In episode 6 of Season 2 of Lifetime Television's ARMY WIVES there was something that bothered me very much: Betty, the owner of the Hump Bar, uses the word "gypped" to mean "cheated."
It amazes me that the writing staff of ARMY WIVES did not realize that this is a derogatory word based on the word Gypsy. The use of this word as a verb is very offensive to Gypsies.
Many people may never have seen real Gypsies. When my husband and I were stationed in Munich, Germany (from September 1970 to May 1972), the tram line ended at our stop. Sometimes Gypsy wagons would camp there overnight.
Yet my image of Gypsies - that is as clear today as it was the moment I saw it - comes from a visit to Dachau, a concentration camp near Munich. Dachau was established in March 1933 as a political prison camp only two months after Hitler became chancellor of Germany. And although many people died in Dachau, it was not a killing camp like Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
But in Dachau there were ovens that burned the bodies of the dead prisoners. Standing in the main camp, I chanced to look towards the gate separating the ovens from the main camp.
Silhouetted against the sky were three Gypsies, a woman and two men. For only a second I was startled - focused as I was on thinking about the six million Jews killed by the Nazis. Then I remembered that Gypsies had been another group designated for extinction by the Third Reich.
Those three Gypsies were doing exactly what my husband and I were doing - visiting Dachau in memory of our people's murdered victims.
Syndicated from www.mrslieutenant.blogspot.com