Gelu Duminică, outraged by the discrimination in education: “I know what hunger means in its pure form, to punch yourself in the mouth”

Gelu Duminică lashed out in front of the students on Tuesday, during a debate about the future of education. Outraged by the discrimination faced by minorities and the lack of inclusion programs, the sociologist spoke about the fact that tolerance does not mean equality, and for a real change in society, a change in mentality is needed.

Gelu Sunday, at the “Agenda Romania 4.0” debate PHOTO The truth

Sociologist and activist Gelu Duminică was invited, on Tuesday, February 27, to the first debate in the “Agenda Romania 4.0” series of events, an initiative belonging to the Digitalio platform and the Association of Political Science Students of the University of Bucharest.

The main topics addressed were the principles that should govern the field of education in Romania, how the challenges of the future can be met, what types of education should be introduced in the curriculum, what are the pillars and directions of financing education, to increase the productivity of the educational system in Romania or how to ensure unrestricted access to education.

Gelu Duminică: “It's easy to talk about the disadvantaged in their absence”

In front of an audience of over 100 students, Gelu Duminică initially asked how many people in the room came from disadvantaged backgrounds. Only one person raised their hand.

The first annoyance of the sociologist seemed, therefore, to have been the fact that he did not have the opportunity to talk directly with the “victims”, with people who are part of the disadvantaged categories.

What have we done to have young people here to debate and get to know?

Isn't it easy to talk about the disadvantaged in their absence? It's not like it gives us such a status of power and “mom, how good are we that we want to include everyone?” Damn it! Before you ask others to change, don't you want us to change? How many programs for young people from disadvantaged areas did the Association of Political Science Students, University of Bucharest? Because at the level of the University of Bucharest there is only one program called SEED, which takes students from the 6th grade, from disadvantaged areas and, with the university's money, they are supported until the end. Do you know how hard it is to find University volunteers to come and work with those kids? Very hard!said the sociologist.

Gelu Duminică highlighted the fact that such discussions should not take place without the people directly concerned, reinforcing his arguments with another eloquent example.

I'm not talking about abortion without women. We want to hear their opinion on the subject, because they are telling the story, not me. But we live in the society where the man decides for the woman, including the woman's body. If you see, all these discussions about abortion are being conducted by menhe said.

Eliminating racism around us

As the debate continued, the sociologist, who is also an associate professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work of the University of Bucharest, emphasized the existing stereotypes around us, arguing that change should start from the individual to society, not the other way around .

“Many of us are not aware of our privileges. We consider ourselves superior just because we are white, we come from I don't know what family, we live in the middle of the city, we are not peasants and we think we are better, smarter, when in fact we only show how small we are. Do we see the diversity? How many of the girls here, if they went home with someone like me and said: mother, he's my fiance, wouldn't they get the answer: this gypsy? These things happen. How many of you have not seen a thief and said: the gypsy? How many of you haven't talked about bisexuals, not people who have a different sexual orientation? How many of you haven't talked about muslims coming and destroying our country? How do we extract racism from around us, not from society. There we can make a difference, before making the strategy at the national level”continued Gelu Sunday.

He chose to give a personal example and talk openly about the difficult moments in his life, less known.

I grew up in an extremely conservative family, real Roma. I was taught, I quote, that I will never buy a Romanian soul. My father used to tell me that you can carry a Romanian behind you for 10 years. If you put it down, it will still make you a crow. We have every reason to hate Romania. (…) I grew up in those communities. I know what hunger is in its pure state, I have experienced it. I know what it means to punch yourself in the mouth for being a crow. Tell me what I need to do together with you so that my child and your child can live in a better society and not go through what I went throughGelu told Sunday.

The difference between 'tolerance' and 'equality'

Asked by a student about a concrete method by which we can reach people who show no tolerance at all, Gelu Duminică said that he does not have a magic recipe, but he is open to proposals.

He also wanted to emphasize the way in which minority communities are viewed and included in society, at the present time, and how mentalities should be changed.

“I hate the word tolerance. (…) Tolerance does not mean appreciation, does not mean respect, does not mean appreciation, does not mean anything. It means: they are people too. From they are people too, to my equal, it's a long way. From they have rights too to they have the same rights as me, do you know how long that is?”he asked rhetorically.

Education debate Gelu Sunday (1) jpeg

Supported by the influencer Silviu Faiăr: “I agree 99%”

The well-known influencer Silviu Istrate (Faiăr) was also present in front of the students. He almost entirely agreed with those supported by the sociologist, adding that, in his opinion, differences can be made by uniting communities of people with the same values ​​and with a lot of courage.

“I agree 99% with what Gelu said. I have a lot of respect for his wisdom. I think we should get in trouble with people who are not tolerant. What I wanted to tell you is: Unite and make a scandal! What do you want and what do you want to change. We, as ordinary people, have to do something around us. (…) The basic idea is that everyone needs communities during adolescence and post-adolescence. For me that was the most important thing, to find people with whom I could share the same ideas and do things together”Silviu Faiăr shared.

The event was also attended by prof. Dr. Adina-Bogdana Crețu, CNFIS, Ion Ciucă, Director, Higher Education Financing Directorate of the Ministry of Education, Gelu Duminică – Prof. Univ. Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, Ana-Maria Grădinariu – Training Manager, Teach for Romania, Andrada Mazilu, founder of SuperTeach, Cătălina Uță, coordinator of Precision2, Andreea Baidac, Vice-President of the Union of Romanian Students, Sorin Niță, Asst. Univ, FABIZ – ASE, – Andrei Voichița, DUEVERDE administrator and Ștefan Lupu, director of the educational department within the Association of Political Science Students, University of Bucharest.