European Blood Libel

It was 7am on a casual Spring Sunday, I was on a bench somewhere near the Alhambra in Granada with my American partner-in-alcoholism. We'd been going non-stop since Friday and knew that no sane Spanish girl would take us home, so we had no choice but to hit on foreigners. Some random Hungarian student was jogging, trying to shave off a few kilos from her belly, and somehow we managed to flag her down, invite her to some discrete sips from a bottle in a bag. "You can tell people you're part of a drinking club with a running problem," I encouraged her.
We discussed trivialities that by now have escaped my mind, but I think my friend had a good chance of getting laid. That is until a Gitana of about 50 showed up. She was drooling, dirty, and seemingly had a mental problem. When she asked us for money, the Hungarian girl freaked out and started walking away. We waved the Gitana away and started going after the Hungarian, asking, "what's wrong?"
She informed us that she hates the "Gypsies" in Hungary. I said to her, "that woman is clearly off her rockers, the Gitanos here are nothing like the so-called 'Gypsies' in Hungary," but she wasn't having any of it. After about a few benches, my buddy and I stopped walking and decided to sit back down. "Damn, I've never seen anyone react like that to another ethnicity," my buddy informs me.
Though I never saw a Spanish person react with outrage at the sight of a Gitano, I did hear some very telling things: "They discriminate against themselves," told me a doctor; "Too many of them steal," warned me a college professor.
Granada felt almost like a segregated city. One could argue that Gitanos chose to hang out with Gitanos, but it was apparent that an overture at socialization would be met with paranoia and distance. So that was Granada, that's what I saw, I can only imagine how bad it is for recently-arrived Roma people, who, unlike the Gitanos in Spain, don't have the luxury of a 1,000 year legacy. In the same way that what the world perceives as Andalusian architecture is Moroccan-influenced, what the world perceives as Spanish music is música gitana. Roma groups migrating from one nation to another don't carry much sense of social belonging in their new countries, being treated as dangerous outsiders, so the feeling of ostracism is even greater.
In the same way that the Hungarian girl ran away from the Gitana beggar, presuming that she was the same as all the other Roma people back in Hungary, so did the Greek and Irish authorities recently increase hate against Roma people. Mimicking what Americans have dubbed "missing white woman syndrome" -- in reference to the intense media coverage given to upper-class white girls who go missing -- the Europeans gave intense coverage to a Greek Roma couple found "in possession" of a beautiful Aryan girl.
Soon thereafter another Aryan baby was found in the hands of a Roma couple in Ireland, and all hell broke loose. It was now a reconfirmed fact that Roma people are baby-snatchers who kidnap beautiful children in order to increase their begging potential.
Sadly for the alarmist media, the Irish Roma couple did indeed turn out be the parents of the blonde-haired girl. The Greek Roma couple turned out be surrogate parents who took in their "Aryan" baby from a Bulgarian Roma woman who couldn't feed her daughter:
"The doctors in the hospital didn't give me any papers. If they had given me documents I could have taken her to Bulgaria," Ruseva explained. "I didn't know the language. The doctors said something like 'go away' and I grabbed the baby and got out," she said. Ruseva said she took care of her baby for the next seven months, breast-feeding her while her husband picked odd jobs harvesting fruit and vegetables. Times were so hard that the couple said they spent many nights sleeping on the streets of Lamia or bedding down in nearby olive groves, with the newborn.
We're dealing with a largely illiterate Bulgarian woman who tried to give her daughter a better life, trusting a family that indeed offered her biological daughter a better life. In the 21st century, the world is still shocked at the possibility that Roma people could pass for Northern European, or that they could be good parents. Roma people have been in Europe for many centuries, yet they are still expected to fit a certain mold. When they don't fit that mold, they are either ridiculed by their own group, or wildly rejected by the outside group.