7/31/2008

Wal-Mart and the Gypsies



I have seen gypsies around my area on the gulf coast for as long as I can remember. I can recall them setting up a camp near the Alabama-Mississippi state line as a boy. Mama always told me to stay away from them. She didn’t have to tell me twice. I’m not real familiar with their ethnic background. I read a little on Wikipedia about them. They are nomadic, which I already knew, and are referred to as “Roma.” Their ethnic origins, according to Wikipedia, are from India. Hitler also tried to completely exterminate them during WWII. This seems to be an obscure fact not mentioned very often when the Holocaust is discussed. Gypsies are found all over Europe and in parts of the U.S. They are also noted to be “scam artists” and “thieves.”

Yesterday, as I made my weekly trip to Wal-Mart, I was in the produce section when I heard a loud commotion. I looked and saw these women in long, flowing dresses running like it was a trial run for the 100 yard dash at the Summer Olympics. Except this wasn’t Beijing. It was Wal-Mart. Before the gypsies could make it out of the door, security personnel grabbed them. As they did, all sorts of merchandise fell to the floor; steaks, lotion, women’s hygiene products, etc. I am not sure I have heard that much screaming since I left the hospital a couple of weeks ago. Fists were flying, cursing, spitting at the security personnel. I don’t know how much Wal-Mart pays their security people. But, whatever it is, it isn’t enough.

Anyway, I thought it strange the security people stopped the gypsies before they made it out of the store. I thought you had to actually walk out of the store, with unpaid merchandise, to be cited for shoplifting. I guess that statute has changed. Police took all five women and two men away in separate squad cars and a paddy wagon. They were still screaming at the top of their lungs as the police cars drove away. One of the assistant managers said these people had been coming in the store all week. It wasn’t until now they were caught taking things by security cameras. Well, it was an interesting ten minutes or so at Wal-Mart. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun in that place.

I lead such an exciting life.

7 comments:

Family traditions. Warms the heart, doesn't it? :)

Wow! I didn't know we had gypsies in the U.S. What a sheltered life I have.

jollyroger....you hit the nail on the head. It is a family tradition amongst them apparently. It has been since I was a boy anyway.

sandi...I'm not surprised you didn't know there are gypsies in our midst. They only are found in certain areas of the nation. They basically keep to themselves. They are very strong, VERY strongly family oriented. Thanks to you both for stopping by.

This post was certainly enlightening! I had no idea that gypsies lived in the U.S. Also, I had thought they were of Romanian descent ... although I HAD heard many had been exterminated with other "undesirables" in Nazi Germany. I had always speculated that the whole thievery reputation was do to a lack of understanding/ acceptance by the typical citizenry (seems we always make monsters of what we don't understand) ... so I was disappointed to see that, at least in this instance, the stereotype was true. I hate it when that happens!

Brenda, as surprised that everyone has shown in realizing there are gypsies in this nation, I'm equally surprised that there are those who do not know that. In fact, just recently, I got into an argument with someone who disputed my claim there are Amish in America! I must say, there are gypsies who I have found that work hard to make a decent living. They are mostly in the asphalt driveway business and they apparently make a good living at it also. Thanks for the comments. I really am surprised by the comments!

That was an interesting read. I had no idea about the Hitler trying to kill them all off.

Crystal what is equally amazing to me is to find so many people (not just here on this blog) who had no idea there were gypsies in America. I've been around them my whole life.

Yes, many people don't know that Hitler tried to kill as many gypsies as he could get arrested during WWII. That went for Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals and several others who were deemed not worthy.

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