Can the Hungarian radicals who intimidate Roma be stopped?
Without meaning to, a representative of the Hungarian Government confessed to a Canadian Parliamentary Committee, on Wednesday, that his government has had a great deal of trouble controlling extreme right "militias" that persecute and intimidate the Hungarian Roma people.
The Hungarian official is Imre Helyes, head of the consular section at the Hungarian Embassy in Ottawa, and he was testifying before the Commons Immigration Committee that is considering the new refugee reform, Bill C-31. Mr. Helyes made that remarkable admission in response to a question from a Conservative member who asked if there was "discrimination against the Roma in Hungary."
Mr. Helyes was visibly ill at ease with the question but, after a farily long pause, managed to squeeze out an uncomfortable "no" in response. He then went on to talk a bit about how "complex and multiple" this "problem" is. The MP asked a follow-up question: "How do you protect the Roma?"
That made the Hungarian diplomat even more uncomfortable. In fact, at first Helyes acted as though he did not understand the question. Then, with some prodding and encouragement, he offered that Hungarian law "does not allow" discrimination and that there is a sort of "ombudsman" for the "protection of minority rights."
Can the Hungarian radicals who intimidate Roma be stopped?Yes because... No because...
Radicals will always get through
Unless you want a totalitarian state this is not something that can just be 'stopped' by police measures. Is there more the Hungarian state can do - without knowing the specifics I dont know but probably yes. But even if the Hungarian state put all its resources into protecting the roma it probably could not do it 100% of the time. Israel that puts so much of its efforts into protecting its people does not succeed in stopping all suicide bombers so thugs (who obviously dont have to have anything that shows them up like a bomb) are always going to get through.
Instead the government needs to encourage a cultural change to where those who threaten, intimidate and attack minorities are not tolerated by the whole of society. Of course this means more pollicing, possibly bringing in more anti discrimination laws, possible hate crimes legislation but it much more has to mean education, opportunities for intergration, discussion and debate among all communities so that everyone realises that the 'other' is not so very different afterall.