mudcat.org: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA

SharonA 26 Sep 02 - 10:17 AM
Art Thieme 26 Sep 02 - 09:16 AM
InOBU 26 Sep 02 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 Sep 02 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 02 - 12:52 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 02 - 12:35 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 02 - 12:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 02 - 07:41 PM
NicoleC 25 Sep 02 - 04:33 PM
SharonA 25 Sep 02 - 04:22 PM
SharonA 25 Sep 02 - 03:55 PM
jimmyt 25 Sep 02 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Sad 25 Sep 02 - 03:15 PM
Áine 25 Sep 02 - 02:42 PM
SharonA 25 Sep 02 - 01:54 PM
Ron Olesko 25 Sep 02 - 01:40 PM
GUEST 25 Sep 02 - 01:39 PM
Ron Olesko 25 Sep 02 - 01:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 02 - 01:17 PM
GUEST 25 Sep 02 - 01:14 PM
GUEST 25 Sep 02 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Nerd 25 Sep 02 - 01:03 PM
Jeri 25 Sep 02 - 12:48 PM
NicoleC 25 Sep 02 - 12:42 PM
Kim C 25 Sep 02 - 12:27 PM
Jeri 25 Sep 02 - 12:21 PM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 11:57 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 11:55 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 11:45 AM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
DonMeixner 25 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 11:25 AM
Ditchdweller 25 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM
NicoleC 25 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM
jimmyt 25 Sep 02 - 10:55 AM
Rick Fielding 25 Sep 02 - 10:54 AM
Kim C 25 Sep 02 - 10:50 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 02 - 10:32 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 10:13 AM
Kim C 25 Sep 02 - 10:02 AM
jimmyt 25 Sep 02 - 10:01 AM
Seamus Kennedy 25 Sep 02 - 09:53 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 09:50 AM
Wolfgang 25 Sep 02 - 09:21 AM
Wolfgang 25 Sep 02 - 09:10 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 09:06 AM
Grab 25 Sep 02 - 09:00 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 08:28 AM
DonMeixner 25 Sep 02 - 08:19 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 07:55 AM
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 10:17 AM

There's a new thread for continuation of this discussion. Please, let's use it! Click here to go to Part 2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 09:16 AM

One thing this forum and this discussion shows me quite vividly is that, for me and those close to me, we will be much better off if we keep to ourselves.----And, also, it's best not to be caught on surveilance gear of any kind since the information collected WILL BE used by the media for ratings, by bureaucrats and special interest defamation groups to justify the existence of their jobs prove and promote their narrow agendas and views of the world. It is in my interst to invent a stealth garment any way I can so that those I love can stay effectively underground and under the radar. Alas, the crime of Mrs. Toogood was to act out emotionally in a way that blew the centuries old cover of her group.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 07:59 AM

Dear Friends...
My travel plans are now set, I am part of a legal team being consulted on the rights aspect of this case, and will have things to say when I return. There was a lot of hurry up and stand by in getting our travel arrainged, but Friday I am off to the mid west. I have been doing a number of interviews and have been asked to do an interview on the Fox cable network.
Garg, as you know I never was one of those terribly outraged by you, when in the past you were less descrete, even in your wry comments about me, which, frankly I enjoy a good laugh at myself... I knew there was a good heart in a lot of your synical observations. You make me very happy to have known the good in you was there. That web site you link is great. Most folks want to promote Traveller culture, use their music and exclude the people themselves. Great link and thanks. Where would we be if we judged the Bush family culture by the acts of a few members, including the young Mr. Bush, who has certainly been a heavy drinker and hell raiser, and if you use the same standard applied to Travellers, the drug use by his daughter proves his drug use, and more, proves that all the Bush family use and tollerate drugs. That would be a silly statement, but it is the logic used against Travellers and Roma.
Cheers to all, Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 06:36 AM

To pull this into line with the forum's intent http://www.travellersrest.org/Travellers.htm has midi music associated with the travelers....it also has interesting information.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 12:52 AM

The Roma/Traveler Community appears to be moving into "DAMAGE CONTROL" and the Web is one of their resources.

Practically all major institutions - schools, army, police, penitentiaries, media, welfare agencies - ate permeated by institutional racism, whose favorite victims are the members of minority groups, especially the Roma people. They are subjected to various forms of discrimination, ranging from routine bureaucratic neglect and humiliations to overt violation of basic human rights. This only exacerbates the dire lot of the Roma population, which appears to be the worst affected by the economic crisis and the consequent collapse of the safety net and is now the most undereducated, pauperized and marginalized group in Bulgaria. Many Roma abide isolated neighborhoods with desperate living conditions, who quickly turn into segregated ghettos, with enormous concentration of poverty, unemployment, violent crime, drug abuse, child abuse, juvenile prostitution, etc., and "Roma" becomes increasingly synonymous with underclass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 12:35 AM

Among the earliest childhood memories of many Europeans is this: mother and father were telling us that if we were not good children, the old Gypsy would come to take us away. Why were they lying?! They had got the story wrong! The opposite is true, mother. It is not that the Gypsies steal children; it is that Gypsy children are stolen and put away inside some blurry, chilling bad dream that has lasted ever since.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 12:27 AM

The gypsies of Eastern Europe are acknowledged by InterPol as being in child prostitution rings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 07:41 PM

This thread is a wee bit too long for people to open it - and clearly there are people with stuff to say still. So here is Part 2. And it'd be better if they posted there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: NicoleC
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 04:33 PM

Ouch! The news outlets love doing that stuff because it's good for ratings, and Fox is way up the list of biased reporting.

And they call that "journalism." I'm appalled... but not surprised. Fortunately, it seems like the local authorities are behaving responsively -- they're under a microscope right now, and maybe being more cautious than normal, but I think that's understandable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 04:22 PM

Áine: Yup, that's what I meant when I said (as you quoted me saying) that the media's focus on that aspect of the news story is just another example of the milking of a story. Your example is quite obviously one of sensationalism in the media. The "On the Record" program found some guy whose point of view about the Travelers is extreme, and put him on the air so he could say something extreme.

Long before the Toogood news story broke, I'd seen several features on TV about the Travelers on the prime-time news programs (the "20/20" genre), claiming to give viewers a look inside the life of the clans. None of them painted an entirely positive or entirely negative picture. But this story has brought the negative aspects to the fore, for the time being. I'm sure that, with time, the pendulum will swing back toward center, but some pressure on the media to find some Travelers who aren't con artists or underage wives wouldn't hurt!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:55 PM

P.S. – Larry (InOBU) says, "The tape... does not show a beating, it shows a repeted slapping..." Frankly, Larry, I'm distressed that you don't see this as a sign that the child may be "seriously mistreated" as a matter of routine, or even as a good reason for authorities to investigate to make sure that the child isn't being seriously mistreated as a matter of routine. Let's face it: the child was struck over and over again – Toogood admits knocking Martha on her forehead in addition to slapping her, shaking her and pulling her hair – and the fact that the mother made sure she struck her child in such a way that no bruises would show does not change the fact that the child was struck over and over again. That's what battery, the charge against Toogood, means! That amount of repetition of striking a child crosses the line from punishment to abuse.

Another sign that this abuse may be a routine part of Martha's life is Toogood's description of her daughter to the media as being hyperactive and as being the sibling who always picks fights with her brothers; this behavior can indicate that a child is being abused and has no healthy outlet for the anger and aggression caused by that abuse.


Still another clue is that the videotape shows clearly that Toogood looked around the parking lot on both sides of her car before she began to strike Martha, which would indicate premeditation rather than a flare-up of temper. She also made sure that Martha was in the car, hidden from plain view of passersby, before she began to strike Martha. It all looked too much as if Toogood knew what she was doing. I don't think it's unreasonable of the authorities to separate the child from her mother until it can be determined that this sort of incident hasn't happened before and, most importantly, that it will not happen again.
Larry also says "The doctors, not me, said this was not an abused child, nor did she show any signs of past abuse." It's my understanding that a medical doctor examined Martha and did not find any physical signs of past abuse. Remember that Toogood first fled Indiana after her sister was arrested four days after the battery, and took Martha to Maryland and then to New Jersey before visiting a doctor there – she did not take Martha to that doctor the day after the battery, as Larry claims – so, if there were any bruises, they'd have had plenty of time to heal before a doctor examined her. The very fact that Toogood traveled from the Midwest US to the East Coast before seeing a doctor speaks to a grievous disregard for the child's physical wellbeing. I have not read or heard that Martha has had any sort of psychological evaluation at this point to determine whether her mother has also abused her in ways that would not be detected in a medical examination.

I have heard, however, that this is not Toogood's first run-in with the law. She had outstanding warrants for her arrest for failing to pay a $202 traffic ticket and for failing to appear in court in Fort Worth to face charges of theft of $50-$500; interestingly, the arrest for theft had been made in a Kohl's department store – the same chain as the Indiana store where she'd tried to return merchandise and had been refused just before abusing her child. Had she been attempting another theft, this time by deception?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: jimmyt
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:39 PM

Amen, Sad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST,Sad
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:15 PM

"the tape, and I have seen the tape played over and over, does not show a beating, it shows a repeted slapping,"

I think it may be time for a few of us to leave this thread before we get very angry. The defense of this woman on the stated grounds above is disgusting.

Sad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Áine
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:42 PM

I think that the news media's focus on Travelers as a human-interest aspect of the news story is just another example of the milking of a story by the media after the event (in this case, Toogood's beating and disappearance) is over. Falling for the media's tricks is, IMO, sensationalizing the sensationalism.

FYI -- here's an example of how one national TV news channel is treating the ". . . Travelers as a human-interest aspect of the news story . . .":

-----------------------------------

Who Are the 'Irish Travelers?'

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, September 24, 2002.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,64041,00.html

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Back now with more on Madelyne Toogood. The woman who has gained so much notoriety in recent days is part of a secretive nomadic group called Irish Travelers. Who are they?

Joining us from South Bend, Indiana, journalist Don Wright who has been investigating the Irish Travelers for 24 years -- he's the author of Scam: Inside America's Con Artist Clans and St. Joseph County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ellen Corcella.

Welcome to both of you.

Ellen, first to you. What is she formally charged with?

ELLEN CORCELLA, PROSECUTOR: She's formally charged with battery on a child, which is a D felony here in St. Joseph County.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does it mean? Is that a -- I mean, a single strike can -- because most people think that she's charged with child abuse and she's going home and beating up the kid every single day and that that's what she's doing. Is -- one single hit can be battery?

CORCELLA: Yes, under the definition of Indiana law, rude and insolent touching that leads to physical injury, whether it's once, is battery, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: How is -- how do you differ that from, let's say, something like spanking? I mean, that's -- that's technically a battery, too, when you whack a kid.

CORCELLA: Yes, but I guess we could argue that here -- or try to find the difference, and I'm not sure this is a case to make that distinction because what we clearly see on the video goes so far beyond spanking that it's probably not the case to worry about we're overstepping the parental rights of people who have children.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ellen, do you intend -- or does your office intend to talk to Martha -- and I presume in a very sort of gentle way -- to sort of find out from her what's going on in the family home?

CORCELLA: We intend to investigate all leads and all people who have information about this. What is the typical procedure here in St. Joseph County is we have something known as the Casey Center.

It's a child advocacy center with interviewers who have been trained forensically to talk with children, and I do believe they've already met with Madelyne once, and we will let them do the interview.

It's done sort of where prosecutors and other entrusted parties can monitor the interview and even talk to the interviewee, but we let the forensic trained interviewers meet with the child one on one.

And I'm sure that may be done again in this case.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Don, to you. Travelers. We've heard so much about it. Who are the Travelers? What are they?

DON WRIGHT, "SCAM" AUTHOR: Well, these people are Irish Travelers. They are descended from the Irish Tinkers who came to this country about 150 years ago. They are full-time, lifetime con artists. They are con artists from the time they're old enough to know what con games are, and so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Does that mean -- let me ask you -- are all people who are Travelers in your mind con artists and then maybe even criminals, or can you have people who are in Travelers who are a lawful people in your mind?

WRIGHT: I have never heard of an Irish Traveler who was not a con artist. They say that only a small percentage of them are con artists or criminals, but my belief is that all of them are.


VAN SUSTEREN: Can you become a -- can I -- can you become a Traveler? Can I become a Traveler tonight if I want to?

WRIGHT: The only way you could become a Traveler is to marry into the Irish Travelers, and that happens so rarely that it's almost impossible. You have to be born into the clan. You have to be a -- you have to be a Traveler.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any idea of how many Travelers there are here in the United States? Because I remember I studied in Ireland, and there were lots. At that time, they were called Tinkers. About -- how many here in the United States?

WRIGHT: There are between 12,000 and 20,000, depending on which estimates you accept. About -- somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 of them are Irish. The rest...

VAN SUSTEREN: Ellen...

WRIGHT: The rest are Scottish and...

VAN SUSTEREN: Ellen.

WRIGHT: I'm sorry. The rest are Scottish and English.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ellen, let me go back to your county. Do you have any clue -- I mean, are you folks learning about Travelers in your county, or is this something that -- you know, there are a lot of people in St. Joseph County who are Travelers?

CORCELLA: This is something really coming to light through this investigation. While we have heard of some people having something of a transient existence through the Midwest, quite frankly, this is the first time we've really focused on this as a group that's come out through criminal investigations.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you troubled at all by Don's statement that they're all con artists? I mean, in your mind -- I mean, you've practiced law for a number of years, I mean, that -- you know, an individual -- at least, I assume, could be in the group who could be, you know, not a con artist. Do you agree or not agree?

CORCELLA: Oh, I agree with that statement. I -- I don't know or have the experience of Mr. Wright to be able to make that statement. We do know that there are criminal groups out there and that many people who are part of the group have to adopt the criminal element as part of their culture.


I'm not prepared yet to adopt Mr. Wright's statement on the matter, and, in fact, our concern here is not about the con artist part of it, but the fact that Ms. Toogood beat her child and what we're going to do about that.

VAN SUSTEREN: In a -- in the run-of-the-mill case in your county, Ellen, a first offender -- person -- parent who's arrested for this type of conduct -- what usually happens?

CORCELLA: We take the child abuse cases very seriously, and we would vigorously prosecute it, and, depending on the circumstance, I don't think this could be considered a first-offender case when it involves a child the same way you might do a first-offender shoplifting or some other cases.

What happens in this county, though, is always up to the judge, and that's probably what's going to happen in this case.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Don, Ellen, thank you.

And as a little note to the viewers, 22 years ago, Ellen Corcella was my student, and she taught me everything I know.

But thank you both.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Greta.


--------------------------------------


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:54 PM

I have to disagree with "Hancock and other academics" as referred to in that Associated Press article that Larry posted. The case was initially sensationalized in the national media because of (a) the apparent severity of the beating and (b) the fact that there was a nationwide search for the woman based on her family's story that she had left the state of Indiana with her child. I did not see or hear any mention of Toogood's ethnic origins in the national media until after she'd arranged to turn herself in 8 days after the beating. The only place I saw it mentioned that she was a Traveler was on the WNDU-TV ("Michiana" area) website. This may or may not mean that discrimination against Travelers is an issue in the Midwest; I don't know. I got the impression that the Traveler connection was mentioned in the news story simply because it was informational, nothing more, and at that point (when her name was known to police but they did not know her whereabouts) I believe they were putting out such information in an effort to locate her, not to discriminate against her based on her ethnic background!

Sorry, Larry, but I have to agree with those who are saying that this case is not an example of discrimination. The crime here is not that she is an Irish Traveler in the US; the crime here is that she is a woman who struck her child over 20 times, shook her and pulled her hair all in the space of a couple of minutes and who was caught on tape doing it. Her sister, meanwhile, was caught on tape doing nothing to stop her, and later that sister would not cooperate with the police's efforts to find Toogood and Martha. Both women broke the law, and certainly they cannot be excused from prosecution because of concerns about discrimination. They are in the US; therefore they must abide by US law or face the consequences, no matter where their ancestors came from.

I think that the fact that the police cooperated with the arrangement made by Toogood's lawyer to have Toogood turn herself in shows that they are not interested in any sort of vigilante action against Travelers. Likewise, the court process as reported thus far does not seem anything but routine. I think that the news media's focus on Travelers as a human-interest aspect of the news story is just another example of the milking of a story by the media after the event (in this case, Toogood's beating and disappearance) is over. Falling for the media's tricks is, IMO, sensationalizing the sensationalism.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:40 PM

Jerry,

That is a great sentence. I could use a copy of that line!

It reminded me of a saying that is attributed to someone I have some reservations about, but in this case I think his words are very well put. Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE once said after listening to a panel of "experts" give their opinions, "If I have to trust someone's opinion it might as well be my own". I thought it was one of the few things that I agree with Welch on. We can each make our own judgements based on the facts.

I think we know where most people's opinion's lie. The spin doctors can twist this story all they want but the underlieing facts (and admissions) are out there for all of us to see.

Ron


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:39 PM

Resource Links for Travelers

http://www.pitt.edu/~alkst3/Traveller.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:28 PM

I love how things get so twisted.

It is standard procedure in ANY case of SUSPECTED child abuse to remove the child from the family and find placement in a foster home. It is ridiculous to assume that Irish Travelers are singled out. This is S.O.P. If you want to rail against authorities for that it is another story, but don't try playing the poor downtrodded card in this case. It isn't the issue.

Children are removed while the investigation takes place and examinations are made. The family does not get custody for fear of the child being manipulated into changing the story.

There are no winners in these cases, but again THIS is not a case of discrimination. Discrimination exists and it should be brought to light, but don't cloud the issue!

Ron


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:17 PM

I'm beginning to detect a certain air of the "Noble Savage" attitude that idealized the Native Americans in early literature (and Disney Movies.) If Irish Travelers want to be treated just like anyone else, they surely succeeded in this case. The woman was arrested, just like anyone else charged with child abuse. I have yet to see any evidence that the removal of the child from her Mother while the case is being investigated is anything but standard procedure. Whatever prejudices there are (and there may well be people involved who are reacting out of prejudice,) no evidence has been presented to support that. As far as I can see, the only people being assumed guilty until proven innocent are all non-Irish Travelers.

One other observation. Just because people are (or consider themselves) experts doesn't mean that they are right on every issue. We used to have a sign up where I worked that said "The only difference between you and an expert is that experts are better organized and show slides." I always got a kick out of that, applying it to myself. When you lose any sense of humility or human failing, you're ripe for making a fool out of yourself.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:14 PM

Cant Language/ SHELTA Page http://home.sprintmail.com/~richardjwaters/shelta.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:06 PM

http://www.augustachronicle.com/stories/061397/met_travelermarriage.html

State legal marriage age raised

Web posted Jun. 13 at 01:05 AM

By Kathy Steele

South Carolina Bureau

AIKEN - South Carolina has raised the bar on the legal age for marriages to 14 years for girls and 16 for boys.

Gov. David Beasley signed the new state law Thursday.

The bill is in response to reports that girls as young as 12 were being forced into arranged marriages with older men in the Irish Traveler community in Murphy Village. An episode of Dateline NBC prompted public outcry, followed by a decision from Attorney General Charlie Condon to form the South Carolina Traveler Crime Task Force.

A common law statute that had been on the books since South Carolina's inception allowed children as young as 12 years old to marry with parental consent.

Mr. Condon held a press conference in Aiken County on March 16 to announce plans to amend the law. He said then that common law in South Carolina ``may well provide a loophole to allow such arrangements.''

The press conference was held one day after the state task force swept through Murphy Village and arrested 14 Irish Travelers on charges of food stamp fraud, tax evasion and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The delinquency charges related only to the truancy of Traveler children from school.

Aiken County Sheriff Howard Sellers said at the time that the task force, which had conducted a six-month investigation, had been prepared to issue warrants for violation of the existing marriage laws.

However, he said the attorney general's office advised against the warrants.

The Irish Travelers are a reclusive community of itinerant workers, about 2,000, living in lavish houses and mobile homes on either side of U.S. Highway 25, between Aiken and Edgefield counties. They're descended from 19th century Irish peddlers, and some have reputations as scam artists.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:03 PM

Larry, I'm going to contradict you on something else, which is that PhDs who do research on Irish Travellers are in agreement that they are law-abiding citizens. In fact, one such PhD scholar, whose name you would all recognize as he has folk music connections, has told me privately that many South Carolina Irish Travelers--among whom he has worked--definitely pride themselves on their ability to defraud people. This certainly has to do with the history of oppression; why would you feel it is immoral to defraud people who, you believe, have systematically or individually stolen from you in the past? Indeed, whether ripping off the housewife with a roofing scam constitutes immorality of justice is a legitimate question. (I still believe it's immoral, BTW.) But this is different from saying that "only the police" and Midwestern housewives believe that Travellers are more likely than average to commit certain crimes.

Why does this not get reflected in the research? An anthropolgist or other fieldworker working in today's University milieu simply cannot accuse the community he studies of wrongodoing of this sort for a number of reasons, among which are the PC nature of Universities and funding institutions and the fact that the Travellers would never allow him to do research among them anymore. Therefore, he has sensibly said that he will never publish anything impugning Travellers in this way. Privately, it's another matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 12:48 PM

I wrote "If policy is to remove a child from a home situation when abuse is suspected until that situation can be investigated, how can this possibly show discrimination against one particular group when the same thing is done for every case?"

Rephrasing this to hopefully make sense:
If the policy is to remove a child from a home situation (pending investigation) when abuse is suspected, how can following this policy show discrimination?




Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: NicoleC
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 12:42 PM

Well said, Big Mick.

Larry, you said: "...but when it leads to serial arrest of [their] family and deprivation of a child to her ethnic identity, that is the crime..."

Are you saying that other members of the family have been arrested in this case?

And how is temporarily being placed with another family deprivation of her ethnic identity? If she does think of herself as a traveller, as you attest, then she is unlikely to change her mind in the couple of weeks she is with a non-traveller family.

Of course, she's probably a little confused and scared, but that's not an ethnic trait, that's just the way a normal 4 year old would feel.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 12:27 PM

It's good that Martha was not seriously hurt, as the experts say. But again, I ask - WHAT IF SHE HAD BEEN? The videotape gives every indication that this was a possibility. What if she had been seriously hurt, and no one did anything?

Are we to just stand by and let people beat their children, just because they belong to an ethnic minority? Maybe this particular incident has been taken out of proportion - but what about the next time? What about the person who really is an abuser?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 12:21 PM

If policy is to remove a child from a home situation when abuse is suspected until that situation can be investigated, how can this possibly show discrimination against one particular group when the same thing is done for every case?

Larry, I think you're trying to hard to prove relevence. I don't think I'm going to ever see it because it's either not there or it's buried under your defense of illogical examples. As long as you continue debating instead of explaining why you see things like you do, no one is going to 'get it'. Or maybe you just wanted the debate and not understanding?

In any case, these are my perceptions:
This case was and is a non-example of discrimination. Discrimination surely exists, but to try so desperately and so ineffectively to make this particular case into an example weakens the significance of future examples.

I perceive that the point you're trying to prove is more important to you than the truth. I'll remember that when reading future posts by you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:57 AM

Sorry for the format problems, and paralegal, is actual political scientist, some crossed wires, no real harm... Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:55 AM

That should read a not our family, started to say something else... I am not a family member! Cheers Larry

PS

BC-Irish Travelers,0607 Experts shed light on reclusive, nomadic clans that roam the country -- By LISA FALKENBERG Associated Press Writer

DALLAS (AP) … The tearful testimonial Madelyne Gorman Toogood gave in front of glaring TV cameras after she was videotaped beating her daughter was starkly uncharacteristic of the reclusive, media-shy Irish Travelers culture to which she belongs, experts say.

Toogood, who was caught beating her 4-year-old daughter, Martha, in a department store parking lot, said she is a member of the clannish, nomadic culture of Irish descendants, most of whom came to the United States as refugees during the potato famine in the 1840s.

"By nature, they're very reclusive people," said Joe Livingston, a South Carolina state investigator who has been tracking Travelers for nearly two decades. "They tend to shy away from publicity."

Some law enforcement experts who have studied the culture paint it as a secret society, fond of material wealth evidenced by gaudy jewelry and new vehicles.

Police often associate Travelers with scams involving fraudulent home repair that target the elderly. They tend to use aliases, carry bogus identification cards, and avoid contact with non-Travelers, whom they call "country folk," authorities said.

But professors and academics said the reclusiveness is a defense mechanism against stereotypes and the ancient persecution that has haunted nomadic peoples throughout history. Travelers, who may be Irish, English, or Scottish, have no more criminals among them than any other ethnic culture, experts said.

"If there were, they could not sustain their living," said Larry Otway, who began studying Irish Travelers in 1977 and has worked as a paralegal and adviser on court cases involving Scottish travelers.

What the clans in the culture do share, Otway said, is a nomadic lifestyle, a language called "Scelta" with roots in Gaelic and Romani, an almost "pathologic" devotion to Catholicism, and an anti-bureaucratic form of self government that he describes as a "consensus democracy."

The largest Traveler settlement is a group of 3,000 in Murphy Village, S.C., experts said. Toogood is believed to belong to the Greenhorn Carrolls, a Traveler group in the Fort Worth area. Estimates of the U.S. Traveler population vary from 20,000 to 100,000.

Ian F. Hancock, a professor at the University of Texas who wrote the Irish Travelers entry for the Encyclopedia of the South, said a distraught Toogood called him Thursday seeking advice.

"She was scared to turn herself in because she knows very well how the police feel about the Irish Travelers," said Hancock, who has a reputation as a sympathizer of the group. "She didn't think she'd get a fair shake and she knew she'd been rough with the child."

Toogood, who also has two young sons, remains free on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 7. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.

She was scheduled to have a 90-minute supervised meeting with her daughter on Tuesday but the child, who is in foster care, was sick. An attorney for the state said Toogood would be allowed to see Martha on Wednesday if the girl has recovered from the flu.

Hancock and other academics said they believe Toogood's case has been sensationalized by the media because of her ethnicity.

"As bad as what she did, and it's inexcusable, I still think there's an awful lot of profiling going on," Hancock said. "Very much is being made of her ethnic background. If she were German American or Italian American, would that even be an issue?"

AP-ES-09-25-02 0555EDT

formatting edited by mudelf ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:45 AM

Hi Mick, Big grin on yer answer to Sapper, your right though that is another thread where you and I have our backs against the same wall...

Kim, I do know these people personaly and the child does speak Scelta.

As to the general concept, I have addressed the question to Dr. Mary Beth Anderk, who did her doctral thesis on the issue of American Traveller self identification, and she is in agreement that a four year old Traveller has a fully developed sence of belonging to Travellers.

And Rick, no, the tape, and I have seen the tape played over and over, does not show a beating, it shows a repeted slapping, forensics were done in New Jersey the next day, and showed no bruises, yes we should not slap our children, but when it leads to serial arrest of our family and deprivation of a child to her ethnic identity, that is the crime, the over prosecution, not the loss of self control by a parent. It takes away from the real child abuse cases, where children are seriously mistreated. The doctors, not me, said this was not an abused child, nor did she show any signs of past abuse.

It is hard to defend someone who does something you hope you would not do, but proportion is important, and destroying a family for one mistake is a proportional error which rises to the level of ... here it comes again, prejudice in this case. Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM

Sapper..........you know that my opinion is that you are as bad as the "Irish Nationalists and Shamrock Yanks" you purport to disdain. But could we start a new thread where I can attack your horseshit, oversimplified views instead of trying to take over this one.

Thanks,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM

Oh Wow!. Will this get out of hand now.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:25 AM

Larry, you know full well that most of us have been supportive of many of your views, and consider you a friend. As do I. But you continue to duck under the cover of the same old same old on this one. I am in agreement completely with your views on prejudice, never letting it go unchallenged, looking for it everywhere. And should you desire to start a thread about prejudice, I will be in it with both feet, challenging the majority population to examine their conscious and sub conscious prejudices.   But you predicated this whole thread on the fact that a video shows a woman beating a kid, she turns out to be a Traveller, hence it must be prejudice. It isn't. Period. In todays society, it is not OK to do what she did. Period. The authorities have an obligation just now to err on the side of the child's safety.

Another thing you seem to have a predilection for is stating an opinion as fact. An example is your contention that a four year old is fully encultured, and you seem to imply that they are fully developed culturally and socially. That is not a fact accepted by any professional I know of. In fact most professionals will tell you that a child doesn't even develope a real, values based sense of right and wrong until they are about 8 years old. Which is not to say that every effort shouldn't be made to put the child in an environment that they are comfortable in. But in abuse cases, they should err on the side of safety.

I think that you have trapped yourself, my friend, on this issue. Better to let it go and start a thread that deals with prejudicial viewpoints about Travellers. That would be a great debate.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM

From InOBU:- "Well, I see there are some misconceptions here, first of all Pavane, Irish Travellers came to the us in the terror years of the Irish Famine, which your government used as a tool of genocide in our nation... "

So the evil British Government deliberately infected the potato crop with blight as a means of getting rid of the Irish? Do me a favour! At the time the causes of blight were unknown so how could they? The main single cause of the Potato Famine was an over reliance on a single crop that allowed the population of Ireland to expand to an extent that would not have happened otherwise. When, after several minor failures that ought to have given warning, the crop predicatably failed there was a famine that has, ever since, been a propaganda milch cow for all the Irish Nationalists and Shamrock Yanks. What they fail to mention is that the situation was exacerbated by the theft, by Irishmen themselves, of relief funds that had been raised in several cities in England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: NicoleC
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM

Larry, the child was not placed in a foster home because her mother was semi-nomadic, and the mother was not accused of being a bad mother because she was semi-nomadic.

She's accused of being a bad mother because she beat the hell out of her kid.

The kid was placed in a foster home so the kid wouldn't disappear during the investigation. This has nothing to do with Ms. Gorman's ethinicity, but because she, as an individual, has a history of not sticking around to talk to the police.

It still seems like you are expecting some sort of preferential treatment for her because of her cultural background. I won't say that none of the people involved in the case might not be prejudiced (because I don't know one way or the other) but the actions of law enforcement regarding this woman have been fair and handled exactly like they would have handled any other transient resident of any race that not only has a criminal history, but has confessed to the crime.

If you had started a thread about general prejudice, I'd have been all ears. But it's hard to discuss prejudice with someone who is yelling "wolf" over nothing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: jimmyt
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:55 AM

Jerry, At the risk of the dreaded "thread creep," I think you are right on the money with what you say. I saw a bumper sticker that said I HATE MEAN PEOPLE kinda makes sense. I have a daughter-in-lay who is the sweetest person in the world, raised in a very liberal home in the northeast, and here she goes to Georgia, and fate worse than death, falls in love with my son, a conservative (although I have never known him to kill puppies or push old ladies in front of speeding cars) Well, her family, the most "political correct" people in the world, just can't seem to believe that we are OK people who haven't lynched any negroes, put any homeles peeople in jail or generally been horrible. THe pure fact is, that these PC liberal people are PREJUDICED AGAINST US BECAUSE OF OUR POLITICAL OR SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLASS. Kinda funny in a way, but sad. I feel that I as well as a lot of other folks in the same political and socio-economic class as me, do as much to try to make it a better world, to try to right the wrongs, to try to generally be good people as many of the folks who spend all the time talking about the injustices.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:54 AM

Bloody hell, this is still a debate?

A woman was caught on video tape whackin' a baby.

What's to debate?

All my adult life I've attempted to be OVERLY-informed, and I totally reject filtering ANY situation through an ideology. No amount of reading, observing, and being outraged at obvious injustice, will allow me to turn a blind eye to a woman taking dozens of swings at her child.

You're right, "I don't get it", and I hope I never do.

Sorry Larry, I agree with you on a great many issues, and I'm used to being in the minority as far as politics go, but in this case, I'm happy to be part of the vast majority who "don't get it".

Cheers

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:50 AM

Okay, Larry, I can understand that. But do you know these people personally, so that you know for sure that this particular child is bilingual, and understands her culture? It seems that you are making generalizations which may not necessarily apply.

So what was on that video, if it wasn't abuse? And as I asked before, what is the proper way to handle such a case? If the child is endangered, what are they supposed to do? What would you do?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:32 AM

Hi, Jimmy: Why some of my best friends are not only middle class Republicans, they are ultra-consrvative Republicans. Why I even have friends who are millionaires, many times over. As well as a friend who is a garbage collector. We even have a swimming pool (although it's above ground, so don't be too hard on us.)

I've stated this in another thread, but it's worth repeating. A friend of mine once said, "We get the life we perceive." If you wake up every morning, straining to see any signs of prejudice, then all you will see is ugliness... real, perceived and imagined. None of us want to turn our back on prejudice. But in the process, I don't want to lose sight of the basic generosity and goodness of most people. I also don't want to be so blinded that I can't see a child being beaten because I am so intent in rooting out prejudice. That's the basic issue that Larry either can't look at, or is unwilling to even acknowledge.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:13 AM

You know, Seamus, and Kim, I know you have good hearts, but you should read more carefully, the aspect of this which is discrimination (rather than simply over prosicution) is taking the child and placing her with non-travellers, and by the way ALL the doctors who have examined her have said she is not a victem of child abuse, but that is not the issue, the issue is the removal of children from their ethnic community when that community is seen as a paraih group or a suspect class for discrimination. The fact is that a four year old, and this four year old IS fully encultureted. A four year old Traveller is bi-lingual in Scelta as well as English, and knows that she has a dual national immage as an American and a Traveller. Cheers Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:02 AM

How does a 4-year-old have a fully developed sense of self?

Here's what I saw on the video. I saw a white woman put a child into the back of a pretty nice SUV and proceed to beat the snot out of her. I don't know she's Irish, I don't know she's a Traveller, and quite frankly I COULD NOT CARE LESS.

Child abuse is still a crime in the US, as far as I know. If my brother beat his kid, and I knew about it, and I actively tried to hide him - I'd be arrested too. (although, personally, if I knew my brother committed a crime, I'd turn his ass in. And he'd be disappointed in me if I didn't.) That's just how the system works.

If it can be proven without a doubt that she's being picked on because she's a Traveller, fine, go for it. But right now she's being picked on because she beat up on someone less than half her size.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: jimmyt
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:01 AM

I find it interesting that Larry can generalize about the government, the media, and law enforcement, yet any effort to enforce the law and protect an innocent child is met with "Oh those poor travellers are being profiled and this is a prejudiced act!" I find that personally the people that are the most prejudiced are those bleeding heart do-gooders that are sure there is a conspiracy against Blacks, gays, American Natives or you pick it. I believe that Jerry Rassmussin has said it all with his above posting. I find it insulting that any group gets stereotyped including white middleclass Republicans like myself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 09:53 AM

Larry, are you saying that because of prejudice against Travellers (which I know exists, unfortunately) that it's okay for a Traveller to beat the crap out of her child while it is restrained, defenseless in a car-seat? That her background and culture justifies violence against her offspring, and that she should not be held accountable for her actions?

Seamus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 09:50 AM

When it comes to the common view of Travellers and Roma, I am used to being in a small minority, it is why after the holocaust, the Pouramous to Roma, when the world gave Isreal to the Jewish people, Roma were given refugee camps on the borders of Germany, walled ghettos in Chezh Repulic, Racial pofrofiling in the US, nothing, new, I don't realy expect much more, if things change, I will be pleasently surprised. Cheers Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 09:21 AM

Larry, start a thread about prejudices against travelers etc. and you'll have a lot of support from many of those who think you are mistaken in this particular thread with this particular start.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 09:10 AM

A night-time driver is on his way on a German Autobahn and listens to the radio. They interrupt the program and say: "Attention please, there is an urgent warning for the Autobahn A2. There is a driver using the wrong side of the Autobahn. Please stay on the right hand lane and don't overtake." The driver mutters to himself: "What do they mean, one? Hundreds, I'd say."

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 09:06 AM

"It is an internationaly accepted wrong to separate a child from a close kinship group like Indians or Roma, or Pavees and place that child with a group which discriminates against that child."

A few questions:-

- Where is this "internationally accepted"?
For one source, as I said above, the UN convention on the rights of the child. Secondly, even if the foster family LOVES Travellers, the message it sends a child with a fully developed sence of self as a Traveller, to be given to another culture, is that there is something wrong and lacking in her own... as far as that notion accepted in the US check out the Congressional hearings on the establishment of the American Indian Child Welfare Act. As to your other questions about Ms. Toogoods "Friends" actually her family, you assume too much from the press coverage, the difference between protecting your community of Travellers or Roma from a body with a history of oppresing them, is closer to the reality as written about by legal scholars like Walter O Wyrauch in the Yale Law Review. All the best, Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Grab
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 09:00 AM

"It is an internationaly accepted wrong to separate a child from a close kinship group like Indians or Roma, or Pavees and place that child with a group which discriminates against that child."

A few questions:-

- Where is this "internationally accepted"?
- How do you know the foster-care family with which she was placed discriminates against her?
- In many historical cases of child abuse, the child has been moved from the abuser to someone closely connected with the abuser or with a vested interest in stopping the investigation. The child has then been pressured into retracting claims of abuse, and often the abuse has continued. Social services have learnt from this, and no longer allow this to happen. You state that the Travellers are a close-knit community, which means that all the community would know Mrs. Toogood. By these very rules, then, none of these Traveller families are eligible to care for her daughter. In addition, this group of Travellers are known to have hidden Mrs. Toogood from the police until she decided to give herself up. Given that these Travellers are all close friends of Mrs. Toogood, have a vested interest in preventing their friend being convicted, and have already demonstrated a willingness to obstruct the police, why should they be permitted to look after the child? - How many Traveller families in the area are approved for foster-care, and therefore would be eligible to care for her temporarily? If they're not approved for foster-care, the police wouldn't be allowed to place the child with them.

None of us are claiming there is no prejudice any more. What we're all trying to pound into your granite-hard prejudice against the police is that what's happened here is no different to what would have happened to anyone of any other ethnic origin who was caught beating their child around the head.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 08:28 AM

PS Silly River sage thanks for the links, they are exactly what I refer to as anti Traveller and Roma discrimination. Note that unlike the Phd these of Mary Beth Anderek, on Traveller identity in the US, unlike the works of Dr. Ian Handcock on Romani lingistics and rights, and unlike the work of Dr. Ruth Anderson on the Roma of America, and unlike the work of Dr. Marilyn Sway on Roma ecconomics in the US, and unlike the work of Dr. Sutherland who wrote about Roma in Texas, and unlike the work of Dr Walter O Wyraush on Roma government in the US, unlike all the above the bigot who wrote the following from that web page did not sign his or her name "Roma: A word created by Professor Ian Hancock (a Rom) from Texas University. This designation has no counterpart in ethnic reality in North America. There are groups in eastern Europe who call themselves Roma, but that is irrelevant for the American context. ". This was written by an obviouly uneducated bigot, as anyone who has studied the subject can tell you because of the cultureal isolation of Roma in the US, they are remarkably cultrealy intact as Roma.
Thanks Sage,
Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 08:19 AM

Larry,

You are correct. But all that has nothing to do with child abuse. I will say again any security person would have viewed that video tape and assumed the child was being beaten. It is impossible to tell the ethnic status of the woman.

It is ridiculous to assume that all Travellers are criminals based on the fact that this woman clearly is a criminal if we accept child battery to be a crime.

It is equally ridiculous to assume that all Asians are cello players because Yo Yo Ma is so good at it.

Few of us have held the Traveller/Crime connection in this forum. I will state my only concern regarding this incident is the endangered child. There is nothing cultural about child abuse here it is a criminal act plan and simple. And Ms. Twogood should be punished for the crime.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 07:55 AM

Checking in as I am getting my travel plans together... a few quick observations, the fact that one of our fellow catters feels that Travellers define themselves by their secrecy and crime is an example of the effects of prejudice. The fact is that police officers, as part of a history of racialized profiling of these people define them as a criminal subculture, and use the word secretive. I have (as well as knowing many many Travellers here and in Ireland) have read much of the literature generated by folks with higher degrees. In sociological studies -- folklorist studies by Phd's rather than amateur folklorists like myself, one finds no evidence that crime is the defining aspect of the culture of Travellers. Rather, one finds that they have built walls around their community in the same way the Amish have. Folks don't refer to the Amish as secretive, but rather accept that coming from their history of discrimination during the suppression of the Mennonites, (their parent faith) they became reclusive
In this case the prosecutor and social workers have said they are going to investigate this family to see if they are fit parents and that "transience" is an aspect that they will consider a negative. In point of fact, being semi nomadic defines Traveller culture, it is part of the wall against prejudice. Having been forced to Travel, they have adapted to economy suited to migration. To say that nomadic people are bad parents for the reason of their nomadism in prejudice per se, and it is not just my opinion, it is the opinion of the UN convention on the rights of the child.
As one of my Traveller friends once said to me, "Country folk (non Travellers) don't realize how small this country is. We have been painting farm buildings for one hundered and fifty years. If we went around robbing people, and not doing a good job, we would run out of folks to take advantage of. Most of us do good work, and keep the same costumers for generations. But, because of the way folks look at Travellers, we keep it to ourselves that we are Travellers."
Yup... I am looking under rocks for prejudice, we all should, every morning we should get up and challenge our own unconscious acceptance of prejudice we never thought about. I cringe when Friends (Quakers) unthinkingly use the word "Bum", when we stop looking for prejudice, it spreads like weeds.
Best to all ,
Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

 


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 15 January 2:07 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.