Sunday, February 19, 2012

Let Melissa have them

As I was perusing WVS responses to questions about who constitutes an undesirable neighbor, the aversion to Gypsies among those in the five countries where the specific question was asked jumped out at me. Nearly 7 in 8 Italians said they wouldn't want to live near them. Nearly half of those in Spain and Slovenia feel the same way. Majorities of Moldovans and Romanians want nothing to do with the 'Romani', either.

Indeed, disdain for Gypsy neighbors is higher than it is for gays, immigrants, people of a different race, of a different religion, or who speak a different language, criminals, unmarried cohabitating couples, militant minorities, and political extremists. Only heavy drinkers and drug addicts are more shunned than Gypsies are (and in Italy, even these dregs are preferred over the Roma).

Being the parochial American that I am, the closest I ever come to the little filchers are the periodic stories from across the pond I read in curious amusement about governments, with popular consent, taking action against them. Gypsies are almost surreal to me. They're make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos. But apparently to know them is to hate them, or at least not want to have anything to do with them.

WVS variables used: V43MD


Peter said...

When growing up in Connecticut I heard stories about a band of Gypsies that had been pulling off scams some years earlier. Their most common one was driveway "resurfacing," which turned out to involve pouring used motor oil on the hapless homeowner's driveway. Dunno what became of them.

Noah172 said...

In visiting Kiev a few years back, I was accosted by some street children who were probably gypsies (they had that swarthy look, and they moved like experienced pickpockets). I saw other street people (Ukraine has many) who had a gypsy look.

Near where I live (GA-SC border area), there is a noticeable community of Irish Travellers, who are similar in behavior (not ethnicity) to the European gypsies, and are usually referred to as gypsies by Americans who know nothing of the real McCoy in Europe. The Travellers live in gaudy McMansions, and make money doing shoddy home repair/construction (or whatever penny-ante schemes). Their women and girls wear garish makeup, big hair, and clothes with glitter and rhinestones; they are like a flock of JonBenet Ramsey clones.

KK said...

Only heavy drinkers and drug addicts are more shunned than Gypsies are (and in Italy, even these dregs are preferred over the Roma).
In Italy, they know all gyppos are by definition druggies and/or drunks.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Gypsies and those other groups is that while the latter may have problems adjusting to living according to the norms of the host culture, most of them at least try to adapt and they also care about how the majority views them. In contrast, Gypsies could not care less what the host society thinks about them. They are seen as parasites, but this does not really worry them, because the opinions of outgroups are worthless to them.

Audacious Epigone said...


Part of the old "weird America" John Derbyshire often favorably refers to.


Substance abuse is a big problem among gypsies? Do you they have any pronounced talents? Looking at a list of famous gypsies, I see some are involved in music, but most of the names are listed for being "activists" and the like, which is a clear sign of parasitism.


I assume that unapologetic separatism is part of the reason that political correctness doesn't seem to shield gypsies as well as it does other underachieving groups. Is that right?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this may be a factor:

Roma average IQ approximately 70 - fairly typical for hunter gatherers.


Ed Tom Kowalsky said...


Within American academia Gypsies are very much regarded as a victim class meriting all sorts of pathos, preferential treatment and bald exculpation. Were they more numerous in the US, this phenomenon would be more pronounced.

rob said...

I've heard stories that the Gypsy skill set for cheating people horse trading carried over very well into cheating people dealing cars, especially used cars. Supposedly, the Gypsies are why the stereotype of the almost humorously dishonest used car dealer came around. A friend of mine is a car salesman, and he works for Gypsies, so I'm inclined to believe there are a fair number of Gypsies in the US who never advertised themselves as such.

It wouldn't surprise me if carnival folk were heavily Gypsy: nomadic and a reputation for dishonesty. Sound like anyone you can think of

Anonymous said...

FYI, the latest craze of calling Gypsies "Roma" is more politically correct nonsense. "Roma" means Romanian, and Romanians are not Gypsies. Gypsies are gypsies. Gypsies originally were a subset of Romanians, but they are a proper subset. Gypsies are a reviled group in Romania too. I was informed of this topic by a Romanian that works at my company. It seems like using "Roma" may be an attempt to paint a broad brush that covers the subgroup called gypsies and then redeem them with statistical nonsense. Much like the PC'verse is painting terrorism as being caused by "religion" as opposed to Islam, except the goal of PC in this case is to revile Christianity by proxy.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

Actually, the Gypsies were originally from northwest India.

Anonymous said...

Are there any DNA studies on Gypsies?

Kent Gatewood

KK said...

Substance abuse is a big problem among gypsies? Do you they have any pronounced talents? Looking at a list of famous gypsies, I see some are involved in music, but most of the names are listed for being "activists" and the like, which is a clear sign of parasitism.

Very well, a serious question deserves a more serious answer.

Yes, substance abuse is a big problem among gypsies. The usage levels are significantly higher than host populations in all countries that I know. Also, the musical talent is clearly there.

I don't know any particulars about gypsy activists, or how they would be different from other dysfunctional minority populations in that regard. Even Somalis can learn to use an ATM.

Gypsies are a culture that's fundamentally unsuited for a stationary life in a modern society, burdened by a severe thar mentality within and without, and a well-established parasitic value system that is clearly at odds with its host cultures (glorification of petty crime, active hostility to assimilation, etc.).

It's kind of tragic, really. A complete group of people that modernity passed by with no institutional methods to climb back aboard. As someone who belongs to their outgroup, however, I don't give a rat's ass. They've been making that bed for centuries.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the latest craze of calling Gypsies "Roma" is more politically correct nonsense

Rather like the brand new term "Irish Travellers". For several hundred years the people in question were called "tinkers". They were not originally Irish either.

Steve Sailer said...

"I assume that unapologetic separatism is part of the reason that political correctness doesn't seem to shield gypsies"

They're not very articulate in writing, and tend to have problems reading, so they don't have many intellectuals who are good at demanding attention.

A top classical concert pianist told me he was amazed to discover a Gypsy classmate at the Budapest conservatory was faking his way through on sheer musical ability without ever learning to read music. There are lots of non-reading musicians in pop and jazz, but to be a classical musician who can't read a score is pretty striking.

Anonymous said...

"By now, the other boys had found poles and sticks to beat us with. They were surrounding us, and nonchalant young men were standing by watching. The pacing steed had been replaced by a manic quad bike that was running circles around me and Jessamy. While I was fending off Jonathan, Jessamy was protecting the awning that the boys were pulling down. In despair she turned to a man who had stuck his head out of a neighbouring caravan.

"What can I do to stop these children tormenting us?" she asked

"Pack up and go", he said."

Anonymous said...

"Roma" means Romanian, and Romanians are not Gypsies.

No, Roma and Romani are derived from a Sanskrit word meaning "street musician". No educated person ever confuses either term with "Romania" or "Romanian".

Audacious Epigone said...


Wow, that is striking. Their executive function scores are really low, too.

Anonymous said...

I've seen gypsies in Bulgaria, not a pretty sight.

They were universally disliked and marginalized, while they at the same time underline every stereotype ever written about them. One night when I walked home alone I noticed a whole group of boys (10-14 yo) without t-shirts who begged drunk tourists for money, me included. When I shouted "No!" harshly, the young boy was stunned. He stopped, ran up to me while I walked away and punched me in the back, then he ran away. (It was soft, but still..) Other gypsies made small money by letting tourists fotograph themselves standing next to a captivated mistreated bear, pickpocketing or some card hustling game. The gypsy life was quite the experience in destitution. Unreal in its awfulness. Romania, I heard, was even worse.

Also, at Hotel Kempinski (can't remember the resort name, "Goldensands" or something), where I vacationed, lots of Israeli tourists stayed as well. They made up the majority of guests. Me and my friends noticed them complaining loudly for receiving a room 1-2 m2 shorter than advertised. Our tour guide, a nice Bulgarian girl in her mid-20s was pretty un-PC. She asked us if we were Jewish too, as soon as we said no, she gave us a thumbs-up and a smile. She also hated gypsies with a passion, didn't think they were part of Bulgaria at all; she also assumed that we hated gypsies too, as a self-evident fact.

The clubbing life was fantastic. Bulgaria's coast turned out to be the Spain of Eastern Europe; hot slender Russian, Ukrainian and Balkanoid chicks were everywhere. As a young guy I had never known this. I've grown up with the idea that every women behind the old iron curtain was a mustachoed commie with a unibrow. OTOH, Gypsy women do actually look like that. You never saw gypsies in the night life, they just didn't join. They were out on the street.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this: Eastern Europe is different from the rest of the West. The US, Australia and Western Europe are much more alike. EE is poor, harsh, boring, grey and nothing that happens there matters. So, I don't blame gypsies -- no matter how thieving and awful their ways might be -- for wanting to leave it. They probably think that life will be better for them in the West, but being themselves the problem of a public nuisance, they'll end up disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I spent a lot of time in Romania, which, if I'm not mistaken, still has the largest number of Gypsies in any European country, assuming Italy hasn't sucked them all up.

They'd roll through the streets of Bucharest in donkey-drawn carriages collecting scrap metal and other things that could be recycled. This was the mid-2000s. Very modern.

Tons of sketchy characters come from this population. They tried stealing my wallet numerous times on the bus, and I was offered prostitutes by two Gypsy guys who noticed I wasn't Romanian. When I refused, they said, "Oh, then you must want men. We can do that, too. Boys even."

One of them came up and humped me in a mocking, gratuitous way while trying to lift my wallet. Fucking gross. I was only 16.

I sprinted the hell out of there after that.

Audacious Epigone said...

Do leftist types defend them in Europe, or are they collectively so problematic and separatist that even the self-righteous don't put much energy into it?

Anonymous said...

They get slammed by leftists Europeans on forums, too. They are clearly a despicable group.

Nanonymous said...

Do you they have any pronounced talents?

Gypsies are the most musically talented people in the world! It is kind of scary to see what a high proportion of them can play from memory a tune that they only heard once. Anecdotal, I know, but that's my experience and there are many, many similar anecdotes. Not surprisingly, gypsies heavily influenced many musical cultures (flamenco, French jazz, Russian romance, Balkan brass).