Mudcat Café message #790406 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51762   Message #790406
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
24-Sep-02 - 01:09 PM
Thread Name: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
Subject: RE: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
Guest Rich and Dee said

This strikes me as a rather cockeyed defense of the press and the police. Of course there was the issue of her being a Traveller. And since when does a "blue collar mid-West mom" constitute "no ethnicity?" It tells me that writer of the post is a blue collar white middle-class individual who sees all else as "other" and him or herself as ethnically at the center of the world. (It is from this position that Ugly Americans are born.)

Am I the only one who remembers my mother standing conspicuously in the yard watching very carefully as the gypsy who had approached the house looking for work walked down the street, making sure that nothing was broken or stolen as payback for not accepting the offer of "work?" Gypsies and Travellers have been in the U.S. for ages. I expect today I'd do the same thing my mom did. Effective peddlar licenses have buffered a lot of urban dwellers over the years, but we lived out in the county where it was open season on homeowners when the gypsies came through. We are creatures of our environments, and while I'd like to say I'm accepting of groups unlike my own, I'm also cautious and have to say that today I still wouldn't turn my back on Travellers.

Down here in Fort Worth the first thing out of the newscasters' mouths were the name "Gorman" and the term "Traveller" while the mother was being sought. Personally, I don't expect her to stick around for her day in court, she'll vanish. The store probably refused to take the jeans because they thought they were stolen. Perhaps they have some sort of "heads up" system for recognizing (by name) folks who regularly come in and try to sell stolen goods back to the store, but regardless of the outcome in the store, it was no reason to strike as she did a child strapped into a carseat. If people are cautious because of her affiliations with Travellers, it's because of her ability to vanish with the support of a close-knit culture that is haphazard about how they treat their children. She will vanish and her children will probably vanish with her.

My mother was a social worker in Washington State, in Child Protective Services, and one group she was occasionally called about by area schools were the gypsy children. I don't recall the exact nature of the problems the schools reported, except that the children always vanished before the state had time to intervene in the way the schools wished.

I wish I had a little more time to make this more sensible myself, but I've probably said enough.

SRS (Still liberal, but nobody's fool)