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Desc:Peter David has nary a care to give about Romani representation
Category:Accidents & Explosions, Arts
Tags:comics, Marvel, gypsies, Peter David, Romani
Submitted:Albuquerque Halsey
Date:10/08/16
Views:955
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Comment count is 38
Cena_mark
Wow, what a racist tirade. I was at NYCC, I wish I was there to give him a wedgie.
Cena_mark
He bases his entire prejudice on seeing a crippled child and immediately believing some guys story about Roma parents crippling their children, which is likely just based off an urban legend. If that were a real phenomenom there'd be pictures and outcry over the internet. I searched for photos of these broken children, there are none.

Old_Zircon
I can't even find a single mention of it at all, so I'm not sure it's even a common stereotype.

bawbag
It's quite a common slur against Romani in many parts of Europe that they kidnap, abuse and otherwise force kids into begging/thieving.

Anti-ziganism is one of Europe's oldest prejudices, it's practically traditional to hate on the roma peoples in many places.

Cena_mark
And that's a shame for a Jewish person like David hold these feelings. It's similar lies and traditional persecution that caused both Jews and Romani to be victimized by the Nazis.

EvilHomer
My grandma (the one I told you about) used to tell us all kinds of stories about the Gypsies and what they would do to kids. A savage and barbaric people, they're basically the Alabama hillbillies of Europe.

Or worse, the crusties. We don't really have any significant Roma presence here, but picture an entire society based around LotsMoreOrcs, and you'll understand at least a little why Europeans are historically reticent around them.

EvilHomer
And before anyone throws a wobbly: please remember, *I* supported LotsMoreOrcs. I didn't agree with him, but I treated him with kindness, and I happily tolerated the diversity he brought. However, well more than half of the poeTV residents hated his guts - ostracizing him, demonizing him, and within a few months, taking the absolutely unprecedented move of expelling him and his crustie co-poster collective from our little community.

If this kind of dynamic can happen, so quickly, between semi-anonymous crusties and semi-anonymous, generally "progressive" and "sensitive" modern civilizeds, in an online setting wherein crustie behavior poses no real threat to the lives of ourselves or our families, then is it really so hard to imagine why the oldschool crusties got banned from a dozen kingdoms and principalities across medieval Europe?

EvilHomer
In fact, I'd even go one step further, and say that the medieval communities treated crusties *better* than we do today! If for no other reason, than the sheer amount of time in which medieval native populations left the medieval crustie populations alone (usually at least a few decades passed before crusties were thrown out of any one place, and then very often they were, grudgingly, invited back in).

It's easy to pass judgement on Europeans - whom most of us don't know very much about - whilst virtue-signalling about our own progressive values towards outsiders - particularly when we have no real experience with the outsider groups whom we are being so effortlessly gallant towards. But deeds speak louder than words, and the test of our principles lies closer to home.

Cena_mark
That's quite a tangent Homer. The Romani are an ethnic group, whereas crusties are voluntary transients. We didn't hate Orcs cause he was a transient, we hated him for being a bigoted asshole. We liked the original Orcs, who was also a transient.

EvilHomer
'Romani" are a cultural group; they're usually associated with one ethnicity (the "ethnic Roma") but there are non-ethnically Roma Romanis as well, such as adopted children and the products of mixed-race marriages. This is, of course, to say nothing about all the ethnically *non-Roma* Gypsy communities found across Europe and North America, including the "Pikey" caravaners of the UK or even the itinerant Carnie culture, which I'm sure all of us American poesters have come into contact with at some point in our lives. As for voluntary versus non-voluntary, well - Roma are voluntarily migrant, too! Over 1500 years, they could have found a place to "settle down" permanently, yet they didn't, and this is largely because traveling is their way of life. They aren't transient refugees, they're permanent nomads, and they're proud of it. Why shouldn't they be?

And really, Europeans don't hate Gypsies "because" they're homeless, either! They hate Gypsies for a whole range of reasons, usually because they (the Europeans) often come into contact with the biggest assholes of the Romani community. Sadly, this causes conflict, and as always with these kinds of things, innocent victims get caught up in the fallout - non-asshole Roma get banned from Wurttemberg alongside their asshole countparts, just as non-asshole Orcs get banned from poeTV along with their own.

Old_Zircon
"It's quite a common slur against Romani in many parts of Europe that they kidnap, abuse and otherwise force kids into begging/thieving."

This, yes. Goes back centuries.


That they break the legs of their own children to make them more effective beggars? Couldn't find a single mention of it.

bawbag
"Well I heard one of them burns the soles of the kid's feet with matches so they walk with a limp!"

"You think that's bad? I know a guy who saw them break the arms of one kid so he could get more sympathy while begging!"

"I saw one who snapped an arm off and made them eat it!"

etc etc part folklore, part ancient prejudice, part one-upmanship, most of it told after a pint or two, then the next guy adds his own spice to the tale in the retelling.

EvilHomer
The "breaking legs" thing may have just been something the dude Mr David spoke with said (and Mr David ran with it as if it were a specific, commonly-reported stereotype), but the idea of beggars purposefully injuring themselves, or making themselves appear to be more invalid than they truly are, is an old and very widespread one.

For example, while I can't verify the veracity of this story, here's a mainstream article on street begging in India:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/09/giving_ money_to_child_beggars_don_t_do_it.html

As well as an Afghani report:

https://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghanistan-beggars-accused-int entionally

bawbag
It could also be that he's mixing up his beggar tales (autoplaying video on the page): http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/04/gang-profits- from-maimed-child-beggars/

Old_Zircon
"etc etc part folklore, part ancient prejudice, part one-upmanship, most of it told after a pint or two, then the next guy adds his own spice to the tale in the retelling."


Yeah, that's exactly my point, this isn't even some common myth that Peter David may have picked up, it's just some bullshit a guy told him and he took it at face value.

bawbag
Absolutely, he took it and ran with it.

Xenocide
That stroke didn't do Peter any favors, it seems.
Bort
Meanwhile, over at DC, there is a character named "Gypsy" who is a white girl named Cynthia Reynolds who has the power to disguise herself and steal. No telling when she's going to team up with Hebe (a white kid with the power of greed) or Injun (a white kid with the power of alcoholism) but I'm sure it's coming.
Xenocide
Hebe was eventually defeated when he was exposed to his weakness, a turkey leg with a single molecule of spice on it.

Bort
Dick Grayson's dad was also Roma, and unexpectedly enough, Dick Grayson has become the coolest character at DC. At the very least, the most handsome, with the most appealing butt:

http://comicsalliance.com/man-of-the-year-dick-grayson/

Old_Zircon
Dr. Doom is Roma.

EvilHomer
In DC's defense, thievery IS one of the core traditional arts of the homeless community. The Roma were especially good at it, and while this may have changed (haven't seen any statistics, so I can't say for certain) and it's certainly unfair to represent Gypsies SOLELY as thieves, such a character is no more absurd than, say, having an Asian karate-master, or Superman, a Midwesterner, being a farmer.

EvilHomer
Also, there are a great deal of white Gypsies. In fact, in certain regions, there are more "Pikey" Gypsies (Irish, Scottish etc) than there are ethnically Roma Gypsies. Why couldn't DC Gypsy be an Irish Traveller? Who's to say she isn't?

Besides which, I just looked up some depictions of the DC Gypsy character, and maybe it's all just modern redesigns, but she looks pretty Roma to me.

Old_Zircon
So is Peter David Norwegian?
Maggot Brain
What makes the Norwegians hate?

Old_Zircon
There's apparently a current beef between Norwegians and Romanians because Norway extradited a Norwegian born child from a Romanian household because of allegations of physical abuse or something, I don't know the specifics or whether it was at all legitimate or just part of the recent string of blonde Romani children being taken from their families by European governments because OMG GYSPIES KIDNAPPED OUR PRECIOUS FAIR SKINNED BABIES and then typically returned after testing has shown that they were, in fact, the biological children of the parents they were taken from.

Old_Zircon
Sorry, Roma not Romani.

Binro the Heretic
It's also possible he saw a kid who had trained themselves to hyperextend their knees the way ballet dancers do in order to look crippled and get bigger handouts.

When you're part of a marginalized group who can't get regular employment because of discrimination you do what you have to do to get money, you fucking tool.

Stars for evil.
StanleyPain
Word is that while he kinda-sorta apologized for saying this, he pushed back at individual people in private who approached him that tried to talk to him about it saying that he knew all of Romania was like this.

So...excusing this one time thing could be MAYBE possible. Doing it repeatedly to visitors is kinda another thing. Hope you enjoyed your career in comics, cuz it's over now prolly.
Bort
Romania != the Roma. There are Roma in Romania and they are treated like shit, but the nation did not name itself after its most despised demographic:

http://www.errc.org/article/being-a-gypsy-the-worst-social-sti gma-in-romania/1385

"Romania" gets its name from "Rome", while "Roma" apparently comes from the Sanskrit word for "man".

Peter David is one of those guys who is too smart for his own good. He periodically gets into trouble because he does something pointlessly insensitive, and then argues his case along the lines of, "while you were getting angry that I included Japanese tourists in multiple issues of 'Hulk' comics, there were REAL abuses of the Japanese occurring, and HOW DARE YOU!"

Cena_mark
Bort, that's exactly what he's done here. He later wrote on this incident, "Now trying to turn a discussion of LGBTQ concerns into a discussion of Romani concerns seemed dubious at best considering that the Romani law despises homosexuality. But that is a debate for another time."

Born in the RSR
I call bullshit on his bullshit story.

Cena_mark
You mean you didn't see purposely disfigured Romani children everywhere?

StanleyPain
I am aware of the history lesson, thanks. My point was people at the con said HE was saying "all of Romania was like this." HE said this.

Not me.

Bort
Apologies for underestimating you like a common Tyrolean.

kingarthur
Five star racist tirade. Oh, Peter David. You hit old racist grandpa time hard.
Pillager
I just can't stay mad at the author of 'The TARDIS at Pooh Corner'.
Old_Zircon
Counterpoint: I have no idea what it is, but the title alone made me mad.

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