March 17 2017
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Or maybe not.
It seems that according to at least one social-justice Twitter account, the feast of leprechauns, shamrocks, green beads, and Guiness (plus that holy man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, of course) is supposed to be a celebration of white racism and thus should be banned. Here's the End St. Patrick's Day tweet:
St. Patrick's day encourages and perpetuates the idea of whiteness and white culture. It otherizes non-whites and promotes nationalism.
Well, I guess so--since it's the day that almost everyone sports a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" pin--and it's hard to claim you're Irish if your hair isn't red and you don't sport a second-degree sunburn after a single hour on the beach.
Although, as it turns out, there are plenty of leftists who claim that up until just recently Celtic immigrants from the Emerald Isle were actually regarded as non-white by the folks of English descent who formed the majority of Americans during the 19th century:
These are historical statements from yesteryear describing a despised race of people in America. They are indicative of the sentiment of white people throughout this country who thought a subhuman species good for nothing but work and servitude might ruin America with their crime, poverty and interbreeding with white women. They were not referring to Africans, Mexicans or Muslims.
They were talking about the Irish.
But then again, there are super-leftists who claim that the whole idea that the Irish were regarded as non-white is actually a bit of cultural appropriation by fair-skinned freckled people who want to claim they were historically treated as badly as blacks in America. So we have this,
The myth underlying the meme holds that the Irish — not Africans — were the first American slaves. It rests on the idea that 17th century American indentured servitude was essentially an extension of the transatlantic slave trade.
Popular among racists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and neo-confederate groups, the “Irish slave” trope is often accompanied by statements to the effect of, “Our ancestors suffered and we got over it, why can’t you?” According to Liam Hogan — a librarian and scholar who has tracked the myth — references to these “Irish slaves” are used to derail conversations about racism and inequity.
“The principle aim of this propaganda, which aligns with that of the international far-right, is to empty the history of the transatlantic slave trade of its racial element,” says Hogan.
The meme has become increasingly visible since 2013. Its trajectory has paralleled the rise of Black Lives Matter and has even used that movement’s language with graphics, t-shirts and Facebook groups that proclaim, “Irish Lives Matter.”
So now I'm totally confused.: Should I abstain from celebrating St. Paddy's Day because it's actually all about freckleface privilege? Or should I get all vicimological and trot out the "No Irish Need Apply" placards of yesteryear?
I think I'll have another Guiness and try to clear my head..