By Jasmina Tumbas
Dear CBC writers, editors, managers etc,
I am appalled to see that you have a show called „GYPSY BLOOD“ in your program, no less with a testimony to the DISEASE of „gypsy masculinity,“ along with a statement published on your website which is reminiscent of 19th and 20th century racist rhetoric on bloodlines: „It is like a disease, a disease that gets into your blood. And sometimes you close your eyes and for that moment I wish I wasn’t like it, but you can’t help it.“ Do you want to imply that Roma have no other choice than be INFECTED with their own “degenerate” blood? That this is a genetically pre-determined condition? Do I need to spell out that this was the kernel of Nazi ideology before and during WWII?
Although you note that this show is not like other stereotypical shows („A far different perspective on gypsy life from the big fat weddings and flash caravans, the film follows the story of two families, showing how they fight for respect and revealing the price they pay – the cycles of revenge that erupt into sudden and terrifying violence.“), you perpetrate stereotypes of „terrifying“ violence, corruption, and criminality that are already associated with the Roma population and that are (and have been!) used to suppress, persecute, sterilize, deport, discriminate and murder them. This is a serious problem. While your viewers may be entertained by this racist, demeaning and primitivizing reduction of a people to criminals and perpetrators of violence, Roma are actually persecuted and in grave danger in Europe.
And one last point: The people you are turning into a racist spectacle should be referred to as ROMA and SINTI, not Gypsy. And the way you describe how these „terrifying“ images of violence were „captured by Award winning photographer Leo Maguire who spent four years earning the trust of the notoriously closed gypsy and traveller communities“ makes the subjects of your show sound like wild animals that a „discovered,” studied, and of course exploited for your benefit. –> this is the definition of racism and primitivism.
I really hope you will seriously consider this critique and cancel the show. Sincerely,