My Response to a racist Facebook friend regarding a picture they’ve posted many times before:
I felt I summed up the reason why this is inaccurate and an invalid historical representation of the facts in my final response below. Let me know if you disagree or have more to add in the comments:
Andrew Jackson was our first Irish President when elected in 1829. 53 years after the Declaration of Independence. There have been 16 others since him. We just had our first black president in 2008. My point is simply this….White Irish Americans have nothing to complain about. We are fine and do not suffer for being Irish. Was there a small period of time where them immigrating here during the potato famines, scared the shit out of people that were already living here? Ya know, “they will take all our jobs…we were here first” (sound familiar?) that was a little rough, but we didn’t suffer that for long before becoming indistinguishable from other white people. Can I tell when I see a pasty, freckled redhead if he’s Irish? Sure, but I wouldn’t look at any of us and be able to know that just by looking. Black people, since 1776, have suffered slavery, which was abolished in 1865. The Irish presidents before that didn’t set them free and they had to deal with trying to blend in with people that hated them just for being them. They had no education and most had to move North. Guess what…that freaked out a lot of established white people and they moved out of those neighborhoods. This helped create the ghettos and other neighborhoods that are full of poor folks. They had to continue to suffer during the Jim Crow era. Separate but equal sounded good but really was just American Apartheid. They had to sit in certain places, couldn’t go other places, had to eat separate, go to school separate, everything separate. This lasted until the 1960’s when civil rights activists started protesting. Whites and Blacks fought together for equal rights which the government eventually awarded them. This doesn’t end racism however, gentlemen. This just makes it illegal to be openly so…to deny them jobs or other services based on their skin color. It doesn’t change people’s minds or remove their prejudices. The next attack came from the Drug War. Starting in the 1960’s and getting ramped up to epic levels during the Reagan years, this failed effort didn’t target white people in white neighborhoods. No, this was a direct attack on the poor people (yes, whites included, but proportionately, most poor people were black) and their means of supporting their families. Families were destroyed because more and more relatives and parents were being put in jail. Leaving little left to make money on except to do exactly what their parents had done. Because of the black market created by the drug war, drugs became a lucrative industry leading rise to gangs and organized crime. Since then, a lot of blacks and poor white folks get reputations based on all this bullshit playing out in their lives. Whether they ever did anything at all to participate doesn’t matter. This is still tough to shake today. Should they bitch about racism? It probably is better to start trying to move forward and heal…however, 80 civilians have been killed by police these 30 days of the new year….0 cops have lost their lives yet. There is a war still going on and it’s not just blacks. It’s against the poor. It just happens that the Irish have pulled themselves out of the crap by becoming regular, white Americans. They lost their accents and became just as white as any other white in the US. A black person can’t do that. So we should all move to try and accept certain truths. One is, the Irish aren’t complaining because we have nothing left to complain about in America in regards to being Irish. Two, black people are complaining because they have a TON to be upset about. They are still having trouble shaking all the bullsh*t. By telling them they have nothing to complain about doesn’t make them say, “ok, you’re right Mr. White Man. My bad.” No, it only causes more division. So just acknowledge that the Irish have nothing to complain about and black folks just may have something to complain about. Then we can work on what’s broken together and there will be no excuses for either “side” to complain about the other. We can just all become Americans united as common human beings. I know what you are trying to say, just try saying it without this picture that you have posted more than once. It’s not accurate. The US was not in existence when the Irish had it worst. If you were just saying what you are attempting to say without using this non-factual picture, you wouldn’t hear me say an Efin word, I promise.