World Bulletin / News Desk
Rikardo Racz was born at one minute past midnight, five weeks ago, and thus became the first baby born in Hungary this year. National, as well as local media noted his birth and a photo of Peter and his wife Sylvia holding Rikardo made the front pages.
Then Elod Novak, deputy leader of the far-right Jobbik party, posted that picture beside one of himself, his wife and three children on Facebook, mentioned that Rikardo was the third child of a 23-year-old Gypsy mother, then added: "The number of Hungarians is not just falling disastrously, but soon we will become a minority in our own homes. When will the day come when they decide to change Hungary's name? And when will we finally tackle our country's biggest problem?"
This provoked an avalanche of both condemnation, and approval. Rikardo's birth seemed to hold up a mirror in which both Hungarian racism and anti-racism were reflected.
"They're breeding like rats, like parasites," was a typical comment from those who sided with the Jobbik deputy. Opposition and government politicians tried to outdo one another with gestures and words of solidarity with the family.
Rikardo became Hungary's most famous Gypsy, at only a few days old.
Elod Novak, the Parliamentary deputy, has refused to apologise for his comments and even suggested that Peter should apologise to him. Far-right media are still full of allegations of an "explosion" of Roma births. They maintain it's Hungary's biggest problem. They don't seem to realise that Roma are Hungarians too.