Letter to Nicolas Sarkozy on deportation of the Roma

Dear Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy,

You know, when I read about your most recent policy towards improving security in France and the effort to first raid and eventually shut down illegal Roma camps in the country, it bugged me a little. I felt the ol’ blood pressure rise – you ever get that?

Then, I read these individuals would be deported to Bulgaria and Romania and at that point, there may have been — just maybe — a slightly visible anger vein on my forehead. And I know you get these because I have seen you in pictures, especially when you meet and speak with the rest of the European Commission.

I wanted nothing more at that point than to wish ill things upon you. I realized Niky (can I call you that?) that growing up you probably never experienced unconditional love.

I mean, the kind of love that you could only get from a stuffed animal. A teddy bear, duck, hippo, what have you – those little beady eyes will never judge, expect or criticize. Pauvre Niky.
I can see the anger and resentment that fills every inch of your being because your childhood was robbed of a furry, inanimate friend. I mean, there is no other explanation for the Roma camp raids that in the eyes of many, including EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, recall the camp evictions and round-ups during World War II.

Authorities arrive early in the morning, breaking up families and separating men and women, even threatening to separate the children from their mothers.

How unfortunate for your party’s lawmaker Jean-Pierre Grand to have to react to the situation publicly. At least you can admit that he is a rational thinker as he realizes that the policy is “turning disgraceful.”

I read too that you have openly linked immigrants and crime and inside I wanted to scream, “no no, this can’t be the Niky that we all know and love! He doesn’t mean that.”
You would not intentionally breach the European Union’s agreement on citizens’ freedom of movement or discriminate against ethnic minorities so obviously and I know this for a fact.

I know, because childhood trauma aside, your ancestors were Hungarian immigrants themselves and how silly would it look if you actually meant to implement such strict immigration policies?

Niky, you are fully aware that the issue is not about laïcité or the maintenance of France’s national identity; it is about something much more complex. What I want to say to you Niky is that you must be the bigger person. There is a time in every French leader’s life to step up and say, “Mon Dieu! I have my weaknesses, but they will not define who I am!”

I am certain that underneath it all, you know what to do in this situation. You are smart enough to realize that instead of continuing to force these people to leave your country you can help them live sustainable lives in France.

Instead of contributing to the constant rejection of these people, who have been juggled around the continent among countries that do not want to deal with them, you can do something greater. Help them integrate into European society once and for all.

This will increase your popularity among the polls and come next election perhaps you will have a chance at re-election.

If it doesn’t work, you will go down a respectable man. Be the Roma people’s teddy bear, Niky.

Barbara Ciochon