Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vowon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

[Herewith the latest update to our survey of French politics as viewed through the particular prism of the New York Times.  The full essay can be read here.]

This morning’s New York Times published an article, datelined Paris, which  from a European perspective  is astonishing in its candor:

Are the Roma Primitive, or Just Poor?

In fact, even for America, the notion that any ethnicity, now matter how primitive, could be publically discribed as, err, “primitive” (of course with chaperoning quotes) is no longer widely accepted.
I monitor the French press daily (though not intensively), and have never encountered a depiction as unvarnished as this:

THE cluster of Roma, handcuffed and caged-in behind glass walls, listened in silence as prosecutors accused them in court of selling child brides for up to about $270,000 in cash, valuing them based on their ability to steal. In a case that has riveted France, the prosecutors accused three family clans from Croatia of grooming girls and boys as young as 11 to steal as part of a gang that committed 100 robberies in France, Belgium and Germany in 2011.
One 20-year-old witness told the court he had stolen about $600,000 in cash and jewels for his parents, or more than $7,000 a month, since age 13. Less skilled thieves could face punishment, including beatings by Roma elders.
All but one of the 27 accused were convicted on Oct. 11 in Nancy, in eastern France, of forcing the children to steal, and received sentences from two to eight years. At the top of the network was a 66-year-old grandmother.
The case highlighted an increasingly rancorous debate here and across Europe about what some politicians call, rather ominously, the “Roma question,” a reference to the nomadic people, also known as Gypsies, who came from India to Europe centuries ago. An estimated 11 million are scattered across Europe.

In Europe, you just don’t say that.   Or rather, you don’t print it;  meanwhile the murmur of vox populi grows louder and louder, and may produce surprises in the next French general elections.   But in the U.S. (so far at any rate), gypsies need no more be treated with evasion and kid gloves than, say, Armenians.

Für psychologisch tiefgreifende Krimis,
in pikanter amerikanischer Mundart,
und christlich gesinnt,
klicken Sie bitte hier:

For a typical example of how the French press -- even the relatively politically-incorrect right-of-center Le Figaro -- reports such matters, consider a much less sensitive case, involving the theft of agricultural equipment out in the fields:

Telle une nuée de criquets, une bande de pillards a fondu sur la récolte début octobre pour faire main basse sur pas moins d'une tonne de pommes de terre. Les auteurs de cette razzia pastorale ont sévi à la nuit tombée, s'immisçant entre deux parcelles de maïs avant de se volatiliser dans la nature avec leur encombrant butin.
Ni vu ni connu, sans aucune traçabilité de provenance. «Les empreintes de pas, plutôt de petites tailles, ont témoigné de la présence d'environ vingt pillards», note un gendarme qui estime la marchandise à une valeur de 10.000 euros. Et la facture s'envole avec les vols en série de tracteur. Bien que valant bien souvent le prix d'une Ferrari, ces engins ultrasophistiqués ont été volés avec une simplicité déroutante, comme de vulgaires scooters.

Here and in the rest of the article, there is no indication whatsoever of what group might be responsible for these noctural larcenies, nor even whether the thieves share any traits at all in common -- perhaps some slip in from the local nunneries, while others are physicians on a country vacation, who knows.   There is not so much as a code-phrase like “venus de l’Europe de l’est”, which every European has long learned to decipher.
But there is one clue, which those familiar with the hieroglyphics of European discourse about prickly matters  will understand:  that Sherlock-Holmesian detail concerning the “footprints in the flower-bed”, so to speak:  “rather on the small side.”
Instantly French readers know what is at stake.  The allusion is to the well-known practice of Romany Fagins of employing little Artful Dodgers in their schemes, since these, if caught, are usually simply released, to steal another day.   The French by now are hip to this, and in their Comments, the readers pull no punches and name names. (“Gens du voyage” -- ‘travelers’, as in Britain -- began as a euphemism, but simply means gypsies.)

Tout ces vols, c'est archi connu, sont le fait de gens du voyage et de gens venus de pays de l'est qui mettent sur le terrain des mineurs qui se savent en totale sécurité face à la justice française !
A propos comment appelait-on ces gens qui faisaient des razzias sur les côtes de France pendant des siècles?
La France est pillée par les nomades des pays de l'est, merci Schengen et les frontières ouvertes, et que fait Monsieur Hollande et son gouvernement de d'abrutis ? Ils parlent de soit disant fascisme et marine Le Pen qui danse au bal de Vienne. Il ne voit pas notre Président Moi je, que la France est livrée à la criminalité.
Ce sont les mêmes qui volent des kilomètres de cables en cuivre, et rassurez vous il n'ont jamais souhaité travailler.
L'excuse de paupérisation ne passe pas, c'est clairement un choix de mode de vie.
Arrêtons la culture de l'excuse !
L'europe passoire que nous ont fabriqué nos élites, entre-autre pour soit-disant nous éviter une guerre, ne nous protègera de la guerre civile qui nous pend inéluctablement au nez.

"C'est le symptôme d'une paupérisation croissante de la population qui va se servir dans les champs pour survivre."
Heuuu, le vol d'engins de plus de centaines de milliers d'euros n'ont rien à voir avec la paupérisation.
Pas plus que le vol de tonnes de légumes ou de fruits.
Il faut une sacrée organisation et des réseaux, mafieux, pour écouler tout ça.

For Americans still clueless about this exotic wandering community, you may read a brief introduction here:

Spot the Odd Man Out

There is much, much more along these lines;  but that is not the point here, our focus being rather on rhetoric and euphemism in different styles of journalism.

Incidentally, that last story has been garnering international headlines, in a way that other much more dramatic examples of Roma crime (after all, this one might involve little more than illegal adoption plus welfare fraud and other scams) are never heard of on this side of the Atlantic.  And the reason is obvious:  Not the inherent importance of the story, but because it involves a Little Blonde Girl.  The whole thing is, in other words, just the latest example of Victimology Porn.

[Update, 22 October 2013]  Whenever the Blond Child Female Victim motif is introducted, expect the limbic system to take over from the cortex:

Authorities in Ireland have taken custody of a child described as a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl in the care of a Roma family she did not resemble, the second such case in Europe in a week.
Police said Tuesday that they took the girl into custody Monday afternoon in a neighborhood in southwest Dublin.


DUBLIN — Two blond, blue-eyed Roma children were removed from their families in different parts of the country this week — only to be returned when DNA testing confirmed their parentage.

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