Gypsies can’t be Spaniards?
Spain has had a long record of racism against many groups: blacks, foreigners, and religious minorities, to name a few. However where as racism against these groups are in relative decline, one kind of racism still persists and thrives in Spain. Gypsy racism. Despite the gypsies’ long history of being Spanish citizens, racism against them seems to be getting worse, even though they’re desperately trying to stop it. Even after living in Spain for over half a millennium, it seems the Spanish still don’t accept them as a part of their society.
It is believed that the first gypsies entered Spain as early as 1425 in the town of Zaragoza, but most are assumed to have arrived in the town of Barcelona in 1447. When the Gypsies first arrived, their living conditions were so horrible that many were forced to steal and beg for money just to make enough money to survive. This in turn earned them a bad reputation with the Spanish people and even caused some of the Spanish people to fear them. This is why they were forced to live a certain distance outside of the Spanish cities in the 1800’s, and this is why many Spaniards still have nasty views towards the Gypsy people. Stereotypes about the gypsies’ nomad life or inability to integrate (to list a few) have been deeply rooted into Spanish society, causing many people to have unclear perceptions as to who the gypsies really are. Many Spaniards still picture gypsies as pickpockets, beggars, flamenco dancers, or fortune tellers. However, this is only true for a minority of the gypsies. Most of the gypsies are skilled in areas such as craftsmanship and business, but receive few opportunities from the Spanish community to demonstrate their potential. The racism against them have gone so far that many gypsies find it difficult just to find a decent place to live or send their children to decent schools; hence, it’s not surprising that school failure is so widespread amongst the gypsy...