Europe’s Racist Schools

I am what many people call a “Gypsy.” I prefer the term “Roma.” There are more than 10 million of us across Europe. The vast majority of us live in Third World conditions – denied access to adequate housing, health care, and education.

I was born in a provincial town in Bulgaria in the late 1960’s, when, like the rest of Eastern Europe, the country was under Communist rule. The Party recognized no ethnic minorities – we were all, formally, equal. Indeed, we were so equal that the government gave many of us new, Bulgarian names. One day, when I was a teenager named Husni, my name became Ivan.

But we were not equal. Roma lived in segregated ghettos. We were second-class citizens.

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