Differentialist Multiculturalism

Yesterday I interviewed a local politician who dealt with a certain operation of "moving" Roma from an old camp to a new one, about 3 years ago.
Many words, uuuaaahhh! How many! And no reasoning, no facts, nothing but words blowing away. A celebration of the good will and activeness of his political body, with the underlined umility of having inherited many good things from the past admin.

Break. "What about having lunch, Mr.Gopk? I am hungry". Right.

During our lunch (I was feeling more and more ill-at-ease) he stopped his statements and begun to tell me his experience: "You have to know that I was born in a poor family from southern Italy, and grew up in the north, as my father migrated to work. Now I have sisters and brothers in many foreign country, emigrated to find a job. So, I am deeply multiculturalist. The way I treated "them" [he was scared to call them Roma, because he got aware of my sensibility for "ethnic" labels. By the way, the ethnic label stays in the title of my proposal] is exactely this one: full of respect and will to help [statements!]. They are citizens as anybody else [an accent on this point accurred frequently], but you have also to know that I also believe in the "unequal right": there are people who start from below the minimum standard, and they must receive more help than other citizens. Of course, they also must fullfilled the requirement of thi society (i.e. to be active to come up from poverty) as any other citizen.Thus, there is a difference of tratement, but not in a discriminatory sense [sic!!]."

Afterword, at the end of our little and peaceful (he is always very peaceful) walk, I asked him his intention in order to solve the fact that the wooden houses in the camps were thought to be temporary, but in practice the are still full of people, and actually more and more. He said, very peacefully, "we have not thought about it yet"... he was sincere, at least (maybe because he got my sensibility to tell true facts)

Well, why to post this common story? Precisely because it is very common among those in a position of power who deal with the Roma.


Frank said...

in case you have not read it yet: Z. Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust shoould explain something. Oder???

Gopk said...

hi Frank, thanks, yes I know Bauman's book...is it not a bit "too far away"??? Ok, it can explain smt but in the level of "principles", which is important, but maybe something changed since '40-'45...oder?