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flotsam's Journal
flotsam's Journal
August 30, 2020

A cousin of mine addressed our mutual heritage and racial justice

Better than I'd ever seen:
Chris O'Neill
Given our Irish Heritage and a legacy that includes the suffering at the hands of British and Irish Protestants who discriminated against our people for centuries, this year’s events aren’t foreign to us.
While not stolen from our homeland and sold into a brutal slave trade…we were subjected to indentured servitude, beatings and murders, and eventually we were starved out of it by those in power.
If what happened in Kenosha this week happened in Belfast; we’d have seen the same fires and riots, possibly accompanied by bombings and outright assassinations of any members of the protestant power structure, including police and soldiers.
This is all very visible in history and there remains plenty of video to see it yourself, so don’t take my word for it – check it out yourself.
I’d wager if we asked if our large Irish family if they’d support our Irish Catholic brothers and sisters and the IRA for this retribution, they would likely answer affirmatively, they got what they had coming.
While I don’t encourage and I’m not endorsing violent protest as a means to achieve justice, I’d think WE of all people would understand it, given this shared experience of oppression.
I fly the flag flown during our struggle to represent that I’d not stand for this if it were my family and I support racial equality and assert BLACK LIVES MATTER because of our history and BECAUSE IT IS OUR FAMILY. (Art’s family is my family and it is our family)
Some white Americans believe the minor inconveniences they’re encountering to benefit and protect public health are attacks on their liberty; making boastful and arrogant statements pointing that fact out and progressing to the point where “tough guy wannabes” are carrying assault rifles and other weapons to assert their commitment to liberty and show that they won’t be oppressed. Get fucking real – we see what disaster that led to this week in Kenosha.
We have to progress to the dialog and real reconciliation that was required to achieve the peace in Northern Ireland, South Africa, or other areas where racism and discrimination created a struggle between the oppressed and the oppressors.
Our not taking the steps to do this isn’t because we can’t, it’s because those in power today DO NOT WANT TO as it would not work to their political advantage. In fact, they continue to stoke the fires of division and apply standards unequally to support their “law and order” plank and agenda.
We MUST stop this madness or we shall reap the violence in the future that we are actively sowing and continuing to fertilize, water, and caringly encourage – as this too…is intentional and welcomed by those on the extreme right and our American Goebbels, Steven Miller.
Opposing racial equality is not Christian, not American, and holds this country back from true greatness.
Consider what side of our Irish Heritage and history you’re representing.
If you need any continued support for my argument and have the patience to read the rest…please do – but I think I’ve made my point clearly and sufficiently with OUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD.
The American Immigrant origin story is a romantic one we all have pride in.
Came with nothing, lived in squalor, discriminated against by nativist bigots not dissimilar than those active today, and yet we overcame all of this to build America and our own way in the world. YAY US!
Without discounting what our descendants went through, because our struggle is fact and is true – there are other realities to consider that helped us along since those days:
1. We were cheap labor to feed our Industrial Revolution – we had use to the Industrialists
2. We were made soldiers – we had use to the country and our territorial aspirations
3. Politicians saw the huddled masses to exploit for their own means – we became useful to politicians who gave us patronage jobs and an entry into the system
4. Offspring from these Immigrants progressed over time to seats of political power – we had advocacy and true power
5. Our skin…is white – we blended in, an “advantage” people of color will never have
While prejudice and discrimination certainly occurred and jokingly continues (Micks, Irish as drunks, etc…); the items mentioned allowed us the power and ability to advance and we must not fail to recognize this difference for Black Americans who only received certain rights and protections for voting, housing, and discrimination as recent as 1964, 65, and 68 under LBJ…who had his own racist warts, but at least he LED the country despite it being politically unpalatable and losing the Dixiecrats who are now faithful republicans and the extreme members remain unabashed racists.
Before people point to discrimination against Irish Catholics as recent as the 60’s or even when the Catholic church was interested in social justice in the 70’s and 80’s when nuns were being killed by rightists fighting communists in Central America – the same groups with Southern Baptist roots who discriminated against blacks also claimed JFK as a papist, who if elected, was putting the pope in The White House. The same Dixiecrats…now white, Christian, Republicans, who some of us stand beside though as a Catholic and a northerner – you may align on the hit parade of talking points – but they’d quickly turn on you if you represented a difference or a “dangerous change” to their status quo.
These are the political games of bigoted people, the right has created its own tootsie roll tootsie pop of a Jesus center, a candy coating of law and order, with an American Flag wrapper – don’t fucking fall for it.
Jesus would not stand with these people, this type of discriminatory behavior is criminal, and it DOES NOT represent America as it is intended it to be.
The relative peace in Northern Ireland is young, less than 25 years since the Good Friday accords. Now what does this have to do with anything going on today.
The pain, frustration, and anger felt by our black brothers and sisters is no different from that our fore bearers experienced.
Subjected to authority with no representation, forcibly moved off our land, and finally starved out of our own country and those remaining being murdered by the RUC, British troops, or Protestant paramilitaries (aka…”very fine people”).
You may say – well that’s different. Ireland was a separate country and the UK was occupying it, they are Americans and we’re one country.
From the shoes of Black Americans I have spoken too and that are part of my team that I lead, serve, and love; it’s not that simple.
They love America as much as we do, but they are unarguably held to a different set of standards than we as whites enjoy. Equality and liberty doesn’t apply in the same ways to them and if they don’t act in a specific way, it could be a matter of life and death.
I give Black Americans a lot of credit for not organizing for violence, it’s not like they don’t have reason to.
So yes, my people did face discrimination until we became part of the same power structure that used to discriminate us, and we joined that group and have now joined in on the continued discrimination of those below us (blacks, muslims, immigrants, Mexicans, fill in the blank).
What is being observed today is no different from what our own people did; in fact – I’d argue, we’re very lucky they aren’t like us because we are a vicious and violent people when threatened.
Opposing racial equality is not Christian, not American, and holds this country back from true greatness.
Consider what side of our Irish Heritage and History you’re representing.

August 12, 2020

It occurs to me that picking Kamala turns Kanye further into a joke...

If your voting "black because" do you vote for a bipolar lost cause or the presumptive 2024 presidential candidate???

August 11, 2020

Kamala Harris is "ambitious"

I fucking hope so-she is our presumptive presidential candidate in 2024.And she knows this-do you have any doubt she will do everything possible to make this a successful presidency?

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