What is Social Justice when we refer to Roma People?
What is Social Justice?- is a hard question and many politicians use it as a slogan
Social Justice is the just relation between individuals and society in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.
Social Justice asks the institutions to ensure fair distribution of wealth, and equal opportunity and privileges for all the members of the society .
Speaking about Social Justice we must consider the society “as a fair system of co-operation over time, from one generation to the next” ( John Rawls – Political Liberalism )
The society must respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that have international recognition and must guarantee the basic liberties such as Freedom of thought, Liberty of conscience and Political Liberty. Also, society must ensure freedom from slavery, freedom of movement and a reasonable degree of freedom to choose one’s occupation.
Respecting The Rule of Low ( the principle of government by law) , social justice means to give everyone what is entitled to receive (wealth, opportunities, and privileges).
From economic perspective , social justice can be confounded with distributive justice; because, distributive justice means: to give everyone the goods what he deserves according to his merit. Thus, distributive justice is related to the mechanisms for distributing the economic assets used within society.
From cultural and political level , social injustice means more : it is about the order of “status” of a society; that means patterns or stereotypes of cultural valuation that are dominant and institutionalized within it; such as, for example, androcentrism, racism, homophobia and heterosexualism and its political order. The example used here is : those deliberation and adherence procedures that systematically marginalize certain citizens.
In order to eliminate these injustices, a policy of acknowledgment (acceptance and public support) of cultural differences between the members of society is necessary. Also, it is necessary a fair representation of all citizens in public deliberations and decisions within society.
Taking into account the core of the social justice theory – we ask ourselves:
Northern countries are known for being peaceful and tolerant and believing in a chance for everybody regardless of the differences of any kind between people.
But now, in Norway there are a lot of public discussions in the Mass media about the Roma people from Romania
“After a Norwegian documentary on TV about Romanian criminals networking all over Europe for years, selling drugs, using young girls for prostitution, stealing from handbags, bankcards etc. Men behind all the girls on the streets, and some older women, covering behind so called ” begging” in daylight but when dark comes, doing business is all kind of other things!”
” That documentary has created considerable problems for the ” Roma people” from Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania who are NOT criminal, but who sell things and handicrafts on the street, do odd jobs and who want to work for a living! Now, many Norwegians think that all beggars on the street are criminal and if they come from Romania, no one gets even a dime! People are hitting them, spitting on them, kicking them, harassing them, throwing racist slurs at them. Not all Romanians are Roma people (Gypsies) but a lot of Roma people are Romanian! That’s the problem! I personally have been working with and know a lot of Roma people and especially women.”
“I can tell you that the ones I know are not criminal at all. They are extremely poor, that’s all. They try their luck in one of the world s’ richest country, Norway. Now they are hunted again, no matter what… like it has always been over the centuries!”
Social Justice means, for Roma people, first of all INTEGRATION – Social Integration, Economic Integration. Educational Integration…
Only with Roma people integration we’ll apply the principles of Social Justice!
If Social Integration is the movement of underprivileged sections of a society into the mainstream of societies can we speak about Roma integration?
Why Norway people gave money instead of helping Roma to their integration? Beggary destroyed self- esteem and human dignity
Why Norway people and other western countries with long democratic traditions don’t teach former communist countries, such as Romania, how to integrate Roma people?
That could be a good example for Romanian people, full of prejudices against Roma people, and it would teach us how to integrate Roma people. Because Roma people want their integration but the mainstream society bans it. So they gave up …and followed their ancestral behaviors …
Common people from Romania and other countries make a huge confusion between integration and assimilation
So, Roma people are accepted by mainstream society – only if they give up their costumes, customs , language …only if they are like majority – and if possible – if they don’t confess that they belong to Roma people.
There are a lot of Roma people in Romania – like our quest – Cristina Constantin – who graduated from high school and university – who have jobs but hardly work. It would never cross their mind to beg.
They don’t want to move to other countries hoping for work and end up begging on the streets.
But they are eager for assimilation in the mainstream society – not for integration