“Something dangerous is happening in our public debates about immigration and refugee policies.
In a recent video segment vulgarly titled “The Jew vs. the Gypsies,” conservative media pundit Ezra Levant went on a diatribe about Roma refugees in Canada.
“These are gypsies,” he tells us, “a culture synonymous with swindlers. The phrase gypsy and cheater have been so interchangeable historically that the word has entered the English language as a verb: he gypped me. Well the gypsies have gypped us. Too many have come here as false refugees. And they come here to gyp us again and rob us blind as they have done in Europe for centuries. . . They’re gypsies. And one of the central characteristics of that culture is that their chief economy is theft and begging.”
If this were just an isolated eruption of ignorance and xenophobia, it would probably best be ignored, left to decompose in a heap of ignominious publicity grabs. Unfortunately, however, such attacks on the Roma community in Canada are becoming all too common, and they increasingly come from public officials, from whom we can — and must — demand more.”