[Editor’s Note: July 28, 2020]: This opinion piece does not adhere to the guidelines that our newspaper follows today, and should not have been published. The current Nexus editorial staff condemns the racist opinions expressed in this article. However, the fact remains that Nexus staff in 2010 deemed it appropriate to publish, and to remove the article from the website would be to pretend that these biases did not once exist. We caution readers against reading this article. Instead of reading this article below, we encourage Nexus readership to check out this op-ed instead.
It wasn’t until I watched Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for the first time a few days ago that I realized that — maybe, just maybe — I was a little bit deprived as a child.
At first, I was mad that my mom never let me watch “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” But then I realized that it was probably in my best interest that I’d never seen this movie prior to moving to France. Why? Well, most girls my age claim that all Disney movies gave them unrealistic expectations about love. But for me, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” would have given me unrealistic expectations about gypsies.
Seven months ago, I was entirely unaware of the “Gypsy Epidemic” that plagues both France and the greater European Union. As far as I was concerned, gypsies and hippies were one and the same: psychedelic flower children, likely renamed “Sunshine” or “Willow,” who could “literally feel the grass breathing.” It wasn’t until I had my first gypsy encounter in Paris that I realized gypsies were nothing like the Esmeralda/hippie hybrids I’d imagined in my head.
The European gypsies are in their own sad, toothless league. It was in Paris that this old, raggedy-looking woman approached my friend Chrissy and me in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was nothing like Disney had made it out to be. The gypsy woman wasn’t beautiful like Esmeralda and she wasn’t there to dance for our entertainment. She handed us piece of paper that read: “I’ve got cancer, I’ve lost my husband in a terrible car accident and my daughters are hungry.” World’s saddest story, right? Right.
But the thing with gypsies is that it’s almost impossible to know if they’re lying or just trying to get your attention long enough to pilfer your wallet. Gypsy woman, do you really have cancer? Did your husband really die? Do you even have daughters? Despite my inner queries, it’s always polite to be polite.
You don’t want to be the heartless person who denies the cancer-stricken woman a few centimes to help feed her fatherless daughters, but you also don’t want to be the sucker who falls for the lamest trick in the book. What are you supposed to do when gypsies give you puppy eyes? Sing to you? Show you the world’s smallest, saddest looking baby?
Easy: just (politely) ignore them and walk away. Don’t waste too much time trying to explain why you can’t help them in one way or another. Every minute you fumble for the words in [insert foreign language here] is another minute they’ve spent distracting you, and might be one minute closer to their unlawful ownership of your credit cards and pictures of your dog and Nana. I realize this sounds heartless, but if you’re that person then you’re just asking for it.
Do you understand now why I would’ve never been able to fully enjoy my time abroad if I’d seen “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” before I moved to France? Seeing a gypsy act like a dejected, toothless vagabond would’ve destroyed everything Disney had ever taught me to be true. It would’ve been like finding out that Santa doesn’t exist, you know? Sweet, lovely Esmeralda would’ve never tried to pickpocket you. Seduce you with her belly dancing? Maybe. Fall in love with a disfigured hunchback? Sure. But rob you blind? Never.
I’m really not one to take offense, but this column is obscene. The author characterizes an entire ethnic group, the “Gypsies,” also know as the Romani people, as an “epidemic.” This is not an original comparison – the Nazis the same kind during the holocaust, when they murdered about 600,000 of the Romani. How was this published? It reads like a jaunty, bubbleheaded ladies’ advice column from 1930s Berlin: “But the thing with gypsies is that it’s almost impossible to know if they’re lying or just trying to get your attention long enough to pilfer your wallet. Gypsy woman, do… Read more »
I have read a lot of bad articles in the daily nexus, and even a few good ones. I do not blame those authors of this article, it is only the symptom of a much bigger problem, which is a society built on violent prejudices such as this by Drea Tran. You could call it the ignorance of privilege, “maybe, just maybe — I was a little bit deprived as a child.”, or just missing the point altogether by still pretending that somehow Disney is as respectful as the dream world they create. But I would say this this is… Read more »
This is despicable. The Romani people face enough racism and discrimination as it is. Like the author, I am currently studying abroad (though I am in Budapest, Hungary). While here, I have witnessed acts of violence sparked by racist rhetoric similar to that contained in this article. I have also had the opportunity to meet Romani people who are working, raising families, and trying to survive in a country (and continent) where they are discriminated against and treated like “an epidemic”. I imagine The Daily Nexus would refuse to publish a similar article (or cartoon image) if the stereotyping and… Read more »
first off, i think being compared to a nazi or put on the same level as hitler during the holocaust is a bit melodramatic. secondly, today’s informal definition of gypsy (with a lowercase g) more commonly refers to a lifestyle or type of fashion rather than an entire ethnic group of people (the Romani, sometimes called Gypsies…note the capital G). to be a “gypsy” can also refer to someone who lives a nomadic and unconventional lifestyle. so…just throwing that out there. thirdly, the thing with this is article it’s meant to be taken light-heartedly. i have no personal vendetta with… Read more »
Don’t apologize for writing this, apologize for representing UCSB abroad. Please stop writing
Hi, sorry, but being compared to a Nazi isn’t melodramatic. I read this article and felt sick to my stomach. How could someone say such things about me? For you to say you’re allowed to talk about us in a light hearted way and we shouldn’t be upset because you used a small “g” is ignorant. We get called all sorts of names and you clearly did not make the distinction that you were talking about homeless pickpockets as opposed to a group of real people – a people whose identity was stolen by Walt Disney turned into mythologcial creatures.… Read more »
to the readers of this article, after much thought and reflection, i’d like to say this to you all: my original intent when writing this article was not to write about race, to come across as racist, or to target the romani people in any way, shape, or form. if it came across as such, i’m genuinely sorry about that. before it was edited to this abridged version you’re reading here, the article was originally written for student travelers as a “how to” not get pick pocketed in dense, touristy areas around europe (my example being paris). the term “gypsy”… Read more »
Drea, maybe you are as naive as you claim to be, and I can tell that you do feel bad about your ignorance towards the issue, the nexus should never had published this article in the first place. Your differentiating between Gypsy and gypsy is irrelevant, you use both versions in your article. My advice- learn from it! Realize that you are very privileged to study abroad in Paris, much more than the woman whose means of survival are to beg and steal on the street, you get your wallet stolen and you are on the phone ordering a new… Read more »
I’m a Gaucho alumnus who has been living in France now for several years. I hate to disillusion everyone who responded with outrage to the original article on gypsies in France by Drea Tran, but Drea’s observations are not unfounded. David Holmes, in his letter to the editor criticizing Drea, and others who responded in the same vein, are the ones who are naive. Today’s gypsies — “gens de voyage” as they are politely referred to here — do indeed pose a serious problem in France. Their “rich and beautiful culture” that David refers to is rather difficult to identify… Read more »
Having spent over three decades investigating crimes ranging from petty theft to murder, and all committed by organized criminal groups who choose to call themselves Gypsies, please be assured that the activity referred to in the article by Drea Tran, is on point and does occur with routine frequency. If the author had used the term Gypsy as an all-encompassing racial classification, then he would indeed be guilty of racist comments. Based on his explanation, I do not believe this to be the case. Allow me to explain. Associating Gypsies with the Roma is much the same as comparing the… Read more »
Ryan I think you’re in the wrong comment thread. The comment thread about whether Europe’s Roma population is nice or not nice is down the hall. This comment thread here is the one about how it is kind of in bad taste to make sweeping, negative generalizations about a group of people who a] were nearly exterminated by the Nazis and b] still form a moving target for every provincial fascist trying to win an election in Eastern or Southern Europe. Dennis Your point about the Roma/Gypsy distinction is interesting and well-taken, but kind of irrelevant in this case, since… Read more »
I agree, “it is kind of in bad taste to make sweeping, negative generalizations.” But, you’ve done a remarkable job of exactly that. Talk about lack of cognitive dissonance.
My point (based on several specifics) was that Drea was factually correct to the extent she was observing that gypsy groups present a social problem. Your response is to redefine the observation that a problem exists as the problem itself, lable it a problem of “racism” or “fascism,” and then use those labels to tar everyone who makes the same observation. Wow.
Super, but that is not what I did.
Theft, assault, etc. – these are what constitute social problems, in Europe and everywhere else. The presence of gypsies does not “present a social problem” and suggestions to the contrary are frankly creepy. If “gypsy groups present a social problem” then what exactly is the solution? Right-wing politicians in Romania and several other countries have proposed one in recent years: concentration camps.
How the heck did this article get published? This is pure garbage
People with these viewpoints typically are racist and fascist and they do things like this http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14966976?nclick_check=1
In eastern europe there is a huge upswing of anti-gypsy anti-jew sentiments and people like the writer of this article have only made this situation worse by spreading this type of bullcrap
@Dennis as You are a representative of law enforcement and it seems that you understand per training provided in law enforcement these days, that officers are not allowed to across the board discriminate against a whole ethnic group. It is confusing when people find out your heritage and cast a negative light upon you. It seems to be the last stand of racists these days, a group to pick on. Thank you for at least being willing to understand heritage outside of a narrow margin of it. @Ryan The same arguments you provide were used against Black African Americans in… Read more »
@Ryan, Dennis Thank you for providing a coherent post that accurately represents the state of affairs. Even though it does nothing to persuade those who ignorantly label any discussion about problems plaguing an ethnicity as “racist”, there are those of us reading that are relieved to know that there are others out there that can rationally and intelligently discuss a social problem without hating the people or being racist. There are problems within ethnic populations and discussing them doesn’t make you a racist. Ignoring them makes you an idiot. @Everyone else Abiding by the law is compulsory, not optional. Because… Read more »
Also, this woman is decrying inaccurate depictions portrayed by Disney. Oh shit, Disney said “gypsies” are beautiful perfect people with no real problems plaguing them, and wait what, someone learns that all people are fallible, and hope to share some shitty experience they had. Oh wait, they also fall victim to our own cultural perception that gypsies are just thieves, not an actual “ethnicity”? You’re all right, we should cast stones at her. What a cruel racist bitch. If y’all want to do something good for someone, walk around IV Thursday through Saturday at about 1:30 am and blog about… Read more »
“It wasn’t until I had my first gypsy encounter in Paris that I realized gypsies were nothing like the Esmeralda/hippie hybrids I’d imagined in my head.”
You’re majoring in Global Studies? Really???
…”Do you understand now why I would’ve never been able to fully enjoy my time abroad if I’d seen “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” before I moved to France? Seeing a gypsy act like a dejected, toothless vagabond would’ve destroyed everything Disney had ever taught me to be true.”…. Would that not tell you everything you should know about the author? If a third-year (college, I presume?) global studies and history major embraces “truth” via a Disney cartoon and would have had a real life experience in France ruined by a misleading depiction a “gypsy” animated character, then I wonder… Read more »
Same as you. She didn’t come out and say that she hates the Roma people. She said that Disney fabricated a lifestyle and that when some gypsies came by and robbed her it sucked. The story is about getting taken advantage of.
She was robbed and then it sucked?! Hmmm….where exactly did you read that?
You’re right. I added my own twist. I apologize and would like to retract that statement.
Many of us do not need to find out who Roma are, because we are. Maybe some of us
are becoming rather tired of this thinly-veiled racist diarrhea. There is no place for these attitudes in universities, and especially in global studies.
Again you just want to say we are all thieves, bad guys and meanies, and spew filthy language to boot.
@meagain First I would like to apologize for my posts last night, which were out of line. I played devils advocate because I was agitated and spoiling for a little fight (which doesn’t get me off the hook for some of the dummer things I said). The country my parents came from has basically interning the Roma and the camps have quietly become one of the worst atrocities currently perpetuated in Europe. I am embarrassed that my national heritage includes this legacy. Having said that, both Dennis and Ryan make some valid points. The Romani are not infallible. I never… Read more »
Jeez, what a thoroughly mediocre article, and what a thoroughly mediocre debate!
(Although Ryan and Dennis tried their best to elevate it.)
I sure am glad my kid didn’t apply here.
I love Santa Barbara, but you folks at UCSB need to take more IQ pills!
I feel bad for two parties: 1) The Gypsies/gypsies- for their misfortune, mistreatment, and misrepresentation. I don’t think this article really explains accurately what a gypsy is. 2) Drea- C’mon. I seriously, seriously doubt she’s the racist bigot you all are making her out to be. I mean she wrote the article with the intent of clearing up a misrepresentation, something that requires a certain level of consciousness. Now I know it’s really trendy for the socially active at this school to go policing for prejudices, but honestly, circumstances like the one at hand can be prevented by a calm,… Read more »
As Borat says, Beat the gypsies!
Thank you professor Robinson for demonstrating and taking space in the daily nexus to publisch something shallow again. This from someone in the 3rd year? Please LEAVE Europe NOW. To Drea that seems to think this is “not to bad” how come you don’t refer to the US homeless population as gypsies? I’m glad to see there are so much better informed people responding, as for the author, what in the world are you doing in global studies? Seems like you need some humility, maybe a bit humiliation on top, to come down from your high horse. Yes there are… Read more »
My goodness everyone’s getting hot-headed over a lot of nothing. Taking everything into context just so you have something to fight and bitch about to each other. I mean it’s just a story. If you guys hate it that much then why are you obsessing this greatly over it? What do you think you’re getting out of all of this? No one’s opinion is going to change, and even if you do you don’t really win anything out of the whole ordeal. So… why the obsession?
@Ilie obviously you are obviously not Romany so this does not pertain to you.
Since your perspective and privilege allow you to peaceably live without
discrimination, you obviously do not understand. Some of us have the backbone
to stand up for our heritage, instead of rolling over for more slurs.
The people who are calling this article “racist” seem to forget that stereotypes exist because within them there is some level of truth…many gypsies/Gypsies do steal, just as many Native Americans run casinos, many black and Hispanic people are involved in crime, and many caucasian Americans are slovenly and overweight. Are there plenty of exceptions to these generalizations? YES. But, are there plenty of members of each ethnic group that fit the stereotype? YES. This woman was simply recounting her personal experience that may or may not have been shared by other people, after rereading the article I fail to… Read more »
It is racist and a lie. Some things are best not to be open minded too. The ideas of Hitler for instance. It was Hitler and Drea Tran of UC Santa Barbara that said Gypsies are an epidemic. Her full article in the blog for this paper actually says forget swine flu its a Gypsy Epidemic. She called me and my family a disease. Not only is that really mean it seems really stupid as a journalist. So I feel a bit sorry for her and her obvious lack of brain cells.
In sum, young gypsy man driving without license and fearing arrest for a robbery that had just been committed, flees police. In the ensuing chase, he gets shot by the police and dies. Fifty or so of his buddies go on the rampage, attacking police and engaging in wanton destruction of public and private property.
@Janet Apparently you are not aware of of a time in history when propaganda was cranked out to the masses with the purpose of fomenting racial hatred for nefarious political platforms. This caused the death of almost a million Roma. Have you stopped to think that some of us who have this ethnicity do not want to see this happening to us or our people overseas? Sarkozy as we speak is standing on a cheap platform picking on the Roma instead of addressing more pressing issues. Yes it is real cheap and easy to malign the Roma, just jump on… Read more »
It is amazing that this was written by a third year global studies major. The level of sophistication and intellect reads much more like 8th or 9th grade. None of the actual interesting issues around gypsies, the Roma, or French immigration policy are even touched on. That the real world is not the same as a Disney movie is hardly a journalistic revelation.
Sean Daley,I agree with you. And honestly, until I read the line at the end saying the writer was a 3rd year global studies major, I really thought the article was written by someone in middle school (or definitely no older than a freshman in high school.)
As I read all of this it saddens me greatly. I am a Romani who was BLESSED to have my ancestors to get to the USA. I cannot even imagine my people doing any of these things. First none of you can imagine the fear gypsies live in. Fear has captured their souls. I imagine it was caused from the Holocaust. To this day even living in the United States we are taught as children to fear gaudgies (non romani). Trust no one. I believe that is why we are such a tight ethnic group. Reading all of this justifies… Read more »
I know what you mean. I saw The lion King the other day- thank God i didn’t watch it when i was young and believed that lions could talk and stuff- Like, i probably would’ve been eaten alive and stuff. Also, i saw beauty and the beast, like it was crazy how the beautiful Belle falls for the beastly Beast- I have learned over the many years, like that never happens! Anyway, I’m bored of these irritating and wearing racial lines people come up with. Next time write something about a minority with a clear voice- Black people perhaps. We’ll… Read more »
You people are so brainwashed, so ignorant and SO naive…
If you have no idea of what’s REALLY going on in this world, please don’t overreact by giving such stupid and naive statements.
The author is right. You are not.
You are a typical victim of western brainwash. The author is not. (At least, concerning this particular matter).
As someone great said: “You should not (only) have an open mind, but rather a mind of your own” :)
Let me guess…the Jews, Blacks, Mexicans and homosexuals are in cahoots with the Gypsies, in a conspiracy to enslave the Aryan Race? Yes, you are right…a small group of paranoid, ignorant, uneducated white racists knows what’s REALLY going on in the world, and everyone else has been tricked!
People like you make me embarrassed to be Caucasian. I hope you’re not American, or you’ll make me feel embarrassed to be that as well.
I came across that post looking for gypsy information. I just can’t believe the degree of naivety (stupidity?)and chidish regression of the author.. Sean Daily and Andy, spot on! ooohh gypsies aren’t like in Disney’s films….ooohhh…Sooo sad… ooh, and they’re toothless…so horrible!..Why don’t they go the dentist?…Why don’t those people without teeth “disappear”?…Oooh, the world would be soooo beautiful if there were only people with nice teeth… You know what? I’m here for more bad news : in the end of “snowwhite and the seven dwarfs” when prince charming at last finds snowwhite he only finds a mass of goo… Read more »
What a bigot. An article like this about Jewish people woould never be tolerated. This is so offensive and disgusting I don’t know where to begin. First of all no one stole a thing from you. Second of all have you not seen any toothless white homeless people in California? Not all gypsies are beggars. You are right gypsies are not Disney characters, rather we are a race of human beings. Gypsies were enslaved in Hungary Romania and Czechoslavakia from the 1400s to the 1800s, bet you didn’t know that. In other parts of Europe they were shunned arrested for… Read more »
Solid information…1st visit to this site. Greatful for sharing. I have to subscribe to this website. I am really interested in the World economy. I think the US budget is declining. I guess we will soon find out!! Thank you once again!
"I pity the crazy fools!"
I am sure there a lots of nice Gypsies/Roma/or whatever they prefer to be called living in nice tract houses in Orange County. I’m just curious about the ones showing up in Torrance and San Pedro in front of Rite Aid drugstores with signs saying they have 2 hungry children at home. I gave five dollars to one a month ago before I realized these must be a professional beggars. When I spoke to one she answered that she knew no English. I said Roma? She said yes. Sorry folks…organized Gypy/Roma beggars do exist. I was waiting in the handicapped… Read more »
Look I’m a gypsy and I must say some of us are bad and lie but not all of us its like you’re saying black people always go to jail or kill people not true right maybe you need to look in to more but not on any site like this maybe try looking at are churchs on YouTube most gypsy are chirstins and love god and vary kind go to gods gypsy chirstin church on YouTube you be the judge
So Gypsies are robbers? And black people commit crimes? Mexicans will do anything for money? And Indian steal your money buy using casino’s? And white people are most known for rapping and killing kids, women and whole familys… ect!!!! -Just about all of you sound racists!!! And I can’t believe so many people are ignorant!!!!! I am a mixed young women, and I’ve seen about everything! First hand… And if your a ” homo sapien ” not a ” Human Being ” I’m not a slave! And if you don’t know the difference go buy the ” BLACK LAW DICTIONARY… Read more »
AND JUST A (F.Y.I.) ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE TO TO CALIFORNIA TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAM SOMETINES BY THEM SELFS OR WITH THEIR WHOLE FAMILYS AND SOMETIMES THEY MAKE IT BIG AND SOMETIMES THEY END UP IN THE GUTTER!!!! THAT’S JUST LIFE… BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEIR A GYPSY OR AFRICAN-AMERICAN! IT MEANS THEIR JUST A HOMO SAPIEN. TRYING TO FIND THEIR WAY IN LIFE…. I HAVE FAMILY IN CALI AND I’VE TRAVELED JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND THEIR ARE SO MANY HOMELESS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE AND ANY TIME I’VE HAD THE MONEY TO SPARE I DID… NOT EVEN CARING… Read more »
Amazing! I’m not even Roma, and this article managed to offend me! It offends my morals and intelligence with its racism. Oh, think I’m overreacting? Let’s try it like this: “I’m glad my mother never let me watch Pocahontas as a child, because it would have given me an unrealistic expectation of Indians. I now realize that Native Americans are not like the nature-loving flower children I always imagined. They’re really casino-running alcoholics who live in trailers, and want to cheat me out of my money!…………….Woa, I am totally NOT a racist! When I said that I just meant, uh,… Read more »
Are you kidding me!?!? If this was an article about a black person it would not be tolerated! A 60 year old preacher man gets kicked off a show for quoting the bible and this is ok? I for one am a GYPSY AND PROUD OF IT!! And guess what I don’t pick pocket and steal or con! I’m a youth group leader at my church and you know something else? I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL! And my father owns 2 companies in the small town where we live and we make our money honestly we have a nice house and… Read more »