Being Roma doesn’t automatically mean that you come from Romania or anywhere else that people think the Roma come from. Roma is a race, a lifestyle – not a nationality. Each Roma community has its own ways and its own language, depending on place of origin. No two Roma families are the same.
So imagine my shock and distress when I commented on a news thread and received this lovely message in response:
“You and your family should go back to wherever it is you crawled out from. You’re not English and you don’t belong here.”
I spelled the above quote correctly; the abuser didn’t.
I have never experienced racial abuse before. Not ever. Not being a racist myself, it never entered my head that a show such as Benefits Street could cause anybody to hate my ancestory – the ancestory that my maternal family and I are so very proud of. To hate me without even meeting me, just because of my maternal roots.
I have news for the racist bigots out there. I am English. I was born to an English mother and a Welsh father – in England.
I am also Roma. I was born due to an honourable and dignified bloodline. Whatever a racist might think, I can have these three (and more) bloodlines all at once.
I have blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. If I chose not to tell you of my Roma ancestory you would never know. But why on earth should I hide who I am and where I came from?