Czech defender of rights: "The Roma don't work and are not a minority"

13. 9. 2020



"The Roma are not a minority," says Stanislav Křeček, who was recently appointed to the post of the Czech defender of rights, in an interview."You are a member of a minority only if you declare that you are of a different nationality, that you are not Czech. If the Roma say about themselves that they are Czech, then they are not a national minority. They are normal Czechs and they have the same rights and duties as Czechs. Being a member of a minority does not give you any rights. I can well be a member of a minority, but that does not mean that I am not at the same time a member of the larger community. That means that I have to respect the rights and duties of the larger community. It is wrong to try to ignore these duties by saying that I am a member of a minority. That is a road to hell.
 

Whenever there are violent demonstrations in society, like now in the US or recently in France, the state must use violence against these perpetrators. If demonstrators start using violence, they must realise that the state will use violence against them. We see in the US that the police there was reluctant to act against looters and arsonists for fear that if they acted against them, they would have been accused of being racist. That is racism in reverse.

Look at Germany or Sweden. The state authorities there refuse to act within [migrant] communities which openly infringe the laws of these countries. The rights of women, the rights of children are being denied in these communities and the authorities there do not act. If you live on the territory of a particular country, you must respect its laws and cannot bring other types of laws rejecting the local law saying that if you insist on its application, you are a rasist, that is wrong.

From the very beginning [of the refugee crisis] it was wrong that countries did not distinguish between economic migrants and people who escaped  wars. If thirty-year-old men who should wage a war against evil in their country instead run away, that is wrong. We can see that these are no refugees but simply people who want to have a better life. We cannot accept that an immigrant should come to this country and is given a flat and 20 000 euros.

The Czechs are not racist or xenophobic. They simply have had their experiences. The so called "excluded areas" in our country are not the result of the fact that their inhabitants are poor. Poor people do not destroy their flats, they do not throw rubbish out of their windows. There exist certain categories of people whom the Czechs refuse to live with. I read in the papers that a ministr visited an "excluded locality" and was shocked by what he saw. A minister is shocked by what many people see every day?

Social housing is not a problem of poverty. It is important to help poor people but then there are people who destroy the housing stock. The Roma must accept responsibility for their own behaviour, for their approach to work. If entrepreneurs do not want to employ Roma people, this is because they know that they will come to work on Monday, but not on Wednesday. That is their experience.

The Roma complain that they are refused jobs because they are Roma. The entrepreneurs are saying: "I will not employ you because you are a Roma and I know that a Roma will not come to work on Wednesday." This is a vicious circle. If Roma representatives guaranteed that this would not be happening, and if they persuaded their own people not to behave like this, the situation would be different. But that is not happening. The majority society is being accused of being racist towards the Roma, but this is not true. The Roma have the same rights and duties as everyone else and their behaviour is not caused by poverty. Poor people do not throw rubbish out of the window and do not destroy their flats.

The office of the defender of rights under my leadership will get rid of activism. We will not be doing nonsensical research, we will not be sending activists anywhere. We will be reacting to people's problems about which they write to us.

I have had much contact with society. As a lawyer, defender of people who rent their flats, I have been to all the excluded localities, I have represented the Roma all over the Czech Republic, I went to various courts and defended Roma renters. No one should say I am against the Roma, that insults me. Roma children now greet me in the street because I saved them before eviction."

Source in Czech HERE

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