Imagine paying in the high triple digits for a concert ticket only to get there and start booing the person you paid all that damn money to see? We can see that happening if the person just gave a horrible concert, but what if you were booing for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with music or the performance?
Well, first off, you’re probably a true dumb-ass, but if you were one of the booing masses at a recent Madonna concert then you’re probably a bit of a racist as well. As part of her European tour stop in Romania, Madonna used several Roma or Gypsy performers as part of her act.
But when the Material Girl decided to speak up against the long standing, violent prejudice faced by Gypsies in Europe she received a shower of boos from the crowd of 60,000 plus.
Despite long-standing efforts to stamp out rampant bias, human rights advocates say Roma probably suffer more humiliation and endure more discrimination than any other group on the continent.
One fact that is often over-looked by historians of World War II is that, in addition to trying to exterminate European Jews, the Nazis were also looking to exterminate the Roma as well. Recently, in Hungary, six Roma have been killed and several wounded in a recent series of apparently racially motivated attacks targeting small countryside villages predominantly settled by Gypsies.
“There is generally widespread resentment against Gypsies in Eastern Europe. They have historically been the underdog,” Radu Motoc, an official with the Soros Foundation Romania, said Thursday.
Roma, or Gypsies, are a nomadic ethnic group believed to have their roots in the Indian subcontinent. They live mostly in southern and eastern Europe, but hundreds of thousands have migrated west over the past few decades in search of jobs and better living conditions. Romania has the largest number of Roma in the region. Some say the population could be as high as 2 million, although official data put it at 500,000.
Until the 19th century, Romanian Gypsies were slaves. While discrimination is widespread, many East Europeans are enthusiastic about Gypsy music and dance, which they embrace as part of the region’s cultural heritage. (Wait, they were slaves, the Europeans embrace their music and culture, but not them? Well, we’ll be damned if that don’t sound familiar! Does the NAACP have a European chapter? We’re not sayin’ … We’re just sayin’!)
Watch the reaction to Madonna below: