Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Can't Blame the Schools

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, the Czech minister had to explain that Czechs and Chechens are not the same people.

Boy, whatta buncha maroons, I thought, and chalked it up to public education. But then I remembered a conversation I had with a Border Patrol agent who I may or may not be related to, and who may or may not have received the same education from the same person that I did. Here's a rough recreation of that conversation:

“Most of the people who cross the border are coming up from Mexico or from countries south of Mexico, but we get people from all over the world who cross here because it’s the least-secure border. Last month we had to process a Roma, and that was really hard because none of us speak Romanian.”

“Ha ha!”

“. . .”

“Uh. Ha ha? Wait, you do know that Roma and Romanians are two completely different peoples, right?”


You’re kidding. Dude, the Roma are gypsies. The Romanians are people from Romania.”

“So how is that different?”

“It’s. . . how is that the same?!”

“Roma are Romanians. Got it.”

“No! They have the same sound! That’s all! Romanians are from the country called 
Romania! Roma live all throughout Europe!”

“But they’re from Romania.”

“Well—yeah, some Roma live in Romania, but that’s coincidence! Most of them aren't from Romania. Was THIS guy from Romania?”

 "Yeah, I told you. He was Roma."

“So was the guy a Romanian Roma, or just Romanian, or just Roma?”

“You just said they were all the same thing, right? You're making my brain hurt.”
I'm a little worried about where that person got deported to, given that this is the same country that deported a non-Hispanic, non-Spanish-speaking 14-year-old US citizen to Colombia because she made up a fake identity when arrested for shoplifting. So good luck to all those migrants out there, and if you've got family in Atlanta, then for God's sake don't tell the Border Patrol that you're trying to reach your sister in Georgia. Who knows where you'll end up.

                 Roman                                                 Romani                                           Romanian

No comments:

Post a Comment