"Reference to "Gypsies" in the title and the text is not free of problems. The term continues to be widely used in the English language, as illustrated by the Journal of Gypsy Lore Society. The corresponding designation taken from the Gypsy language, "Roma," has gained wide acceptance, but is disfavored by some Gypsy groups. The Sinti in Germany, for example, prefer separate reference to "Sinti and Roma." All terms originating from non-Gypsy sources are somewhat in doubt, although not as much as the German word, "Zigeuner," which should not be used at all because of disparaging connotations from the times of Nazi persecution. ..."
"They're reinforcing the idea that the color of your skin should have some bearing on the outcome of your case, and that just being black means you should expect special consideration from the justice system, if your accuser is white."
"... Hate crime or boredom attack, my injuries are the same. One thing about being hated, though—you have an identity. You’re a member of a distinct class who is important to the attacker. If you are attacked without reason, you’re nobody— you’re of no importance whatever. Mulling this over makes me question the whole notion of prosecuting hate crimes. Why is a racist thug more dangerous than the man who just feels like beating someone—anyone—up? The racist might send a message to a large population, but the nonracist sends a message to an even larger group, a message that says, “You count for nothing” and “No one is safe.”
I’ve wondered what argument I’d be making if the situation were reversed, if a group of white kids had done the same to a black man without uttering a word. I doubt I’d be stepping into the public melee to say, “Wait a minute—maybe these kids were race neutral and they just happened to choose a black guy today.” And that’s clearly racism on my part, an unwillingness to see everyone as equal.
And what if I’d been attacked by whites? I think I’d have been more outraged, more quick to judge, less likely to look for some meaning in the act. I’d have desired stiffer punishment than Larry got, assuming, perhaps wrongly, that my assailants had had more advantages to start with and so had traveled a greater distance across the moral scale. Is that fair? No. ..."
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