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:
“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.”
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.
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.