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BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA

Big Mick 24 Sep 02 - 04:28 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 02 - 04:33 PM
Ron Olesko 24 Sep 02 - 04:43 PM
DougR 24 Sep 02 - 05:06 PM
Nerd 24 Sep 02 - 05:28 PM
NicoleC 24 Sep 02 - 05:29 PM
Kim C 24 Sep 02 - 05:38 PM
DougR 24 Sep 02 - 07:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Sep 02 - 09:03 PM
InOBU 24 Sep 02 - 10:20 PM
Nerd 24 Sep 02 - 11:32 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Sep 02 - 11:41 PM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 12:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Sep 02 - 12:44 AM
katlaughing 25 Sep 02 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Davetnova 25 Sep 02 - 04:38 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 02 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road) 25 Sep 02 - 06:07 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 07:55 AM
DonMeixner 25 Sep 02 - 08:19 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 08:28 AM
Grab 25 Sep 02 - 09:00 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 09:06 AM
Wolfgang 25 Sep 02 - 09:10 AM
Wolfgang 25 Sep 02 - 09:21 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 09:50 AM
Seamus Kennedy 25 Sep 02 - 09:53 AM
jimmyt 25 Sep 02 - 10:01 AM
Kim C 25 Sep 02 - 10:02 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 10:13 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 02 - 10:32 AM
Kim C 25 Sep 02 - 10:50 AM
Rick Fielding 25 Sep 02 - 10:54 AM
jimmyt 25 Sep 02 - 10:55 AM
NicoleC 25 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM
Ditchdweller 25 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 11:25 AM
DonMeixner 25 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 11:45 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 11:55 AM
InOBU 25 Sep 02 - 11:57 AM
Jeri 25 Sep 02 - 12:21 PM
Kim C 25 Sep 02 - 12:27 PM
NicoleC 25 Sep 02 - 12:42 PM
Jeri 25 Sep 02 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Nerd 25 Sep 02 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 25 Sep 02 - 01:06 PM
GUEST 25 Sep 02 - 01:14 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Sep 02 - 01:17 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 04:28 PM

Nicely done, Ron.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 04:33 PM

I found some sites worth looking at:All are very enlightening.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 04:43 PM

Nerd,

No harm done :) I think we are all a bit passionate about this subject.

It is very true that in "the good old days" kids were not treated with kidgloves. I am 45 and I remember getting spanked. Today it seems barbaric, back then it was normal. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the word is so screwed up. Discipline with force is merely a sign of a parent giving up. Perhaps it was Dr.Spock that figured it out. There is no justification for a person to take their aggression out on somebody so much smaller and defenseless, and especially on someone that looks up to that parent for love and guidance.

It is very true that we can't see everything that is going on in the video. Unless I've missed something, I don't think she denied that she went overboard on her child. Her reaction of not thinking the punishment justifies the crime is a natural one. While her heritage maybe an "Irish Traveler", I believe she is a citizen of the United States. The laws are what they are. Fight to change the law, not fight to ignore them.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: DougR
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 05:06 PM

Larry, I think you are riding a worn out horse.

In the majority of these posts, no one mentions the press in their area noting that the mother was Irish, a Traveler, or anything other than a child abuser.

Climb own down off that old cayuse and give it a rest, okay?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 05:28 PM

I actually would agree with you, Ron, that we should let the law take its course; I don't think this will result in her permanent removal from her parents unless there are other factors involved, so the system will probably work. I was just arguing against the folks who believe they already know she should be removed, based only on the tape.

I also think Larry's "riding a worn out horse." DougR, does this wording mean that the subject matter of this post has made us all a little too sensitive to accept "beating a dead horse" without comment? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: NicoleC
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 05:29 PM

Larry, you're jumping to conclusions again. I gotta tell you Larry, from here it looks like you are the one making the generalizations and the stereotypes.

She has outstanding warrants, multiple IDs, a transient history --uh, that's not discriminating, that's taking precautions dealing with a known lawbreaker. That you equate her history with being a traveller says that you're the one that wants her treated like an cultural product instead of an individual.

She broke the law. She got caught. She'll have her day in court.

CPS does not wantonly place kids in temporary homes. They go to homes of people they have checked out already. If I were the agent, and I had a family group that was KNOWN to be transient in a high profile case, you had better believe that I would put the child in a home that I was 100% sure was safe and stable. It has nothing to do with her cultural affiliation, it's S.O.P. If Grandma is a flight risk, you don't place the kid with Grandma because you want to keep tabs on the kid until the situation is resolved.

Then you WANT her child treated differently because of her ethinicity. By suggesting that temporary placement with someone with a different ethnic or cultural background is wrong, I suppose you think that it would be wrong to place a black child in a white home? A Catholic child in a Protestant home?

You accuse of treating them differently on one hand, then want special treatment on the other.

The more I learn about this case, the more I think it's completely irrelevant what her ethinicity is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Kim C
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 05:38 PM

It's an internationally accepted wrong to remove a child from an abusive situation? If there's someone else in the family who can care for the child, great. If there isn't, what's the other option?

Nashville's full of gypsies. There's a large family of them that's fortune-tellers. I'm not kidding. I used to sell advertising to them when I worked at the newspaper. At one time, the mother and two or three of the daughters were all running ads together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: DougR
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 07:29 PM

Nope, I don't think it does Nerd. This thread could go to 200 posts divided into several threads the way things go here on the old Mudcat. Most of them would say more of less the same thing though, I think.

I was merely trying to point out to Larry, Nerd, that his take on this particular subject, in the few posts recorded to that time, didn't appear to be getting much support.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 09:03 PM

I think the "parallel" between a generic black person "slapping" their child (why do you minimize what happened so much, Larry?) being investigated by a drug officer is totally nonsensical. I find nothing strange about why officers who investigate fraud would question someone who has been guilty of fraud in the past. And who is to say that the girl is going to be permanently placed in a foster home?... seems like you're jumping to one conclusion after another, Larry. And saying that "she is being prosecuted for the crime of being an Irish Traveller" seems to totally ignore what happened. I think you should give this one up, Larry.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 10:20 PM

Some folks just don't get it. So, OK, we will all pretend there is no anti Gypsy prejudice anymore. I have to go off on bis. for a few days, when I get back there will be more to say. I was interviewed by the AP, due to my acknowleged expertice on the subject of Roma and Travellers, so when there is a site I will let you all know... Cheers all, Larry
PS Joe Thanks for those links, great job,


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:32 PM

DougR: I totally agree. I just thought your wording was...shall we say, careful to avoid a common metaphor that happens also to suggest abuse. But yeah, whether you call it beating a dead horse or riding a worn-out one, I think he's probably not going to find much support here, least of all from me.

SW


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:41 PM

Larry, we will await your return. It does seem like you are the one who doesn't get it in this case. There is no denying that anti-gypsy prejudice exists. However that is not the issue in this case, no matter what you would like us to believe. If you have some proof please let us know, I will be the first to admit I'm wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 12:02 AM

I am willing to go a bit farther than Ron. Larry, I find your assertion that we "just don't get it" to be insulting. I get prejudice just fine, thanks. Seems like I have spent the best part of my 51+ years combatting it. I guess my resume probably matches up pretty well with yours. I get it fine, thank you. But you are using a very unfortunate incident to further a different cause. I could care less if the person involved is Roma, Irish, Orange, Green, Black, White, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, survivalist, mentalist or Dutch. What she did was wrong and abusive. There are sufficient indicators to create a concern for flight risk with the child. The tape certainly provides just cause for the charge, as well as to the custody issue. Your cause is just, but you are being very opportunistic on this one. I think it does a disservice to the cause you embrace.

My last word on this one............unless, of course, you try to tell me I don't get it again.............hahahahahaha

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 12:44 AM

I waited to get home to look at my browser for the "visited links" from a search yesterday. The pages weren't coming up for me at work and I didn't have time to fool with it.

This site discusses traveler and gypsy culture and worldviews in a fair amount of depth. It's a sub-link from this site.

InOBU, most groups would blanch at being accused of cultural criminal practices. As one of 1/2 Irish descent myself, I don't like to finger other Irish for their criminal acts that help define their lifestyles and culture. But Travelers are a group that apparently prides itself on it's secretive practices and ability to live by preying on the weaker members of society at large.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:24 AM

For a good, educational read, may I suggest those who are interested take a look at this, previously posted by derrymacash in another thread, in which Paddy Keenan talks about growing up in Ireland as a settled Pavee. There are some very interesting facts, along with links.

In the thread I linked to earlier, there is also some info on how a lot of the groups in the UK are opportunity-seeking "new agers" and should not be confused with Pavees.

Generalisations about any group generally suck.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST,Davetnova
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 04:38 AM

A lot of the arguments above and many issues in th Uk seem to be directly related to Political Correctness. In the Uk we have Rastafarians effectively immune from Drug laws and Moslems apperently excused from laws governing abbatoirs and animal welfare. In many cases the first cry when any accusation or criticism is made is This is only because I'm ******(fill in ethnicity of choice) Only this morning Jack Straw declared on TV that Iraq is the only country to have invaded another in recent times. Forget Israel, Forget America, forget many others. The truth is that their are good people bad people and some who are good sometimes and bad others. The shade of my skin (which is that very pale brown colour sometimes called white) has no bearing on this nor does the culture in which I was brought up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 05:56 AM

Well, Gee Larry, it's true that I'm not being interviewed by the Associated Press, and I don't know much at all about Irish Travellers. You seem extremely committed to fighting the prejudice that must exist, even in cases where prejudice isn't the issue. I spend much of my life now moving in an inter-racial world, and enjoying it thoroughly. My gospel quartet is black, 'cept for me, my wife and I go about equally to black churches where I am usually the only white, and white churches where my wife is one of the few, if not only blacks. My wife and I have travelled throughout the Midwest, along the East Coast, much of the South and in Europe and Africa. I've walked through little fishing villages in Africa with the little kids all wanting to hold my hand, and we've gone into small towns in the south and my wife has been greeted enthusiastically and with respect. Mostly, we just enjoy people, enjoy life, and see the goodness in others. Sounds to me like you're always looking behind the curtain, ready to blow the whistle, Larry.

Last Saturday, we had a cookout at our home and everyone had a great time. No one was worried about whether someone else was prejudiced, or what others were REALLY thinking. We just had a great time.. Just people enjoying each other, whether they knew each other, or were of the same religion. Even though my quartet is obviously Christian, when we get together with family and friends, there are usually Muslims there, and when we eat, we say grace in the name of Jesus, and the Muslims add their grace in the name of Allah. Those who don't believe in God, respect those who do, and the reverse is true. If there was an Irish Traveller there (as if anyone would know unless they announced it) they would be warmly welcomed, too. I think that 95% of people are that way, including everyone on Mudcat unless proven otherwise. The 5% that are prejudiced are the ones who are miserable. And their numbers are reducing every year. If my wife and I can travel freely in this country and be greeted warmly. considering how much racial prejudice this country has had in its history,(and how easy it is to tell that we're an inter-racial couple in comparison to telling that someone is an Irish Traveller)I think it speaks well for the warmth and generosity of Americans. When my English Mudcat friends come over here to visit, they always remark on how warm and friendly people are here. You seem to see prejudiced people hiding behind every bush.

Just a warm word of welcome to our Mudcatter friends across the sea. If you are travelling over here, we're happy to have you and will do everything we can to give you a good time. Admittedly, we're a little edgy about folks visiting from the Middle East right now, but hopefully that will pass... it hasn't always been that way. I have a family member who grew up in the Middle East, and he's just Ramesh.

Folks is folks. And horses is horses. Just don't confuse their music.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Traveller Discrimination in the USA
From: GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road)
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 06:07 AM

Sorry, Larry, but you sound like the guy in the session complaining that everyone's out of tune except him!
BJ


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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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?


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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 ;-)


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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


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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?




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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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