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Madonna - Booed for opinions on Gypsies

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ABQCOWBOY, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gEccvm4V2OSMe35MKuqkT39HbxvAD9ABA4VG0

    Madonna booed in Bucharest for defending Gypsies

    By ALINA WOLFE MURRAY (AP) – 6 hours ago

    BUCHAREST, Romania — At first, fans politely applauded the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies — and the cheers gave way to jeers.

    The sharp mood change that swept the crowd of 60,000, who had packed a park for Wednesday night's concert, underscores how prejudice against Gypsies remains deeply entrenched across Eastern Europe.

    Despite long-standing efforts to stamp out rampant bias, human rights advocates say Roma probably suffer more humiliation and endure more discrimination than any other people group on the continent.

    Sometimes, it can be deadly: In neighboring Hungary, six Roma have been killed and several wounded in a recent series of apparently racially motivated attacks targeting small countryside villages predominantly settled by Gypsies.

    "There is generally widespread resentment against Gypsies in Eastern Europe. They have historically been the underdog," Radu Motoc, an official with the Soros Foundation Romania, said Thursday.

    Roma, or Gypsies, are a nomadic ethnic group believed to have their roots in the Indian subcontinent. They live mostly in southern and eastern Europe, but hundreds of thousands have migrated west over the past few decades in search of jobs and better living conditions.

    Romania has the largest number of Roma in the region. Some say the population could be as high as 2 million, although official data put it at 500,000.

    Until the 19th century, Romanian Gypsies were slaves, and they've gotten a mixed response ever since: While discrimination is widespread, many East Europeans are enthusiastic about Gypsy music and dance, which they embrace as part of the region's cultural heritage.

    That explains why the Roma musicians and a dancer who had briefly joined Madonna onstage got enthusiastic applause. And it also may explain why some in the crowd turned on Madonna when she paused during the two-hour show — a stop on her worldwide "Sticky and Sweet" tour — to touch on their plight.

    "It has been brought to my attention ... that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe," she said. "It made me feel very sad."

    Thousands booed and jeered her.

    A few cheered when she added: "We don't believe in discrimination ... we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone." But she got more boos when she mentioned discrimination against homosexuals and others.

    "I jeered her because it seemed false what she was telling us. What business does she have telling us these things?" said Ionut Dinu, 23.

    Madonna did not react and carried on with her concert, held near the hulking palace of the late communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Her New York-based publicist did not immediately return an e-mail message sent by The Associated Press on Thursday seeking comment.

    "It's contradictory: Romanians watch Gypsy soap operas, they like Gypsy music and go to Gypsy concerts," said Damian Draghici, a Grammy Award-winning Roma musician who has performed with James Brown and Joe Cocker.

    "But there has been a wave of aggression against Roma people in Italy, Hungary and Romania, which shows me something is not OK," he told the AP in an interview. "The politicians have to do something about it. People have to be educated not to be prejudiced. All people are equal, and that is the message politicians must give."

    Nearly one in two of Europe's estimated 12 million Roma claimed to have suffered an act of discrimination over the past 12 months, according to a recent report by the Vienna-based EU Fundamental Rights Agency. The group says Roma face "overt discrimination" in housing, health care and education.

    Many do not have official identification, which means they cannot get social benefits, are undereducated and struggle to find decent jobs.

    Roma children are more likely to drop out of school than their peers from other ethnic groups. Many Romanians label Gypsies as thieves, and many are outraged by those who beg or commit petty crimes in Western Europe, believing they spoil Romania's image abroad.

    In May 2007, Romanian President Traian Basescu was heard to call a Romanian journalist a "stinky Gypsy" during a conversation with his wife. Romania's anti-discrimination board criticized Basescu, who later apologized.

    Human rights activists say the attacks in Hungary, which began in July 2008, may be tied to that country's economic crisis and the rising popularity of far-right vigilantes angered by a rash of petty thefts and other so-called "Gypsy crime." Last week, police arrested four suspects in a nightclub in the eastern city of Debrecen.

    Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also have been criticized for widespread bias against Roma.

    Madonna's outrage touched a nerve in Romania, but it seems doubtful it will change anything, said the Soros Foundation's Motoc.

    "Madonna is a pop star. She is not an expert on interethnic relations," he said.

    AP Writers Alison Mutler in Bucharest and William J. Kole in Vienna contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


    ------------

    No question, to me, Madonna probably isn't the ideal representetive for Human Rights.

    Having said this, it strikes me odd that we, as a Nation have so embraced so many European ideas and views. Yet, for the most part, Europe finds it very easy to critacise America for almost everything we do. However, if an American does the same to them, they look down on us.

    I don't know. Perhaps Daschoo can help me gain a more clear understanding of this. I clearly don't get it.
  2. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Entertainers tend to think they are more important than they really are.
  3. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    I've never really known who the hell gypsies are, other than what disney movies have tried to tell me when I was younger.
  4. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    Most people think they and their opinions are more important than they really are. (See: most posters on political forums, haha). Celebrities just get a bigger microphone to express their opinions, so it's like shining a flashlight on their absurdity.
  5. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Is she wrong?

    Not saying she is or is not. Just asking a question here.
  6. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    I didn't even know that Gypsies still existed.
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not charging you money for my opinion. :lmao:
  8. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    Everything I know of Gypsies, I learned from Snatch.
  9. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is an improper forum to lecture people. I would think people bought tickets to see a concert not the wisdom of a dingy blond who can barely live her own life.
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    No question Dooms, and would not even consider contesting that point.

    But, is she wrong on the issue at hand? Is her point wrong?
  11. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    While it might not be the proper forum to lecture people, you are dead wrong on the dingy blonde. She's a very accomplished businesswoman who has fairly adroitly managed her career and has parleyed her musical fame into a number of different business ventures. Your are confusing the performance image with the actual person. Madonna is not a creation of some backroom svengali. She got where she is by her own sweat and brains.
  12. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Gypsies are the favorite ethnic scapegoat in various regions, mostly Eastern Europe. Some of it is based on real behavior, some not. IIRC Gypsies (Rom) were the second largest group to die in the WWII concentration camps.

    Your basic wiki link on them:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

    Oh, and Snatch was a great movie! Though the English Tinkers/Gypsies are somewhat removed from the main Gypsy lines.
  13. Phrozen Phil

    Phrozen Phil Active Member

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    The Roma were among the victims of the Nazi holocaust in WWII. There's more information on various sources,(Google Gypsies) but they have had their problems in Europe, where thay are generally viewed as as quasi-criminal in some quarters. I agree that an entertainment venue in Eastern Europe may not have been the best choice to raise the issue, but there are problems with immigration. Not that you guys have ever had to deal with that.:rolleyes:
  14. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Shut up and sing.

    [IMG]
  15. CowboyWay

    CowboyWay If Coach would have put me in, we'd a won State

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    I don't know if she's wrong or right, but nobody beats Travolta running around telling everyone to conserve, and live a green lifestyle, all the while he's fueling his private 747 to take only himself from NY to LA.

    I've always held alot of contempt for celebrities who get a particular forum (like an awards show), and feel as though they can preach to me thier political views.

    You are an actor. You're last job was probably the dishwasher at the Waffle Hut. Why do I care about your opinion? Shut up, take your award, say thank you, and be on your way.
  16. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    I would be interested to know her stance on tramps and thieves as well...
  17. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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  18. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Unless it's FARM AID or LIVE AID, I don't expect to be ambushed with a political message when I go to a concert. She brazenly disrespected her audience.
  19. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Unless you are an overtly politcal band or entertainer, it's usually counterproductive. You are there to entertain, and create a festive, exciting, and memorable experiance.

    Of course, Madonna probably doesn't have to worry much about the cashflow effects of this on her overall portfolio.
  20. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Exactly... shut up and sing...

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