I see a lot of names come across my dashboard these days. And I’ve seen enough of one word to feel the need to say something.
Gypsy is a racist ethnic slur. G~ is not shorthand for ‘bohemian’, ‘wanderer’, ‘free-spirit’, or ‘fortuneteller’.
Have a look at some other ethnic slurs it keeps company with. And if you wouldn’t use those words, why use that one?
The Roma people have been marginalized, harassed, stigmatized, abused, and victims of genocide throughout their history. Some nations tried to permanently assimilate the Roma into their cultures, thereby erasing their own. Roma were victims of the Holocaust, systematically killed in the concentration camps of the Nazis. Some countries forcibly sterilized Roma populations within their borders. Today they are still stereotyped as lazy, shiftless, untrustworthy, ill-tempered, and criminal. As with all peoples, some may be - but most are not.
The idea that the Roma are a magical people, steeped in occult lore and practice, is another stereotype. This idea has has been promoted by hundreds of years of fictional writings. It is a romanticized lifestyle, a stereotype promoted to the collective imagination of humanity through operas and books and poems. It’s a fantasy - not the reality - and indulging that fantasy comes at the cost of the Roma people.
Claiming to be G~ (especially if you are not Roma) doesn’t make you special, or magical, or mysterious. G~ is not shorthand for ‘bohemian’, ‘wanderer’, ‘free-spirit’, or ‘fortuneteller’. G~ is not a lifestyle, or a way or wearing clothes, or dancing. It’s a fantasy, a hurtful stereotype built on misinformation and racism.
Describing anything as ‘G~’ is at best ignorant - and at worst racist. If you wouldn’t use other racial or ethnic slurs, don’t use this one.
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