A basic common fallacy when it comes to a good majority of those in charge of Roma issues in governmental and intergovernmental bureaucracies is that they misunderstand expertise with tourism and Roma voyeurism.
Visiting ghettoes where Roma live, Roma communities and taking part in conferences about Roma for photo opportunities and seeking to justify inept and often racist ideas about Roma is at maximum a perverted form of tourism.
Watching and identifying beggars, homeless or anybody that fits the negative stereotypes about Roma in your own country or abroad as THE ROMA has nothing to do with expertise but is related to an obsessive and sordid racism.
In a meeting with the French Prime-Minister the Romanian PM managed to put his entire foot in his mouth by saying that the Roma NGOs are in fact responsible for the abysmal results in the last 20 years when it comes to the Roma social inclusion while his government had just one year to deal with this issues.
There are many, many problems with this statement – most of them already addressed well by two blog postings in Romanian ( http://blog.agentiaimpreuna.ro/?p=874 and http://adevarul.ro/news/politica/ferentariullui-ponta-1_51dfb8b9c7b855ff562e7199/index.html)
This statement has the same logical problem as one saying that the inventors of the Internet and the short-cut ctrl C+ ctrl V should be hold as the main responsible factors for the wide spread plagiarizing among Romanian students including the Romanian PM.
Some not so well known facts
- The Romanian PM expertise on Roma issues is extremely limited if not considering the two forms of expertise presented above.
- In private conversations he makes clear he thinks there are no solutions for Roma social inclusion and that Roma in general are sub-humans.
- He meets his own advisor on Roma issues as often and as substantially as he meets the French Premier.
- He made no efforts whatsoever to support or check the activities of Roma NGOs in Romania.
I base two of my statements here on the same reliable sources as the PM did – hearsay.
The PM said in the past in a meeting I accidentally attended, that we need to replace the money wasted on debates/conferences with hands-on work at the grassroots. He said almost the same thing during the meeting with the French PM. I happen to very much agree with this point.
But grassroots work doesn’t mean that you like grass or roots , neither working with either of them. It also doesn’t mean that you like the smell or taste of grass or roots. And definitely it has no link with smoking neither grass/roots, nor weed.
I do not think that the NGO sector is as efficient and honest as it should be. But if a guy (even if he is a PM ) proved to have been a plagiarizer, promoted in politics by a proven and condemned criminal and leading one of the most corrupted cliques of politicians in Europe talks about it, then, we need to rebuff it as hypocrisy or stupidity. I think is both. Or it might be weed.