Sun News admits term “Gypsy” is pejorative; uses it in top story headline anyway

1 Sep

Since 4:28 pm on 31 August 2012, and as this goes to “press”, Sun News Network’s homepage features “‘Significant criminal activity’ among Gypsies: CBSA” as its TOP STORY. (picture to come soon)

So let’s get this straight. With Québec’s election campaign wrapping up with the Parti québécois in the lead, fierce fighting in Syria and a suicide bombing in Afghanistan killing 12, the SNN has decided that the most important news out there is that there is criminal activity among Roma people? Well isn’t this newsworthy guys! Some Roma people are involved in criminal activity, kind of like some of EVERY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP are involved in criminal activity. Let’s pretend like this is breaking news.

Whatever. We all know Sun News pretends that nonsense is news. That’s not the issue here.

The issue is that Sun News Network insists on using the term “Gypsy” in a loud, sensationalist headline. “Gypsy” is an outdated term widely felt to be pejorative by Roma people.

Although ignorance is not much of an excuse for the use of slurs by major media outlets, we can’t write off SNN’s as simple ignorance.

Sun News is clearly well aware that “Roma” is the appropriate and correct term. The body of the story’s article uses this term, acknowledging that only some people use the word “Gypsy”.

In the video, their contributor even states:

“[w]e’re talking about Roma, who you may call, uh, some people call Gypsies, although the Roma tend to consider that pejorative.” ( http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2012/08/20120831-154746.html )

So Sun News is well aware that “Gypsy” is a politically incorrect and often hurtful term. Why then are they using it in their Top Story’s headline?

Why is Sun News specifically zeroing on criminality among Roma and drawing attention to it with an ethnic slur? Why are they trying to evoke old stereotypes and whip up prejudices? Why are the trying to appeal to base that neither know nor cares about offending people with pejoratives?

It is also worth noting that Roma were some of the hardest hit by the Holocaust; over 50 percent of Roma were exterminated. Imagine if Sun News had published a similar story about Jews using an outdated anti-Semitic slur!

So, Eclipse News denounces SNN’s use of an anti-Roma slur. And I’m going to ask. What is Sun News Network’s problem with Roma?

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