Who is listening?
Reading the news this morning, I stopped off at Romea and discovered the article below. Tomio Okamura – senator in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and candidate for the President of the Czech Republic (though he was disqualified when it was discovered that many of the signatories he had provided were fictitious) – is half-Japanese and half-Czech, himself therefore a minority. Yet, he argues consistently against Romani people and is openly racist – despite the fact that he states he is neither racist nor xenophobic.
But, he is not alone. He blames the Roma for their situation; He finds it an “honour” to endorse Communists; He believes the publication “The Final Solution to the Gypsy Problem” is not racist; Romani people are the Czech Republic’s biggest problem; and that women are less intelligent than men.
It scares me that voices like his are growing louder and louder, while voices supporting my people are being silenced.
Okamura, however, forgets his own roots. He forgets the feeling of being rejected in Japan when he “understood for the first time and definitely that I am a ‘foreigner’ everywhere”. Is that not how many Romani feel in the countries that refuse to accept them even though many Roma families have lived settled lives for generations now? Okamura states, “I still was not able to find my position and my place in society”, but insists that Roma people must be “removed” from the Czech Republic and that they are “problematic”. He also says that “We were always a very anti-communist family” yet he calls it an “honour” to endorse Communists.
The words this man allows to fall out of his mouth are a disgrace. It is not the fault of the Roma that we have been so severely discriminated against over the centuries, to the point where generations have been forced to survive through abject poverty and adverse living conditions. His failure to see the blatantly racist overtones in the publication “The Final Solution to the Gypsy Question” tells more than enough about the man. The ‘Final Solution’ was not only something the Nazis proposed for the Jews – but also something they proposed for the Gypsies. They used those exact words – final solution – in their genocide of my people; on that night in Auschwitz when the entire Roma and Sinte population were executed. Yet, this man argues there is nothing racist or inflammatory about such a publication.
As I said, the problem is he is not alone.
Dr. Geza Jeszenszky stated that Roma are “mentally ill” because we “have sex with or get married to” our “cousins and even brothers and sisters”. He suffered no penalty.
In Canada, the raging battle over bill c-31 (allowing the government to declare countries like Hungary and the Czech Republic “safe” and deport ‘refugees’ immediately and without appeal) has seen some disgusting racist remarks and attitudes come to the surface. Just Google Ezra Levant or Jason Kenney (Minister of Immigration). I find, actually a statement made in an article I read about this issue to be fairly telling:
“If the Roma don’t count politically to this Conservative government, the Jews definitely do”
Which also, unfortunately, seems to be all too often apparent. Hate speech, racism, and violence against the Roma is all but ignored until the Jewish minority is also affected. Both Canada and the Czech Republic voted “No” on the Palestinian membership question in the U. N., earlier this week (along with the US). Not only that but:
” the President of the World Jewish Congress had to say about Hungary, very recently.
“Some of the news that has come out of Hungary in recent months and years is alarming,” Ronald Lauder wrote, “The situation of Jews in a country can be seen as a bellwether. We are particularly sensitive to nationalistic and chauvinistic tendencies. Earlier this year, the 89-year-old former Chief Rabbi József Schweitzer was accosted near his home in downtown Budapest by a man who swore at him and shouted ‘I hate all Jews’. Meanwhile, uniformed groups are parading through the streets of towns across Hungary, with torches in their hands. It is no coincidence that the symbols they wear on their uniforms remind many of that of Ferenc Szálasi’s fascist Arrow Cross Party. The return of an ideology that many thought was a thing of the past is spearheaded by the extremist Jobbik movement [which garnered 17% of the vote in the last Hungarian national election] and its allies.”
Except no one listened to the Roma‘s pleas. Don’t get me wrong – Jews in Europe face heavy persecution also, yet not to such an extent as the Roma. The Jewish people are not forced into ghettos, behind fences, without running water, electricity, or adequate shelter – a situation so reminiscent of another historical time that it often makes me feel physically sick.
Are we not worth anything on our OWN merit? Are we not worthy of intervention and support because WE are being attacked and targeted?
It would seem not…
Selected quotations of Tomio Okamura in translation
“GYPSIES” ARE THEMSELVES TO BLAME FOR THE FACT THAT OTHERS PERCEIVE THEM PEJORATIVELY
“The fact that the Gypsy is perceived pejoratively today is not the fault of the neo-Nazis, the Czechs or the Turks. It is first and foremost the shame of the Romani people. Their lifestyle and life values, long cultivated through the centuries, like it or not, are colliding and have collided with the values of all civilized countries.”
(Quoted from a 7 November 2012 commentary responding to Czech Senator Eliška Wagnerová’s resignation from the newly-created Club for Democratic Renewal in the Czech Senate. Among other reasons, Wagnerová resigned because of the membership of Senators Jiří Čunek and Tomio Okamura in the group. The same text appeared in a 14 February 2011 commentary, entitled “Let’s be politically incorrect!”)
WOMEN ARE LESS INTELLIGENT THAN MEN
“Norway has already introduced quotas for women in the top management of firms there and the theory that men are more creative and dynamic than women was immediately confirmed when the value of those firms who increased the proportion of women in their management fell by 18 %. Once we perfect these quotas and firms introduce the correct proportion of Romani people, gardeners, Arabs, mulattoes, Asians and piano players, their performance and value will definitely radically shift….”
“Human intelligence varies significantly, between the races and between men and women. Most women have an average IQ – there are fewer geniuses or totally stupid women than there are geniuses and totally stupid men. On the other hand, there are more talented men than women, just as there is a larger number of very stupid men and fewer average men. These are just statistics that are reflected in society – that there is a larger percentage of above-average, competent men is reflected in real life.”
(Quoted from a 3 August 2011 commentary entitled “Women forward!”) SUPPORT FOR EVACUATING “GYPSIES” FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC IS NOT EXTREMIST “We write of the Workers’ Party that it is extremist, but what is it really? How is the opinion extreme that the Gypsies should found their own state and the Czech Republic should support their emigration to the country of their ancestors?” (Quoted from the 14 February 2011 commentary entitled “Let’s be politically incorrect!”)
IT IS NOT A DISGRACE TO ENDORSE THE COMMUNISTS, BUT AN HONOR
“The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is a democratic, legal, parliamentary party… If we have civil equality and freedom today, then it is thanks to the communards, the communists, the socialists and those who carry on their legacy. They promoted equal civil and voting rights against the wishes of the conservatives and the so-called rightists. They promoted social rights – the eight-hour workday, the right to strike, free education, health and retirement insurance. Always over rightist opposition. At one time they fought for today’s democratic social system and they died, the rightists murdered off the ‘communists’. It is not a disgrace to endorse such people. It is an honor.”
(Quoted from a 20 November 2012 commentary entitled “The specter of communism is running around here again”).
THE NATIONAL PARTY UPHOLDS HUMAN RIGHTS AND DOES NOT PROMOTE VIOLENCE
“The National Party… was a legitimate political entity registered with the Interior Ministry and met the legal requirement that its program not contravene the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and that it not promote violence against individuals or groups. The National Party was a properly registered political party and no court proceedings to stop its activity were ever initiated against it.”
(Quoted from a 1 March 2011 commentary entitled “The hounding of Bátora is a disgrace to journalists and politicians”).
THE PUBLICATION ENTITLED “THE FINAL SOLUTION TO THE GYPSY QUESTION” DID NOT PROMOTE THE EVACUATION OF ROMANI PEOPLE FROM THE COUNTRY
“The National Party, according to the media, lobbies against the EU, immigrants and Romani people. One of its members has published ‘The Final Solution to the Gypsy Question’, which among other things reportedly includes the idea of evacuating Romani people and sending them to India. I have read this controversial publication. It does not promote evacuating our Romani fellow citizens and sending them to India. In the context of earlier waves of Romani people moving abroad, it proposes coordinating this emigration, and suggests that the best destination for it would be one of the states of India. Support for this emigration would naturally be provided only to those who want to establish a new life abroad with state support after a bilateral agreement is concluded with the target province or state. Such an idea may not be realistic in practical terms, but all we can say is that it is inspired by the old Zionist idea of building the Jewish state and evacuating Jews from elsewhere to Israel.”
(Quoted from the 1 March 2011 commentary entitled “The hounding of Bátora is a disgrace to journalists and politicians”).
“An incompetent neo-Nazi has become Deputy Education Minister. The news has unleashed a wave of hysteria that is just a pretext for people to play at fighting for the right thing. It has culminated in lies, quibbling, and the calumniation of an innocent person. The only thing he is guilty of is holding allegedly ‘extremist’ or ‘politically incorrect’ opinions. The case of Ladislav Bátora has shown, in the worst kind of nakedness, how this game of correctness becomes dangerous, evil and hateful. In the defense of what is right we are capable of destroying and willing to destroy whomever the mob singles out so that weak individuals can experience an “heroic battle” against evil without danger or risk. The collective hunt gives those involved the feeling of shared euphoria and pleasure in fighting for the right thing. It’s no longer about Bátora here, but about the psychopathy of the mob. I remind everyone who has called and is calling for “a dog’s death for a dog” that each of us might one day become a Bátora, a Hilsner, or a Pechanec, condemned a priori and for life, without any possibility to defend ourselves even though we are not guilty.”
(Quoted from the 1 March 2011 commentary entitled “The hounding of Bátora is a disgrace to journalists and politicians”. Translator’s Note: The Pechanec mentioned here is serving prison time for racially motivated murder).
THE NATIONAL PARTY’S OPINIONS ARE NOT EXTREME
“Let’s remember that what people from this extremist National Party said years ago about the danger flowing from a too-tolerant mulitculturalism, or from our benevolence toward crime and from the parasitism of ethnic minorities, is being repeated today by the Prime Minister and Mr Kocáb. As far as I know, what was extreme about the National Party was not its opinions, but rather the circle of some of its patrons who were enamored of Hitler and similar rabble. Admiration for the Nazis can also be observed in Mr Dalík, PM Topolánek’s sidekick, and even in Mr Topolánek himself, who at a minimum has been inspired by Nazi terminology from time to time. I am completely serious when I say that despite this, neither one of them is an extremist or a Nazi. If they should leave public life, then it should be for other lapses – but the gods may do what cattle may not.”
(Quoted from the 18 October 2011 commentary entitled “Dear fellow citizens, get angry!”)
EXTREMISTS SAY WHAT MOST OF US THINK
“What is this so-called political correctness? In practice it is the rule that the media and politicians must not say unpleasant truths. It is important that they be socially unobjectionable. It’s well-intended, the intellectuals have the feeling that this is the way to ameliorate stress in society. However, good intentions often really do lead to hell. If support for the so-called extremists is rising today, then it is because they are some of the few people who say out loud what most of us think. Healing cannot happen without a timely diagnosis, a doctor would say, and it is impossible to seek to fix something when I intentionally overlook what has caused it. In the case of the Czech “extremists”, banning them is definitely no solution. Freedom of speech is for everyone, even the person who says the greatest nonsense. The solution is open, truthful discussion, without disparaging and labeling those who are speaking.”
(Quoted from the 14 February 2011 commentary entitled “Let’s be politically incorrect!”)
ROMANI PEOPLE ARE THE CZECH REPUBLIC’S BIGGEST “MULTICULTURAL” PROBLEM
“Many of these so-called publicly beneficial human rights organizations make their living from the fact that these problems exist. The liquidation of these problems would threaten their existence as well. In the Czech Republic, the greatest ‘multicultural’ problem is obviously Romani people. Those to whom this does not apply must forgive me, but a large part of them are simply an enormous burden on society. Look at the neonatal institutes, the orphanages and the prisons – everyone will immediately recognize that Romani people are represented there disproportionately compared to the white majority. The number of Romani people in society is growing, but their contribution to the creation of our shared wealth is not rising proportionally – on the contrary. That justifiably angers the vast majority of the public. That’s the problem, and it is a problem even for those Romani people who are decent and who work.”
(Quoted from the 14 February 2011 commentary entitled “Let’s be politically incorrect!”)
A BRAIN AND A BIT OF GOOD WILL IS ALL IT TAKES
“If we immediately deport every foreigner who commits a crime here, we will save our money and spare our nerves. If the authorities and the courts start using common sense, citizens’ satisfaction will increase. If the bureaucrats and the politicians stop cooking up overpriced business for their affiliated firms, our wallets will feel relief. We don’t need a higher GDP or EU subsidies in order to achieve this. A brain and a bit of good will is all it takes.”
(Quoted from a 11 September 2012 commentary entitled “Sometimes a brain and good will is all it takes for a better life”).
THEY CURSE ME FOR BEING POPULIST
“On the one hand, people curse that I am a populist, because I allegedly make unfulfillable promises – while on the other hand, I see that I’m bad when I do everything I can to keep my word. (…) If I were to just shout in the Senate and play solitaire, it wouldn’t be worth it to me – then it really would be the case that I am a populist who cares more about popularity than the result of his own work. I am not in the Senate to be popular, but to do my work as best I can, to the maximum.”
(Quoted from a 29 October 2012 commentary entitled “Czech Radio Yerevan – Okamura has become a populist”)
PRAISE FOR “MASSIVE WHIPS”
“My favorite quotation is ‘How did the Egyptians manage to build such massive constructions? They had massive whips.’ The ideal state should have clear, firm rules, and immediate punishment must follow their violation. This is not calling for a dictatorship, but for the rule of law. (…) The solution is simply populist – how could it be otherwise – there must be massive whips for massive crimes. (…) We have massive whips available for massive crimes. My dear, precious fellow-citizens – it is time at long last to take them into your hands. They are as needed here as salt.”
(Quoted from a 28 August 2012 commentary entitled “Massive whips for massive crimes”).
AS A SENATOR I REPRESENT A REGION – I WANT THE WHOLE COUNTRY BEHIND ME
“As a senator for Zlín I have my region behind me, but more is needed to enforce changes – one needs the support of the citizens of the entire country. The presidential election is a unique opportunity to win that support.”
(Quoted from a 22 October 2012 commentary entitled “Why it’s good to run for president”).
IN CONCLUSION, SOME REALLY GOLDEN WORDS
“I don’t want to divide people, I want to unite them. It’s not important to be politicking, whether a bit to the left or the right – I want us mainly to move forward, we are already out of time. For me, that forward movement has long meant not just economic growth, a balanced budget and higher GDP – the aim is a happy person. I have to laugh when I see a careerist, a former member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, who is on fire with anticommunism today. Fanatics, together with spineless careerists, are one of the causes of the abuse of all ideals and ideologies. Really – it’s not the idea itself, but the crook mouthing the idea that does the harm.”
(Quoted from the 20 November 2012 commentary entitled “The spectre of communism is running around here again”).