Open Letter to Associated Press (and others)

I want to exercise my right of response, just like any free EU citizen. I am outraged by news like this one and this one. Because they are highly inaccurate.

I think you are the ones who discriminate the Romanian audience by misinterpreting their reaction. If we hated Gypsies so much, we wouldn’t have had so many internationally acknowledged Gypsy musicians and bands, and our most successful daytime drama wouldn’t have been a Gypsy romance.

Bucharest didn’t boo Madonna out of hatred of Gypsies, they booed her out of hatred of hypocrisy.

That’s right! We are sick and tired of getting lectured and patronized on our own money. We are sick and tired of pop stars who use promotion of human rights as a means of self-advertising, but never do anything for the discriminated categories, except for lecturing others. Misogynistic as it may sound, when you pay money for the concert of a blonde diva, entitled “Sticky and Sweet”, the last thing you want is to hear her teach you that democracy is good and tyranny is bad. Especially if she was an hour late, and organizers have chosen the worst location possible for the concert, and the number of toilets and soda stands for the audience was ridiculously low.

We are aware that aging pop stars feel an irresistible urge to prove that there’s more than meets the eye, and that they have a brain, too. OK, prove it with your charity actions, prove it with your interviews, prove it with THINGS YOU DO CONCRETELY. By example, Michael (Bucharest adored him, although he was a black musician, so we are not that racist after all!) did not bore the hell out of his audience by annoying them with silly speeches! He showed his interest for the poor & needy by VISITING AN ORPHANAGE AND DONATING THEM A PLAYGROUND.

So, Maddie, why didn’t you show your concern for Gypsies by visiting the Ferentari neighbourhood? You were busy having a great time with your 22-year-old lover in the luxurious Radisson SAS hotel? OK, that’s fine with us – but don’t have the nerve to patronize us!

Later edit: Important comments:

Kingsnake:

“Madonna’s message, though, was discriminating on its turn, because she clearly accused Eastern Europe (despite of the fact that Gypsies are treated horribly in Italy, a non-Balkan country) and based her plea on a presumption of guilt.

You cannot tell someone you see for the first time: “I heard you are an idiot, you should change.” If you know he is an idiot, you should avoid him. And accepting the money of an idiot is beyond hypocrisy. It approaches prostitution.”

Anthea:

I think real discrimination in Romania is when those who go to school and work for many years to become someone of real help to the people, (doctors and other medical staff, teachers/professors, and others) can barely afford to live while working insane shifts, multiple jobs and/or in very poor conditions, receiving in return for their work loads of contempt and disrespect.

The perceived discrimination of gypsies in Romania as well as other Eastern European counties is not based on the chances that this minority is offered.

In one of the articles I was reading, the issue of the high rate of drop-out students among gypsies was mentioned.

School is free for all; the will to attend school and complete schoolwork and encouragement from parents to continue studies may be important causes for the high drop-out rate among Roma children and youth.

For the most part, the programs that are available to the general public, do not discriminate participants based on ethnicity. They are all inclusive. I personally find it more discriminatory to offer ethnicity-specific programs, especially when the target group is not the one requesting them and does not seem to be very interested in participating.

The gypsies who choose to lead lives on the legal side and bring forth exceptional talent and/or skill are usually treated just like any other Romanian citizen.

Romanian or Roma, when you invest time and passion into studying and/or developing a legal business, in order to offer quality products or services, you risk living at the brink of financial well-being. Whatever makes the difference between being or not being able to feed your children, it’s not ethnicity.

Like so many others, I’m not saying that the Romanians are good and gypsies are bad. Both ethnic groups (as well as others that are present in Romania) have among them outlaws as well as ‘model citizens’. Both ethnic groups have members that pose as legitimate business owners while hiding their primary income source.

I agree with you, Lorena, when you say that the ‘boo’, is not to Madonna supporting social issues. If she does that for her own image or because she truly believes it, that’s her own business. The ‘boo’ is to anyone who talks about something they don’t know much about, lecturing the people who have to deal with that issue on a daily basis. It’s easy to speak about this issue from behind the walls, fences and security guards.

I also think the press is being judgmental about the public’s reaction. After all, the public had paid to watch a show, a concert, not a lecture, and had only expressed an opinion towards the diva’s lack of information.

My 2 cents.

Cipslim:

I would like to note that in a survey not so long ago, Romania was found to be one of the most tolerant society in east and central Europe as only 25% of the Gypsies declared that they might have felt some sort of discrimination.
I would also like to note that Associated press forgot to mention that the actual Gypsies that performed were applauded and that the house booed Madonna only when she started giving ethical lessons to a crowd already angered by the heat, shit sound, lack of visibility and the poor quality of the event.

82 thoughts on “Open Letter to Associated Press (and others)

  1. Vorbeam si cu Racusoara de chestia asta: cei care erau anti-discriminare in public au gandit “Bine ca vine asta sa ne dea noua lectii”- decu Huooooo, iar aia mai rasisti au gandit: “Asta le ia apararea tiganilor??”- deci iarasi Huooooo. Cum o iei, tot naspa iese.

  2. You are one of my favorite bloggers, even though i seldom comment. However, this is one of the best articles, one of the most realistic and down to earth reactions I have read or heard in a long time. I was not aware of what Madonna did, but it is indeed unacceptable, both her behavior and now those reactions. I just hope your response will be heard and aplauded, as it should be.

    PS: Comentariu in engleza, la post in engleza. Asa mi se pare corect.

  3. Indeed, aseara m-au durut degetelele de cat am scris comentarii pe varii astfel de site-uri care au pus stirea asta, exact cu ce ai spus tu aici. Si, dupa cum am spus si p-acolo, daca se uita cineva pe inregistrare, oamenii nu au inceput sa huiduie cand a inceput sa vorbeasca de discriminare, ci cand a spus ceva de noi din Europa de Est. Pai bine, fratioare, noi ni-l trimitem pe Stefan Banica sau pe cine mai vreti voi in S.U.A. sa le spuna alora ca nu se poarta frumos cu imigrantii sau ca fac abuzuri la Guantanamo Bay? Daca avea o echipa mai inteligenta, o puneau si pe ea sa zica macar ceva la modul “personal, eu cred ca toti suntem egali”, macar atunci putea omu’ sa zica ok, si-a comunicat parerea ei proprie si personala, dar sa te iei de public pe banii lor, sa le faci la obraz, nu e cuser… Oricum, presa internationala a profitat din plin sa faca din chestia asta o noua dovada a cat de retrograzi si rai sunt romanii ca au huiduit-o pe biata oita a Domnului, emisara a pacii pe Pamant (ca doar nu erau sa scrie si despre faptul ca a mai fost huiduita o data si la inceput, pt intarziere…). Ceea ce mi se pare insa amuzant e ca pe de o parte, presa din afara ne injura cu spume ca suntem toti tigani, pe de alta ne injura ca ne discriminam tiganii. Pai hotarati-va o data, oameni buni, suntem aia care discrimineaza sau aia discriminati, ca incepe sa ma incerce un mic sentiment de confuzie aici.:D.

  4. Oops, sorry; didn’t realise. I should translate it, I guess, for non-Romanian speakers. I was saying that those people in the public who were anti-discrimination were upset and booed her because they felt offended at the idea that she’s coming here to lecture us about non-discrimination; while those who are prejudiced against gypsies booed her for taking defence of a group they dislike; either way, nobody liked her, regardless of how they felt about gypsies
    Apologies fr not posting in English the first time:)

  5. Get real! Nobody there booed anything else but the anti discrimination message. Once, when she talked about Gipsies,and then, again when she added the homosexuals and all other different people. Because we are full of hate! That’s why, now, when the cruel truth is spitted in our face, we stand up and scream: don’t lecture us! And what has to do her message with her sexual life, with her boyfriend??? That post, sorry, is so narrow-minded! Disapointed!

  6. I am more than real.

    Perhaps you are full of hate, speak in your own name; the rest of the crowd was merely ironical to self-righteous starlets who never do anything for others than preach! You can’t recognize irony when you see it? Well, it’s your issue, not mine!

    If I want patronizing, I can have it for free: it’s enough to pay a visit to my elderly relatives. If I want to listen to theories, I join an awareness campaign – also for free. We don’t need to pay Madonna for these, ok?

Poştă şi tu ceva. Da' pe tonul pe care vrei să-l folosesc şi eu cu tine

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