Roma, Racism and Tabloid Policing

Over the last week, two children were taken by the Gardai from their parents on grounds that they looked different to their parents. The popular media in this country was whipped into a frenzy of racism thanks to events recently reported in Greece. Dopes like TV3’s Paul Connolly were key to this process, and shame on the Gardai for actually snatching the kids from their families. It’s 2013. We live in a supposed democracy. The phrase ‘tabloid policing’ is unfortunately so appropriate in Ireland right now. I’m ashamed to live in a country where we treat people with different skin colours so suspiciously. How this particular story ended was that DNA tests were carried out. The kids were proven to be indeed related to their parents (shock horror) and the Gardai and supposed journalists of this country who behaved so disgracefully now have a serious bit of egg on their face.

Following on from this, one of my fellow Rabblers, Ronan Burtenshaw, interviewed Gary Younge from the Guardian, a journalist who covered the Roma community back in a 2003 Guardian article. A few quotes from Ronan’s interview with Gary:

It’s an excellent, horrific example of a group of people arbitrarily treated differently because of who they are. A textbook case of racism.

But it also shows the link between the popular and the state. This is tabloid journalism followed by tabloid policing.

You can read the full article here, and we’ll be featuring an interview with Gary Younge on his new book, The Speech: Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream in the next print edition of Rabble.

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