Apr. 24th, 2011

gipsylife: (Default)
I received the following email from Kerstin Martin of gipsylife.com in response to a blog I wrote about her. She says:

_______________________________________________________________

A friend just sent me this link that they came across...

I was surprised at this. I don't see you do this to anyone else out there who is using the term "gypsy" in their blog (for instance gypsygirlguide.com who is pretty much creating a brand out of it - much more than I ever did, I never used the word in reference to the carefree bohemian lifestyle).

Since I am one of the very few who respected your standpoint I would appreciate if you could remove any reference to my name in this and other articles that may be out there.

Thank you very much!

Kerstin
kcpa@mac.com

_______________________________________________________________


I would be more than happy to comply with her request, except that unfortunately she has decided to resume blogging under the 'gipsylife.com' URL. She did, for a brief time, switch over to kerstinmartin.com and seemed to understand why it was offensive. I have to admit, I'd forgotten about that blog completely until I received this email, and when I go to look at the site, I see she has decided to use it again. She seems to believe that putting a link to the Wikipedia about the Romani people makes everything okay. She writes that her "use of the term 'gypsy' is not literal and not a reference to the Romani ethnicity" but what she doesn't realize is that you can't just separate hundreds of years of persecution from a racial slur that was invented to control, shame and shun an entire race of people just because you want to. I've said it before and I'll say it again... try telling an African American that using the word 'nigger' is completely okay, and 'means nothing' or tell a Jewish American that the word 'kike' is not meant to be offensive, or tell a Hispanic American that the word 'spic' is not a racial slur. No one would ever think of doing that, because it's ridiculous, but it seems these hippie, bohemian types think it's perfectly okay to use the racial slur for the Romani people to blog with or sell products with, and no one calls them out on it or raises any voice in objection because we are the invisible minority here in America.

Well, I am raising MY VOICE in objection, to Kerstin and any and all others (I'm looking at you, gypsygirlsguide) on eBay, on etsy, and everywhere else who think no harm is done when they use this word.

The more people like YOU use this word to mean something other than it does, the more invisible we as a people become, and if we are invisible the persecution that our people face around the world will continue to happen, because no one will care about the things they cannot see. Using this word in a flippant, ignorant manner is just as bad if not worse than using it in a pejorative manner because it discounts all of that suffering, all of the reasons Gypsies really were constantly on the move... it wasn't because of so-called 'wanderlust', as these idiots claim. It was because they were run out of every city and country they tried to call home. To this day, the Romani people have no official homeland. To this day, injustices and violence is rampant against our people... if you don't believe that, just Google 'Roma' or 'Romani' persecution. You'll find stories like this burned child (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/06/25/roma.prejudice/index.html) , for whom being a ‘gypsy’ is a death sentence. To people like her all over the world, being a Gypsy doesn't mean freedom or magic. It means living in fear.

Anyone who can look at that little girl and still use that term in such a casual way, is a monster. There is special place in hell for people like YOU.

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June 2011

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