Are Gypsies a "Race"?
Yes
27.8% (86)
27.8% (86)
No
69.9% (216)
69.9% (216)
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Poll: Are Gypsies a "Race"?

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So, I was talking to a friend recently about whether or not feeling mistrust towards Gypsies was racist. My argument was that Gypsies aren't technically a race, they are just people that live in caravans and that genetically there is no difference between a gypsy and a non-gypsy. Furthermore, living in any culture is obviously going to have an effect on how an individual behaves and some of these behavioural traits may be considered "negative", so claiming that "Gypsies are more likely to steal your bike than the average person." would only be as Racist as saying "People who grew up in Hells Kitchen are more likely to shoot you in the legs." or "People who live in big houses are generally posh.".

Thoughts?

It's not racist, but it is discriminatory. There are more types of discrimination than racial.

It might not be racist, but in the same way that man-slaughter is not murder...

To quote Snatch though 'I fucking hate pikey cunts.'

I'd probably class them a race in the same way there's a Jewish race. A degree of ethnicity mixed in with a specific culture/way of life, which anyone can technically join but doesn't happen much in practice.

It's quite interesting though. If you class Gypsies as a race then saying you hate gypsies is racist. If you class it as a way of life then hating gypsies is like hating burglars or dentists. Hmm.

BonsaiK:
It's not racist, but it is discriminatory. There are more types of discrimination than racial.

Well, technically it's just Prejudice. Discrimination is when you treat people differently.

Anyway, I'm not really that fussed about stereotyping people based on where they are from. Peoples birth place and up bringing have an actual effect on who they are, so it's fair to assume certain things about them.

I think that's a question for an anthropologist, not the escapist forum.

Danzaivar:
I'd probably class them a race in the same way there's a Jewish race. A degree of ethnicity mixed in with a specific culture/way of life, which anyone can technically join but doesn't happen much in practice.

But Jews don't act like Jews because of the racial side to them, pretty much all of the Jewish attributes come from the religion. So I wouldn't class Jews as a race.

theevilsanta:
I think that's a question for an anthropologist, not the escapist forum.

It's more of a question about what exactly a "Race" is. For example are the French a race?

Danzaivar:
I'd probably class them a race in the same way there's a Jewish race. A degree of ethnicity mixed in with a specific culture/way of life, which anyone can technically join but doesn't happen much in practice.

It's quite interesting though. If you class Gypsies as a race then saying you hate gypsies is racist. If you class it as a way of life then hating gypsies is like hating burglars or dentists. Hmm.

Jews are a race? I always thought they were a religion. Silly me.

They're a "race" in the sense any other "Race" is. However, I'd find very little refuge in "but they're technically not a race, so I'm not racist."`

blue_guy:

BonsaiK:
It's not racist, but it is discriminatory. There are more types of discrimination than racial.

Well, technically it's just Prejudice. Discrimination is when you treat people differently.

Anyway, I'm not really that fussed about stereotyping people based on where they are from. Peoples birth place and up bringing have an actual effect on who they are, so it's fair to assume certain things about them.

I always go by the philosophy that you assume things about others at your peril.

Gyspies aren't really a "race" per se, they're more of a lifestyle. The fact is that people throughout history have disliked the Gypsies and the feelings towards them is going to remain the same for a good long while. Any group of travelling performers for that matter, (since that's more or less what most Gypsies did in the eyes of the general populace) is going to be seen as somewhat odd and not to be treated quite the same as their next door neighbor. They're like any "fringe group" or "deviant," they don't follow the norms of the wherever they are, so they get treated differently. That's really all there is to it.

blue_guy:

It's more of a question about what exactly a "Race" is. For example are the French a race?

Which is exactly the kind of question anthropologists answer.

We perceive any injustice towards a certain group of people as racist but what we're really doing is being 'ethnicist.' It's discrimination towards their ethnicity - their background, allegiance or organisation - not their race.

blue_guy:

Danzaivar:
I'd probably class them a race in the same way there's a Jewish race. A degree of ethnicity mixed in with a specific culture/way of life, which anyone can technically join but doesn't happen much in practice.

But Jews don't act like Jews because of the racial side to them, pretty much all of the Jewish attributes come from the religion. So I wouldn't class Jews as a race.

theevilsanta:
I think that's a question for an anthropologist, not the escapist forum.

It's more of a question about what exactly a "Race" is. For example are the French a race?

Well your "race" is different from your "ethnicity" and "nationality".

For example, you might be European, African, etc etc. which would be your "race," whereas your "ethnicity" would be determined by your subculture (or culture depending on where you are). An example of this is that we often classify people as "ethnic" because their culture is different from out own.

I live in Florida, and Miami is sometimes refered to as a second Cuba. A lot of the people there are Cuban and are ethnically Cuban because they hold onto their Cuban roots. That means language, food, art, and so forth and so on.

Nationality should be self-evident.

This_ends_now:

Danzaivar:
I'd probably class them a race in the same way there's a Jewish race. A degree of ethnicity mixed in with a specific culture/way of life, which anyone can technically join but doesn't happen much in practice.

It's quite interesting though. If you class Gypsies as a race then saying you hate gypsies is racist. If you class it as a way of life then hating gypsies is like hating burglars or dentists. Hmm.

Jews are a race? I always thought they were a religion. Silly me.

Judaism is a religion, technically a jew is anyone who has a jewish mother (However that works out). But you get it in all sorts of TV shows, where people comment on how someone is jewish, or looks jewish.

It's a REALLY foggy distinction though. I think in US law 'Jew' is legally recognised as a race too.

Geekosaurus:
We perceive any injustice towards a certain group of people as racist but what we're really doing is being 'ethnicist.' It's discrimination towards their ethnicity - their background, allegiance or organisation - not their race.

^ This sums up what I said a little bit better. XD

They're a culture as I understand.

It'd be like descriminating or being prejudiced against Australians if you were American or vice versa.

Whether it can be called racism or not, its ignorant to make such assumptions about people because of something unrelated. Sure there are plenty of Indiginous Australians that are thieves, alcoholics, drug addicts and general troublemakers, that doesn't mean I can generalise the entire group just because the bad ones are a vocal majority/minority.

This_ends_now:

Jews are a race? I always thought they were a religion. Silly me.

It's very difficult to 'become' a Jew, Jewish faith is largely hereditary.

OT: Gypsies were originally a race yes, they were a particular group from Eastern Europe. But bear in mind the difference between 'gypsy' and 'traveller'.

BonsaiK:

blue_guy:

BonsaiK:
It's not racist, but it is discriminatory. There are more types of discrimination than racial.

Well, technically it's just Prejudice. Discrimination is when you treat people differently.

Anyway, I'm not really that fussed about stereotyping people based on where they are from. Peoples birth place and up bringing have an actual effect on who they are, so it's fair to assume certain things about them.

I always go by the philosophy that you assume things about others at your peril.

Assume was probably the wrong word. I should have said "you can expect certain traits are more likely to manifest".

Zachary Amaranth:
However, I'd find very little refuge in "but they're technically not a race, so I'm not racist."`

I don't see why not.

Technically gypsy is a race. The term started as a derogatory term for Romani, which is an ethnic group. But it's current meaning of caravan inhabiting ciminals, I can see how that could bother a Romani. A bit like calling a lazy person mexican, a petty theif black, or a thrifty person Jewish.

double post

I don't think so... I thought being a gypsy was more of a lifestyle choice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

Yeah, they are. It's the term "gypsy" that has changed, to encompass all travelers who live in a similar lifestyle, in the same way racist people refer to everyone in the middle east as "Pakis". The original "gypsies" are an ethnic race called the Romani people

blue_guy:

Assume was probably the wrong word. I should have said "you can expect certain traits are more likely to manifest".

This, I can agree with, to a degree.

It's like seeing someone with an alcoholic parent. They are predisposed to alcoholism, but this doesn't mean that they will become alcoholics. So they might, which wouldn't surprise you. They might not, which would prove that predisposition =/= predictable pattern of behavior.

This_ends_now:

Danzaivar:
I'd probably class them a race in the same way there's a Jewish race. A degree of ethnicity mixed in with a specific culture/way of life, which anyone can technically join but doesn't happen much in practice.

It's quite interesting though. If you class Gypsies as a race then saying you hate gypsies is racist. If you class it as a way of life then hating gypsies is like hating burglars or dentists. Hmm.

Jews are a race? I always thought they were a religion. Silly me.

they're both.

fletch_talon:

It'd be like descriminating or being prejudiced against Australians if you were American or vice versa.

It's actually more like saying "Don't trust Chavs". Certain areas of a city will be "Chavy", most people there will be Chavs, Chavs are generally unpleasant people.

MasterOfWorlds:
Gyspies aren't really a "race" per se, they're more of a lifestyle. The fact is that people throughout history have disliked the Gypsies and the feelings towards them is going to remain the same for a good long while. Any group of travelling performers for that matter, (since that's more or less what most Gypsies did in the eyes of the general populace) is going to be seen as somewhat odd and not to be treated quite the same as their next door neighbor. They're like any "fringe group" or "deviant," they don't follow the norms of the wherever they are, so they get treated differently. That's really all there is to it.

I have an ancestry that comes mainly from a group of Polish Gypsies, personaly i beleive them as a race because of my lineage. my grandmother actually imagrated here after being persecuted by some Polish authorities. My father moved here from poland looking for work at one of the coal mines. His "race" is Polish to me whereas my mothers is Gypsie

Verlander:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

Yeah, they are. It's the term "gypsy" that has changed, to encompass all travelers who live in a similar lifestyle, in the same way racist people refer to everyone in the middle east as "Pakis". The original "gypsies" are an ethnic race called the Romani people

I was using the term Gypsy, in the "changed" sense of the word. So I was in fact referring to all caravan dwelling travellers.

theevilsanta:

blue_guy:

It's more of a question about what exactly a "Race" is. For example are the French a race?

Which is exactly the kind of question anthropologists answer.

or anyone with a link open to wikipedia.

blue_guy:
So, I was talking to a friend recently about whether or not feeling mistrust towards Gypsies was racist. My argument was that Gypsies aren't technically a race, they are just people that live in caravans and that genetically there is no difference between a gypsy and a non-gypsy. Furthermore, living in any culture is obviously going to have an effect on how an individual behaves and some of these behavioural traits may be considered "negative", so claiming that "Gypsies are more likely to steal your bike than the average person." would only be as Racist as saying "People who grew up in Hells Kitchen are more likely to shoot you in the legs." or "People who live in big houses are generally posh.".

Thoughts?

Race is not a clear scientific term. It is however generally taken to mean an identifiable population based on things such as culture, language, ancestry, and social practices. Gypsies definately qualify as this. Even if you wanted to say they weren't a race, anything that could be "racist" based on a racial group would probably be considred "bigotted" if the dividing was not a race. So if you are more comfortable feeling like a biggot, feel free to think of yourself that way.

And yes, your comment about the Romani is bigotted/racist. or you to assume that all gypsies are criminals or are more likely to be criminals based only on their heritage is the definition of bigottry/racism.

A lot of this is going to boil down to whether or not people buy into the preconceived notion of what something is/isn't without seeing it for themselves.

Also, I think it's safe to say that the OP is referring to the current usage of the term "Gypsy" which goes far and beyond the Romani people and has for a good while now. Correct if I'm wrong there OP, I don't want to be putting words in your mouth.

At any rate, if you want to talk history, yes, they were historically a race. If you want current stuff, no, they're not. They're a group of people that follow a certain lifestyle.

Romanies (sic?) are classed as a race, and why not? They have kept their community together and tight knit, despite overwhelming discrimination against them throughout history, and there will be genetic differences between a 'Gypsie' and, say, a Caucasian man, simply because (this is based on general knowledge/speculation) Gypsies has historical only had kids with other gypsies, keeping the genepool concentrated so 'Gyspie' traits are dominant. Same thing with the 'Jewish race'. Many people don't class Jews as a race, but alot of people do.

Still, this is all about anthropology and the like, and I'm certainly no expert. Just my two pennies.

Not a race per sť. But they are a people I guess. Not sure I myself would brand them a people. More like a ragtag gathering of scum and thieves.

ravensheart18:

And yes, your comment about the Romani is bigotted/racist. or you to assume that all gypsies are criminals or are more likely to be criminals based only on their heritage is the definition of bigottry/racism.

I have no problem with other people thinking I'm a bigot, but I'm prejudiced against people that live in caravans and move around the countryside, not against the actual ethnic group.

MasterOfWorlds:

Also, I think it's safe to say that the OP is referring to the current usage of the term "Gypsy" which goes far and beyond the Romani people and has for a good while now.

Thats correct.

blue_guy:

Verlander:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

Yeah, they are. It's the term "gypsy" that has changed, to encompass all travelers who live in a similar lifestyle, in the same way racist people refer to everyone in the middle east as "Pakis". The original "gypsies" are an ethnic race called the Romani people

I was using the term Gypsy, in the "changed" sense of the word. So I was in fact referring to all caravan dwelling travellers.

Which makes you the bigot really, seeing as gypsy is a derogatory term. Basically, my example of racists referring to middle eastern people as "Pakis" is what you are doing. Same as referring to people from the far east as chinks.

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