Why 'Gypsy' Is A Racial Slur

Why 'Gypsy' Is A Racial Slur

Please stop putting "Gypsy Soul" on your Instagram bio.

When I refer to the "G" word, I'm referring to the word "gypsy." And yes, that is a racial slur.

For years, it's driven me nuts when privileged females refer to themselves as having "gypsy souls" or simply as a "gypsy."

In fact, the word "gypsy" is a derogatory term for a group of people called the Romani or Roma.

According to The Oxford Dictionary, the definition of gypsy is as follows:

A member of a traveling people with dark skin and hair who speak Romany and traditionally live by seasonal work, itinerant trade and fortune-telling.

Originating in India, the Romani people took to a traveling lifestyle and made money through trades. They primarily settled in Eastern Europe, but they live all over the world today.

A six-minute MTV Decoded video explains how the Romani people were stuck with the racial slur. Apparently, Europeans incorrectly thought the group of people was from Egypt, so they gave them the nickname "gypsy," and it's stuck with them ever since.

In Europe, "gypsies" are typically stereotyped as thieves, criminals and low-class citizens, if even citizens at all. During the Holocaust, Hitler exterminated at least 250,000 Roma, but their persecution dates back to the Middle Ages.

Now, have you ever heard of the term gypped? Otherwise known as, to cheat or swindle? This comes from the declared "untrustworthiness" of the Romani people.

Right now, the Romani are treated as second-class citizens, especially in Europe, despite the fact that there are over 10 million Romani residing there.

France has deported tens of thousands of Roma people, Denmark and Sweden are looking to expel them and Italy declared a state of emergency. These European countries deny social services, housing and support segregation.

Even in the United States, where there are over one million American Roma, citizens of the descent hide their heritage in order to avoid hate crimes because they might be a "dirty gypsy who only travels around in caravans and tells fortunes."

While many people of Romani background don't always have dark features, it is still feared to reveal having a heritage of Roma descent. I mean, if Hitler still murdered Romani that fit his Aryan standard back during World War II, then it makes sense that Romani descendants are still terrified to talk about heritages.

So, if you ever use the word gypsy to describe your "free-spirit," please choose a different word from the dictionary, because you are using a racial slur. You are a privileged woman, not an oppressed group of people.

And if you ever catch a friend referring to themselves as having a "gypsy soul" or if you even see it on an Instagram or Twitter bio, just let he or she know of their insensitivity and blatant racism.

Cover Image Credit: Wikia

Popular Right Now

He Changed Everything.

My soul is richer & my heart is fuller 

Sept 2013 I found myself writing to an evangelist Jennifer Beckham looking for more, looking for answers cause at the time I was in a dark place, and stuck no matter what I did. She wrote back! I cried as I read her respond. She sent me scriptures of who god is and what he wants for us. God says we are more than conquers and endurance develops strength and character. She encouraged me that I was on the right track. Not to give up and she would be praying for me. I saw Jennifer Beckham at a conference that year. I don't remember what she specifically talked about but I remember the feeling. The feeling of wanting to burst out crying, I could feel my eyes being filled with tears, and my heart racing but I wouldn't let out the tears. My pride was too big. I wanted to be strong so I did my best to hold it all in, and I did. At this conference they offered the audience who wanted to go up for prayer and dedicate their life to Jesus Christ. Surprisingly I went up, but I went up with other people that were seeking out salvation. I wasn’t sure if I was going up to support the other people or if it was truly for me. I was confused, even though I said the prayer. I became more confused as the days went on and I wasn't feeling a difference in my life. Nothing was changing. I started reading the bible and many books, listening to sermons, and surrounding myself with positive people. I gave my life to Jesus, but I didn't feel like I was set FREE! I continued feeling empty, lost, broken, guilty, and hurt from the past. There were so many days where I just wanted to give up. Almost felt pointless to fight for my life. At this point in my life I didn't know God very much, but I had just a little bit of faith. My faith was as big as a mustard seed and God took care of the rest. Day by day, year by year I started noticing my life changing. I noticed I was changing. I started feeling happy with who I was and where I was in life. I no longer questioned God about the things that happened to me. In my heart I was ok with the wounds, the hardships, and trials from the past because I now understood those wounds and trials. I realized I was SET FREE! not perfect but set free. I started understanding who I was as a child of our heavenly father. Now it’s Jan 2018 and I’m in awe of who I am and where I am in life, all because of Jesus. His so faithful! I think of the favor, the grace, his mercy, his love, his joy and blessing that he gives me even when I’m undeserving of it, it’s overwhelming. He has never left me nor forsake me. I can say Jesus you changed everything and my heart so forever thankful. 

Today, I encourage you like Jennifer Beckham encouraged me. Keep going and don't give up. No matter what your past looks like believe in your heart that you were created for greatness. Don't let your past determine your future, be the change you want in your life. You have it in you. There is so much more to life, don't miss out on it. It's time to take back your happiness, love, joy, freedom and so much more. It's time to take back EVERYTHING the enemy has taken from you. God has made you an overcomer. I speak it right now, that you will be victorious in 2018 and the years to come. Remember, God loves you! 

Psalm 136:26 (AMP) O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy and loving-kindness endures forever!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Oprah Winfrey Running For President?

Golden Globe speech sparking some ideas.

As of Sunday, January 7, 2018, Oprah Winfrey made a few remarks during her Golden Globe speech, hinting to her possibly running for president in 2020. Later, two of her friends, who wish to remain anonymous confirm this speculation. One of the friends said that this idea has been looming for months now but that Winfrey did not come to a conscience yet.

The main point of Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes was the #MeToo movement. She also made a statement of, "A new day is on the horizon", which many liberal celebrities and viewers heard as a possible campaign cry.

At the moment, there is no serious talk right now about her running for president, but some of her fans have voiced their opinions through Twitter and Facebook after she had her speech. Along with her fans, her long time partner, Stedman Graham also mentioned that her running for president was a possibility

However what Winfrey does not have is political experience. When she needs political advice she looks to the Obamas and she fully endorsed Hillary Clinton. We may have our next Democratic candidate for the 2020 election. Although the race for president does not start until after the 2018 midterms, many candidates are getting a head start. Maybe this is her making her first move. What do you think? Will America choose another TV star as our president?

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

Related Content

Facebook Comments