Racist cartoon in El Mundo

Interesting news here that the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate has recognised the Sinti and Roma as a national minority and committed itself to promote and protect their language and culture, particularly in education. Meanwhile, in Spain racial stigmatisation of a type not seen in Britain since the 60s remains acceptable, and not just in the ravings of football coaches. The following cartoon was published today in El Mundo, Spain’s most liberal daily. Farruquito, a gypsy dancer who has just been found guilty of killing a pedestrian while driving like a complete arsehole, is telling the press that he’s very happy with the result (16 months jail, which in this mysterious country means 0 months) and that they’re going to throw a barbecue up in the hills to celebrate (11 forest rangers were recently killed by an out-of-control wilderness barbecue):


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  1. Racist or not, it certainly reflects the feeling of the general public in this country, that if you are gypsy, and a rich one like Farruquito is, you can get away with murder. This man killed a pedestrian while driving carelessly and upon realising what he did, he drove away instead of stopping to attend to him. He destroyed a family’s life and was only given a pitiful sentence for it. Farruquito never showed any remorse when interviewed by the press, he showed no awareness whatsoever of the pain he inflicted on the victim’s wife and family and not happy with that catalogue of errors, he recently had a picture taken with a flashy car, in spite of having had his licence taken away!!! Many people in Spain feel that if gypsy people commit an offence, they will be left off for fear of retributions (the gypsy ‘law’ = the whole family will attack a member of the jury (or even their relatives), a member from the judge’s panel or from the police force…). The general feeling is that gypsy people mistake freedom with doing what they please, and this picture which I would agree is racist in itself, reflects an ill feeling from the general public. The picture is not justifiable but somehow it is understandable. The law should be the same for all, gypsies and non-gypsies and it never seems to be that way.
    Now, 5th of september 2006, the tribunals have finally decided to make Farruquito pay for his crime by convicting him to 3 years in prison. This should have been done a long time ago.

  2. Basically, I don’t think the picture is meant to be a general caricature of gypsies, but about Farruquito’s shameful behaviour and this is what your newspaper has failed to comprehend. Had you been living in this country, you would have felt outraged at the content he showed to the victim’s family. Never an apology. Never a word to show remorse or sadness. Thinking about it, the picture is indeed rather sweet to this shameful man.

    I’ve had the opportunity to live with gypsies (my mum still does) and there are very honest people and law-abiding citizen amongts them, but the cruel reality is that many of them are not. My mother was given a council flat in a sky-scraper and they have been living with just one lift due to the fact that out of 48 families 12 won’t pay the community charges (lift, cleaning of staircases, maintenance, etc.). Out of those 12 non-paying families, 10 are gypsy. This is not racism but facts. It is easy to accuse others of being racist when after a day’s work we can go back to a nice flat in a lovely neighbourhood where everybody does what they have to do instead of causing problems to others. These gypsy families that won’t pay are not poor: their houses have all the mod coms you can think of and they all work and make a good living out of selling in markets. They just won’t pay. There is a lot to be said about Spanish society being racist towards gypsies and I am the first one to stand up against it, but let’s not hide away from the fact that it is about time the gypsy community took responsability for the actions too.

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