Jimmy Carr: The Genocide of Roma is Not a Laughing Matter

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The Traveller Movement
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Jimmy Carr: The Genocide of Roma is Not a Laughing Matter
The Traveller Movement
The Traveller Movement

Thank you for your support!

On 4th February, a community member made the Traveller Movement aware of Carr's horrific 'joke'. We acted quickly to make a public statement, but we had no idea then how big this story would get. The issue has been covered by some of the biggest national media outlets in the country including The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Guardian, and the BBC.

The sustained press attention has forced the Government to confront the issue, resulting in public statements of condemnation from the Culture Secretary, the Health Secretary, and even the Prime Minister's spokesperson.

All of this has been made possible because of your support for this petition, which has demonstrated the very real and widespread revulsion at Carr's comments. Thank you!

40 charities have now written to the Department for Education calling for the inclusion of the Roma & Sinti genocide in the national curriculum, and the Traveller Movement have joined with Hope Not Hate to request a meeting with Netflix executives.


Stay tuned, we hope to provide you with more updates soon!

Greg
Policy & Campaigns Manager
The Traveller Movement

The 'Positives' of Genocide?

In Netflix comedy special "His Dark Material", Jimmy Carr 'jokes' that the Romani and Sinti genocide is ignored when people discuss the Holocaust because people don't want to "focus on the positives". This is nothing short of a celebration of genocide.

Porajmos

Hundreds of thousands of Gypsies, Roma, and Traveller people were killed in the Holocaust. Roma people call it 'Porajmos', meaning 'the devouring'. 

Historians estimate that as much as 25-50%[1] of the entire Romani and Sinti population of Europe were victims of genocide at the hands of the Nazis, a crime of almost unimaginable proportions. To this day, affected communities in the UK and across Europe still struggle to navigate this immense collective trauma and come to terms with the scale of grief and loss.

We appreciate that comedy is subjective but in our view when punchlines are indistinguishable from the genuinely-held views of fascists and Neo-Nazis, a line has very clearly been crossed. Ethnic Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers experience sustained and widespread discrimination in contemporary society – with recent polling[2] indicating as many as 50% people hold negative opinions of them, and material like this normalises further discrimination, and even violence, against already marginalised communities.

It's Not Educational.

We acknowledge that Jimmy Carr highlighted the widespread ignorance that exists with regard to non-Jewish victims of the holocaust, but it was nevertheless incredibly crass for him to claim his ‘joke’ therefore had an “educational quality”. If this was the case he would have used his considerable platform to raise awareness of Roma Holocaust Memorial Day to his 6.7m followers. To our knowledge, that has never happened. That speaks volumes.

There is no legitimate basis for this 'joke', and no positive to its inclusion which outweighs the profoundly negative impact it produces.

[1] https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/genocide-of-european-roma-gypsies-1939-1945

[2] https://www.sundayworld.com/news/world-news/shocking-study-finds-irish-travellers-and-gypsies-most-disliked-ethnic-group-in-uk-41285399.html

The Traveller Movement

About The Traveller Movement

National civil society org comprised of ethnic Romany Gypsies, Irish Travellers, Roma & members of the majority population working together to deliver racial justice & equality
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