Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Portuguese Roma?

"I'm still having trouble sleeping, it was a horrifying sight, seeing this little girl in her own excrement, not able to hold up her head, white as a sheet.
"We were deeply shocked because she didn't find this abnormal. We told her to remove the little girl [from the trunk] and give her something to drink right away."
Guillaume Iguacel, mechanic
Seems it might be time to give Europe's Roma a break. They raise their children in poverty, vulnerable to degraded living conditions and the contempt of the general society which views them as expendable, not fit for genteel company. Deserving of their state of unemployed welfare-seeking. A society and a culture whose customs and values are not fit to mingle with decent people.

Where the greater society suspects child abduction and human trafficking if a dark-hued mother is seen with a light-skinned child. A condition that clearly marks the adult as a criminal, and the child needing rescue from the malevolent keep of the only family she has ever known, to be taken from the parents who love her. Even if albinism created a genetic inheritance of light skin, or a child was given to parents whose biological parents pleaded for them to care for her.

In giving the Roma a temporary break from accusations, perhaps it's time to mark all Portuguese as cruelly child-abusing. Since a Portuguese mother of  three children, two boys aged nine and ten, and a four-year-old girl, also gave birth to a fourth child. Whom she decided -- on giving birth on her own, without, she claims, her husband suspecting she was pregnant -- not to produce; to hide, and where else than the trunk of the family car.

There she kept the baby, unclothed, uncovered, unloved and neglected, never taking it out of the car trunk for any reason.  "The car always stayed outside at night so if the little girl was inside it, we didn't see anything" said one neighbour in the couple's village of Brignac-la-Plaine, Correze, in France.

The condition of the child was discovered by automobile mechanics who were repairing the vehicle. Hearing strange noises from the trunk that the mother claimed were emanating from "toys" in the vehicle, they insisted on opening the trunk. And there they saw a small, dehydrated, feverish child, naked, lying in excrement she had extruded.

They called paramedics who took the two-year-old child to a hospital. "It appears that the child had been hidden from her birth, and even worse is seriously retarded", explained the prosecutor in nearby Brive-La-Gaillarde. The child's height, weight and mental development did not reflect normal conditions, appropriate to her chronological age. Nor can she speak. "It's a situation that defies the imagination", he said.

How can it be wondered that the child hasn't developed normally  -- physically, mentally. The baby had no exposure to normal child care, no opportunities to develop normally. If the child survives its ordeal it is possible that at her age steps can still be taken to encourage normal growth and human development.

She may be somewhat retarded in development, it may take awhile, but it is still possible that with the love and attention and emotional investment of a caring family she will develop. Unsurprisingly the couple's other three children have been taken into care.

The father, the mother claimed, was kept in the dark about the presence of the baby in the car trunk. Knowing nothing of her birth or of her presence, or her condition. An unemployed builder whom the mother appeared not to want to burden with the reality of another mouth to feed. So while the child may have been fed, it would not have been generously.

One must ask of the intelligence, the emotional stability, the psychological state of a woman who could endure the very thought of depriving a helpless child of comfort, warmth, love and care. The police were unable to question the father when he was taken into custody, since they claim him to have been inebriated.

"We didn't have much contact with them. She barely said hello, and they didn't really want to integrate into the neighbourhood. How could we have known?" said a pensioner living opposite the couple. How indeed....

Clearly, the Portuguese have much to answer for....

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