When I first read about Maria, the blonde girl that was discovered in Greece belonging to an unrelated Roma couple, a number of disturbing questions arose. One of these was an obvious one: Why so much interest by the media?
It would take a while for the red herring to be exposed. It eventually became clear for all of us to see: We don’t really care about the plight, poverty and the least about Roma children except if they’re white.
A comprehensive article on Maria and anti-Roma sentiment in Europe. Read full story here.
If anything, the incident is not only a wake-up call to our intolerance, but another reminder how little we have done to come to terms with our racism and history.
Racism is a social ill and it functions in a pathological manner. It has a Dracula effect that makes us sicker as it is passed from one generation to the next with the help of denial.
If we were serious about challenging this foe, we would have beaten it, or at least put it on the defensive, a long time ago.
The question we should be asking, then, is why we haven’t yet struck a stake through the heart of such a social ill?
And why couldn’t we? We have made tremendous scientific breakthroughs in many fields but in one, like racism, where we are still anchored in a time warp immobile.
The case of the girl in Greece not only exposes deep anti-Roma issue in Europe, but everything that is wrong with us. In the little girl you will find the shadow of European colonialism and megalomanic greed that gave birth to the slave trade in the sixteenth century all the way to the rise of fascism and Stalin’s purges in the 1930s in which millions perished.
It’s nothing more than the same ogre mocking at us.