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The Roma Hope For Eurovision

While Russia's Eurovision entry is in hot water for some racist comments she made on a reality TV show, the Czech Republic is sending a Romany band,

Transitions Online spoke to the rapper and songwriter Radoslav "Gipsy" Banga about the contest and Europe's rising extremism:

There are a lot of thoughts in my mind. On one side, I feel so sick about extremism rising up like that. When you see 1,000 Nazis walking the street, you probably smile, because that's normal, that's what people already told me [is happening]. But when you see behind 1,000 Nazis another 1,000 normal people, that's what's making me feel really sick. Say your "no" now. Say your "no" loudly. Because if you will be silent, that means you agree.... I think the government should really take that sign as, look, normal people walking with Nazis, that's not good. That's wrong. We should do something with this.

It's making me really scared, because now I'm on Eurovision, I'm holding a Czech flag, you know? I'm holding a Czech flag, and I'm questioning myself, like, who do I represent? I've got so many Czech friends, Czech Television is so brilliant to us, so kind to And on the other side you got these racists. So it's of course a weird situation. But my ID is Czech. I speak the Czech language. I was born in Czech. Yes, I'm gypsy. But Prague is my home.

-- Luke Allnutt

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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