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Old 06-30-2020, 02:12 PM   #1
Flint
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Local discussion board has a thread about businesses which use the term “gypsy” in their name. It doesn’t single out anyone in particular, or make any accusations. People are discussing the term-- is it a racial slur, or something else, and how do we feel about that in general?

Local business owner decides the best response is (paraphrase) “People are spreading HATE about me and talking about me behind my back! My grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee and my grandfather was German and they lived in the Black Forest—this is MY HERITAGE!”

So first of all I’m confused. Everyone’s grandmother “was Cherokee” –that’s the fairy tale that American children are told. But what does it have to do with being of Romani descent? Who knows. I had to Google “Black Forest” and as best I can figure it’s a tourist attraction billed as the “Bermuda Triangle” of Romania. Sounds like the least credible claim to Romani heritage imaginable-- mY fAmiLy iS fRoM tHe tOuRiSt tRaP!

So said shop owner proceeds to have an aggressive meltdown, quit the group, claim that people are trying to “destroy” her life, and is lamenting that she will now have to leave town.

Because someone started a discussion about the word gypsy.

...

From Wikipedia, Romani people

Quote:
The Romani are widely known in English by the exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which is considered by some Roma people to be pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity.
We can't even TALK about that, without the meltdown?
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:12 PM   #2
Flint
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Someone posted a thread-- "I didn't know gypsy was a slur"

30 comments of useful discussion later, somebody just posts "It isn't"
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:16 AM   #3
Griff
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She probably saw Snatch and decided that's who I am. They have DNA testing now if she needs a label. That might ruin both her Cherokee and her Roma fantasy though.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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Does the business owner have the word in their business' name?
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:09 PM   #5
Flint
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Yes, the business owner has the word 'gypsy' in their shop's name.

Also they claim to be of Romani heritage and state that they do not consider gypsy to be a slur. Since her heritage isn't verifiable I actually think we should take her at her word. We do understand that not all Romani people think gypsy is a slur. The same as the "n-word" in music by black artists.

And all of that is a civil discussion we could have had, but instead she decided, "eVeRyOnE iS aTtAcKiNg mE" and then a swarm of angry side-takers rushed to her "defense" and started a confrontational shit storm.

...


One of the threads, "I didn't know gypsy was a slur" was D E L E T E D . . . explain that logic.
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:35 PM   #6
xoxoxoBruce
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Gypsy
adjective
(of a business or business person) nonunion or unlicensed.
"gypsy trucking firms"
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:43 PM   #7
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'gypsy cab'
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
Flint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Gypsy
adjective
(of a business or business person) nonunion or unlicensed.
"gypsy trucking firms"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravdigr View Post
'gypsy cab'
Illegal taxicab operation
Quote:
Illegal taxicabs, sometimes known as pirate taxis or gypsy cabs, are taxicabs and other for-hire vehicles that are not duly licensed or permitted by the jurisdiction in which they operate.
Wow. So, nonunion, unlicensed, illegal, or not permitted. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say those don't sound like compliments.
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expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:49 PM   #9
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It's a troubled word 'gypsy'. It absolutely entered the language as a racial slur - most likely against Roma refugees who ended up in Britain in the 16th century and were supposed by the people of the time to have come from Egypt (Gyptians or something like that). it certainly wasnt something they called themselves or each other - I dont even think they saw themselves as a unified group - there were different clans and tribes as distinct from each other as other nations

But the word has been in the language long enough to have been claimed and rejected by the Roma peoples themselves at various times and in various contexts and has also been used by mainstream communities and nations to other the Roma peoples in devastating ways, and continues to be used in such a way now in some parts of the world.

But it has also been in the language long enough to spawn a host of sayings and prefixes to words that are in and of themselves entirely benign - but rely on a specific conception of a stereotypical Roma experience to have any meaning.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:17 PM   #10
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I feel gypped by this thread. I thought there would be arguments.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:22 PM   #11
Flint
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listen here, you SOB
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:31 PM   #12
monster
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During my formative years, the term "Gypsy" was very contentious and I was confused when I learned that the flower gypsophila was also called "baby's breath" because I wondered if it was related to the myth that gypsies stole babies, but couldn't ask in case i got in trouble, and as a result felt very awkward about the name of the flower, which was tricky as my mum was working at a florist's at the time

/sidetrack
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:43 PM   #13
Flint
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I'm hearing a little "awkward memories" jingle as an outro to that post.
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:49 PM   #14
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
Illegal taxicab operation


Wow. So, nonunion, unlicensed, illegal, or not permitted. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say those don't sound like compliments.
Doesn't sound racial either.
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:56 PM   #15
Flint
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One question I had in the original discussion(s) on FB was whether this was a generational thing, insomuch as, being 45yo, I assume everyone my age and younger believes/is aware that "gypsy" is considered an ethnic slur by some people in that group.

Is that part of this? Did it "used to be" okay?

I mean it's always an adjustment the first time you hear something, I just thought we'd all already processed this one.
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******************
There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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