Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
We Make Our Own History: Discussion and Book Launch Mon Nov 16, 2015 13:59 | Laurence Cox
Reflections on Water Movement and Right2Change Development Tue Nov 10, 2015 14:31 | Jimmy Dignam
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Championing the Self-Employed Thu Nov 05, 2015 22:51 | Michael Taft
Begruding the Recovery Tue Nov 03, 2015 15:36 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
Kautsky â€“ The crisis of capitalism and the shortening of working time Mon Nov 09, 2015 22:34 | James O'Brien
How to do better things with words Fri Oct 23, 2015 07:38 | modulus
Syriza and Israel: Syrizaâ€™s response Thu Aug 20, 2015 18:10 | yeksmesh
What does a Corbyn victory mean? Tue Aug 18, 2015 00:32 | Sami El-Sayed
SYRIZA: Was capitulation inevitable? Fri Jul 17, 2015 14:14 | Sami El-Sayed
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Fintan O’Toole: Falling for the myth that the people are to blame
Tom Lyons: A journalist unlikely to ask the tough questions Anthony
Breaking news: Sinn Fein responsible for IBRC farce Anthony
Atheist Ireland banned while Iona Institute enjoys full access to schools Anthony
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Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
The Western Sanctions on Russia SITREP by the Serbian Girl Fri Nov 27, 2015 15:53 | Scott
The US ?led war campaign against Russia, includes financial warfare. USA has complete dominance of the global financial network. Sanctions were put in place in order to financially asphyxiate Russia
Lavrov and Syrian FM Walid al-Moallem hold joint press conference in Moscow (ENGLISH) Fri Nov 27, 2015 15:16 | Scott
Video starts from 48:00 minutes. Streamed live on Nov 27, 2015 Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem hold a joint press conference following their meeting
Russian Weapon at Work Fri Nov 27, 2015 14:56 | Scott
Why is the US Hanging Turkey Out to Dry? ?. article by Andrew Korybko Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:37 | Saker-Admin
These three additional links support Andrew’s thesis that the US is turning on Turkey: US says Turkey downed Russian jet while Syrian airspace Retired US airforce general says Turkey broke
Putin, Hollande speak after Moscow talks LIVE Thu Nov 26, 2015 19:43 | Scott
Putin and Hollande give a joint press conference following their meeting – English Audio Video starts at 0:33 seconds Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande held a
The Saker >>
Céad Míle Fáilte? Racial Profiling in Ireland
rights, freedoms and repression |
Thursday October 24, 2013 13:36 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
Over the last couple of days we have witnessed massive media hysteria about the case of Maria, a young girl supposedly abducted by a Roma couple in Greece. DNA tests and Lombroso-style racial profiling  have come into action in a case that has stirred the irrational anxiety that feeds racism and bigotry. Beyond the fact that child abduction is a serious issue, the "whiteness" and "blondeness" of the alleged victim have been emphasised together with the "Roma" condition of the alleged culprits. Let us remember that this is taking place in Greece, a country where blatant racism (as expressed by Golden Dawn) is on the rise, so there are good reasons to be cautious about this whole case.
Now this hysteria has reached Irish shores. Over the last couple of days we have seen the Gardaí, the Irish police, forcefully taking away two Roma children from their parents. On Monday, a 7-year-old girl was removed for 48 hours from her family in Tallaght (Dublin), and on Tuesday the same thing happened to a 2-year-old boy for 24 hours in Athlone (County Westmeath). Eventually, the kids were returned to their parents after DNA tests were carried out, proving they were indeed related to their parents. What evidence did they have to proceed in the way they did? None, apart from their looks... Sure, they were too blonde to have Roma parents... suspicious, eh? Can it get any scarier than being white in a Roma household? As the dark-haired father of a young blonde, I can't help but feeling that I have become suspicious, too. The lack of evidence to proceed in such a way has prompted many to talk about the State's responsibility in the abduction of these children.
This has been justified by Minister Alan Shatter by saying that Gardaí were only attempting to protect the children. This is a most sorry excuse, indeed, not only because the government, through cuts in social services, has been at the frontline of a series of attacks against the rights of children, but also because the racial profiling at work in this case is way too evident. Romas have been singled out and the Gardaí feel like they can take the children away from their parents as long as they are Roma. No serious proof is needed, because, well, Romas are guilty until proved innocent... I wonder if they would feel they could do the same whenever they see a black or an Asian child with white Irish parents.
Don't get me wrong; I do think human trafficking is a serious matter. Every year it is estimated that the appalling figure of 250,000 people are trafficked into Europe: many of them are children; the vast majority of them are brought for sexual exploitation. When discussing this heinous crime, the nationality of those pulling the strings of these trafficking networks is never an issue. But now that we have found one possible case of a "blonde girl", victim of "dark brutes", hysteria breaks out. This hysteria and the bullying behaviour of police in the Roma children cases have nothing to do with protecting children. This is racism at its finest. Children have been traumatised and their families have been further victimised: now it is emerging that the Roma family in Tallaght has been subject to years of abuse by their neighbours, which has included physical attacks, verbal abuse and threats, and even arson! Needless to say, the Gardaí have been nowhere nearby to protect this family and their children when racism has knocked at their door. In fact, they have only stepped in to demonstrate the institutional dimension of racism in Europe.
This is happening when thousands of desperate migrants drown, victims of "Fortress Europe", as they try to reach European shores in order to escape the mess left behind by centuries of European colonialism and neocolonialism. There is a nasty anti-immigrant hysteria, irresponsibly stoked up by the media and by politicians, which is taking a toll on the lives of actual people. Silence in the face of racial profiling is just not an option. Fair play to Pavee Point, an organisation traditionally linked to the struggle for the rights of another discriminated group, the Travellers , for demanding an independent probe into this whole affair. Travellers know best how entrenched racism is in Irish society.
There was a time in which the Jews were said to be child robbers (apart from greedy bankers and the murderers of no other than the Son of the Almighty Lord). Of course, the bigots said, they were to blame for their bad reputation, just like the Romas today. We know how that story finished. How little has Europe learnt from its own past!
José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
24th October 2013
* Céad Míle Fáilte means "A hundred thousands welcomes" in Irish and is an expression used to describe how welcoming the Irish people are. Well, as long as you are not Roma, Chinese, Nigerian, Pakistani, Somali, etc. etc. etc.
. Cesare Lombroso, 19th century Italian criminologist who theorized that criminal behaviour was an inherited trait.
. A mostly nomadic native ethnic group in Ireland.