Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Roma baby burial issue in France

In France, a racism issue is paid attention. Roma baby was refused to be buried in a municipal cemetery in France, according to the media.

A three-month baby born as Roma died suspected as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The parents asked the authority for permission to bury her. But Christian Leclerc, the Mayor of Champlan, refused it for the reason of short space.

Aljazeera: Anger over French mayor's Roma burial refusal

Mayor explained that the payers of local tax should be prioritized as a user of the cemetery. However, his comments was not interpreted as he expected. Criticism against racial discrimination was ignited soon. Even the President and Prime Minister condemned the decision of the Mayor. At last, the poor girl was buried in a cemetery.

BBC: Roma baby buried in France as probe launched

Roma are an ethnicity of Indian origin, living mostly in Europe and the Americas. Many of them in France are suffering from poverty.

It seems that the authority responded sensitively just after this issue became criticism against racism. I do not think the mayor made such a reckless decision as rejecting Roma.

Prioritizing the tax payers is a fair policy, even not equal. However, there is a large difference between folks in socio-economic status. Many people in the minority have little chance to change their class on their own, in actual situation.

Therefore, affirmative actions are occasionally adopted. Minority groups are given an advantage without exception in this scheme. In this case, if the mayor had prioritized the Roma, he would have not been criticized, even if it was unfair to non-Roma, because the critics would be identified as racists.

On the other hand, affirmative action is also questioned for its efficacy and validity. Michael Sandel is fond of discussing this matter.

In Japan, Korean people living in Japan are sometimes criticized that they are unfairly treated. I am not sure about the exact content of the policy. But some behaviors of the critics are hate speech in this issue. It is shameful. To begin with, we should have a gentle attitude upon this kind of discussion. Also in Japan, graveyards will be exhausting. Similar problem will happen in the near future.

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