IMO, the thing the government really needs to do is to provide the people with education. And I mean actually good education, not some social studies kind of bullshit. Provide the people with good education, force them if you have to, so they can become doctors, engineers, lawyers and even presidents. Once you achieve that, and it seems to already be achieved in the States, stop treating people like they’re different, just because they have a different skin colour. If anything, the social class differences are far bigger, so if affirmative action needs to be taken now, I think it should be directed not at ethnic groups, but at groups with certain levels of income.
Oh, and the second most important thing, perhaps even more important than the education – destroy the ghettos! I can’t stress this enough – segregation not only prevents assimilation and improvement, but it breeds resentment. Spread the people around! I’ve grown up in a mixed neighbourhood (i.e. mostly Bulgarian, but with a lot of Gypsies scattered around as well) and even where I live and work now the population is becoming like that. And guess what – the Gypsies here work just as much as the average Bulgarians, who still form the main part of the social environment. On the other hand, the ones in the ghettos and, dare I mention, deep in the countryside, where Gypsies live in their own segregated groups, well, they live like Gypsies. And the stereotypes fit them almost perfectly.
Btw, hah, we have our Armed Forces Day on our biggest namesday – Gergiovden, the 6th of May, while you have it on our second-biggest namesday – Nikulden, the 6th of December. Interesting!