Okay…apologies for the click bait title.
This weekend popular comic book writer Peter David expressed some troubling sentiments. At an X-Men panel, a fan who is Romani asked about representation of the Romani in comics. Noting there is often a portrayal of Romani as thieves or unstable.
David launched into a vocal dissent telling a tale of a trip to Romania. He noticed a young child being dragged by their parent. The child’s legs were bent forward, preventing them from walking. He asked his guide, who explained that Roma parents broke their children’s legs so they will be better at begging. David noted he did not want to hear about Romani representation in comics and suggested the questioner go away.
An anecdotal story ought not be enough to write off an entire group of people. David apologized later for the outburst…and yet did not take back what he actually said. He doubled down like Trump. This is disappointing, and Elana Levin (author of the story I linked to) even noted she pointed out to David that people used to say pretty terrible things about Jewish Culture. But David stuck to his guns.
That someone who comes from a community that has faced persecution for centuries can be so adamant about judging an entire group for the worst members is pretty heartbreaking and frustrating. And to refuse to acknowledge the question as valid due to your personal bigotry? Ugh.
What frustrates me is that I have always been a fan. I always liked his writing. I think he wrote one of the best X-Comics of all time…X-Factor 75. So, as a fan to see such a glaring blind spot is pretty frustrating.