Taken by the gypsies

Interesting report in this morning’s Vanguardia:

The man who in mid-November calls the police station of the Mossos d’Esquadra in Vic says that his 11-year old son has witnessed a kidnapping in Taradell (Osona). The report alarms the autonomous police force, which puts its incident plan into action; the description provided by the infant is precise and, therefore, credible: “Two persons of gypsy race took a boy of six years, gagged him, put him in the boot of their car, and went off in the direction of Santa Eugènia de Berga,” says the boy. “The vehicle was a dark Fiat Brava, with a yellow number plate. The two gypsies were a bald man aged about 50 and a woman, also around 50, with red hair, big earrings and lipstick. The boy was six with a woollen jersey and long hair, and they blindfolded him and covered his mouth.” Patrols depart to search for the kidnappers, other policemen try to locate the parents of the kidnapped boy, and a general state of alert is declared within the police, a situation that lasts for two hours. Finally the little one confesses that there were neither gypsies nor kidnapping: the whole story was invented.

From a follow-up by Sergio Heredia:

“Recently we have noticed that very young people, even children, use current events that have seen on the television or have read in some newspaper to give credibility to their lies,” says a spokesman of the Mossos d’Esquadra. “Up till now we have always had the case of the man who simulates a break-in in his car and so doing hopes to hang on to the money he had in the glove compartment, money that belonged to his company. But now we’re getting 11-year old children who describe gypsy kidnappers, or girls who incorporate Maghrebi rapists and confrontations between ‘latin kings’ into their stories; these are new cases that they invite social debate. Does the information they receive from their environment really poison them?”

Following the transition to democracy, many sought to emphasise the differences between the new pluralism and the old monoculturalism. If so many on the left can continue to get away with saying it’s all the Jews’ fault and if coppers continue to buy stereotypes that have been used to demonise Gypsies for centuries, then one wonders how much has actually changed.

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