The New York Times carried a piece today on rising attacks on the Roma in Hungary in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis. Hungary isn't the only place where the Roma continue to be marginalized, even despised:
In the Czech Republic, where radical right-wing demonstrators have clashed with the police as they tried to march through Roma neighborhoods, a small child and her parents were severely burned after assailants firebombed their home in the town of Vitkov this month. The police in Slovakia were caught on video recently tormenting six Roma boys they had arrested, forcing them to undress, hit and kiss one another.
In the past five years, attitudes toward Roma in many parts of Eastern Europe have hardened, and new extremists have started to use the Roma issue in a way that either they didn’t dare to or didn’t get an airing before,” said Michael Stewart, coordinator of the Europe-wide Roma Research Network.
All in all, the article serves as a reminder that Isabel Fonseca's superb book on the ultimate "outsiders" (to Europe, to the very concept of political modernity as refracted through the concept of the nation-state) remains of abiding relevance...