the Lenny Bruce quote serves as an example of a racist remark which you did not use ironically. Romani is a big word that includes many nations, so I can't tell from your comment if your neighbors were Roma, Sinti, Kale or even Lom or Domari (who are not Rom but related and also called 'gypsy' by the world at large). In other words, not monolithic. Also, why was it their job to serve as cultural ambassadors? To satisfy your curiosity?

"If Jews or people of color had done the same, we’d all still be living in 1890."

Romani *are* people of color. And just because you're not aware of Romani activism does not mean it doesn't exist.



So yeah, the reason we're stereotyped and oppressed is because we're not *loud* enough and we *don't engage in dialogue*.

Some of you may remember the post I made two years ago, I am not your Halloween Costume, I am not your Gypsy Rover, regarding the racist remark in phaballa's user info. I was upset and emailed her, made the post. I never did tell you that she replied with "I'm sorry this offends you, but I'm not changing it." Two years later, the user info is still the same.

I guess I wasn't loud enough or just not Open To Dialogue.

I'm tired. I'm going to bed.
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