I got an email from a friend of mine a few days ago. He’s a funny guy. It’s always either extremely patriotic “pray for our troops” stuff, or naked women. I prefer the naked women; one would never have guessed that about me from the 2 terabyte hard drives I have filled with such imagery, but it’s a surprising truth.
In this case, the email I received was about the 2010 census and was inspired by a National Review article entitled “Sending a Message With the Census.”
The interesting part to this is that it goes directly against a very personal opinion of mine. The article in point states that, instead of filling in your specific ethnicity, you should write in “American” for your denomination. For me, this has always been an issue. Using as an example the fact that certain groups get extra points on their SATs just for spelling their name right, or that anyone who is 1/64th Native Indian (one of the newer PC terms for the people who were handed small-pox-blankets and instructed to take a nap) will be given a free college education on behalf of the US government, and for that matter only specific people can say specific words on television, I’ve always been annoyed that, being Irish, I never got any bonus points from society.
You may not be aware of this, because world history turns a blind eye to bullshit of this variety, but the Irish are a remarkably oppressed people. The first example I can think of is when the Romans chased the Gauls out of the very region named after them, and up to the British Isles.
Years later, Emperor Hadrian would be credited with building a wall across the northern portion of the
primary island to keep the Gauls (the name slowly mutated to Gaelic) in the colder region and away from their civilized territory. That same wall is, to this day, still considered the border between England and Scotland. If that’s not segregation on an almost eugenicist level, I don’t know what the fuck is.
Oh wait! Yes I do!
After the fall of the Roman empire, when the English decided that whole global domination thing sounded like a lot of fun, and they should take after their forefathers, they started nice and early on with shipping northerners, such as the Scottish, that while unkempt and savage, were considered more civilized than the Irish, over to Ireland so that they could breed them into civility. While I can admit, most of my relatives aren’t exactly the most balanced people in the world, I’d like to think that no one is trying to breed them into something more palatable like so much Labradoodle.
A few hundred years go by, and the Irish aren’t quite as “pip pip” and “good day sir!” as the British would like, so… let’s say it was the British illuminati who engineered the potato famine that struck in the 1840s. If nothing else, they sure as shit didn’t bother to help out their sickly neighbors. No sir. Too busy bringing civilization and tea-time to the rest of the world, we tried with you people and you’re hopeless. With any luck, you’ll all die out, and we’ll have a nice new island to go inhabit.
So these poor abused people take the logical way out and hop on the nearest boat and off to the Americas they go. This’ll work out. Yes sir, those Americans are all about bringing in the sick and poor and huddled masses, and have you ever lived in Ireland during the winter? Sick, poor and huddled is the only way you get through one alive before indoor heating found its way there. When ever the British decided they were allowed to have it.
So they get to the US, and the first thing most of them are greeted by, if they even had documentation to prove their previous citizenship, is a signup for the draft. In a nation that’s in the middle of getting ready to for a civil war. Nice. I’ll also throw out there that, at the time, the US was primarily Protestant, so this dirty Micks and their Papal religion wasn’t exactly smiled upon either.
So you make it through the civil war, and until the 1920s if you wanted a job you virtually had to check for a sign if you were even welcomed.
No, it never literally happened, but the Irish were ostracized enough for the myth to perpetuate itself like a particularly potent strain of Ebola. I’ve never seen one of those with the words Puerto Rican, Jewish, or Asian on it, real or imagined, in our great country.
If the not-quite-equal policy wasn’t upheld enough by this point, I’d like to point out that Northern Ireland is the last to be officially claimed, and last to be maintained British colony.
But it’s cool. It’s all cool.
The Irish got their Kennedy in the White House, and that means that racism is over. I’m sure of it. That’s how it works, right? Obama is president so all black people are equal to white people now, right?
By exemplifying my argument, I’ve digressed from my point.
It’s St Patty’s day. This is when everyone “gets to be Irish.” Not without a few thousand years of grinding injustice you don’t.
And you know what else? I’m pale. I’m outright pasty. Almost translucent. And in our culture where everyone is expected to be an ambiguous bronze color, I feel very judged by the color of my skin and red hair (chin hair anyway, it’s almost black on my head, we have some screwy genes, us savages). I don’t feel like our culture ever completely adjusted to the shipments of Irish barbarians it got in the 1800s, and the silly parade we get in a couple cities isn’t quite enough to make it all better (seriously, what is up with parades being the equivalent to “I’m sorry for an eon of oppression” in this country?).
If you love your heritage, and you’re Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or even just pale and uncertain of where your family was from; hell if you’re just a big fan of Conan O’Brian, when you get your census forms write in “Gaelic”. Cause some trouble, it’s what our people do best. For today, however, take to the streets and remind your local citizens why the British were so uncomfortable with us in the first place: get hammered, start some fires and copulate, furiously, and for as long as there’s whiskey in the jar.