Vice‘s report on the Roma issue in Slovakia has been receiving a lot of attention. Despite the determinedly bleeding-heart angling, it conveys the basic reality of the situation adequately. It’s not exactly ‘the moron problem‘, but it’s not exactly different, either.
[Július Beluscsák] The mayor, a former physician and a coalition candidate from Slovakia’s center-right and center-left parties, rattled off the relevant statistics: there were 1,300 Roma in his town, 75 of whom were employed, “and somewhere around 200 stray dogs.” Ninety percent of the Roma, he claimed, didn’t understand basic hygiene. When asked about administering a district with these kinds of social problems, he sighed and said, “I’m envious of those mayors who have no Roma in their municipalities. The Roma settlement out here in Vel’ká Ida is probably one of the worst in all of Slovakia. The women are having children starting from age 13 to 33. We have a case of a 33-year-old woman who has 11 kids. They’re having children to get social benefits. They have no obligations or duties. The children don’t get vaccinated.”
Markus [Pape], who now works part-time as a human rights monitor, mentioned that he watched the American film Mississippi Burning the night before. “I was shocked by how many things in the movie were the same kind of things that happen here with Roma,” he said, describing how in 2009, he had investigated an attack on a Roma apartment building by neo-Nazis that left a young girl permanently burned. “When I talk to my Czech friends about the Roma, they think it is a problem that will never be solved. Maybe it’s something like the Israel and Palestine issue. For Israel, there is no solution.”
PITA Pops — you can’t live with them, and you’re not allowed to live without them.
ADDED: Derbyshire’s thoughts on the subject.