Why the conversation about race can’t be the only conversation

From sea to shining sea, college students seem determined to make us argue about race to the exclusion of all else. So here’s something I learned in college: Virtually every ugly stereotype applied to African-Americans by white racists was applied to my Irish-Catholic ancestors as well. Their English oppressors caricatured Irish peasants as shiftless, drunken, sexually…

7 thoughts on “Why the conversation about race can’t be the only conversation

  1. What an ass. I’m not seen as Irish by other whites or by people from Ireland, whether I want to be seen that way or not. It has nothing to do with how I define myself. If you are black and look and act like a thug, you will be stereotyped more than if you don’t. But you will still be stereotyped to some extent.

  2. Ps when a was small and before I ever saw a black person, I hated the K of C picnics with all those, loud aggressive ignorant Irish Americans, and I had no ideas what Irish was, I just saw how as a group they or we were different from mainstream America I saw everywhere else

  3. Racism is a horrible stain on humanity. Yet fear of the other is part of human instinct. Focusing on racism to the exclusion of all else succumbs to the diversion created to divert us from the structural inequalities that are inherent in an unrestrained capitalist economy. You want to end rampant racism? Destroy the stranglehold of the 1%.

  4. There is something slightly embarrassing about a white male whitemansplainin’ about how hard it all has been and how we is they and they is we. This is the slightly overused “pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps” tale that a lot of white males like to tell themselves.

    Black men end up dead and in prison. It has been so for hundreds of years in America. I don’t quite know of any similar predicament for the Irish here. I must have missed the part where cops were gunning down the Irish in Boston.

    There is a conversation about class that is at least as important as race, and intertwined with race, but this seems an odd way to start it.

  5. You need to read up on the history of the Irish in America. They burned down their churches and houses here in Philadelphia. And yes, they were often sent to prison. Their history is very similar to that of black people here. The difference, I guess, is that eventually people let the Irish alone (because they were white?) and started picking on the Italians.

  6. And yet, accomplished black people who live in very exclusive neighborhoods are still stopped by the cops. Just sayin’!

  7. Remember in ’07 when Reverend Wright—who was considered a fool by the mmedia—and supported Obama said, :…”the chickens will come home to roost”?

    At the time, no one claimed to know what he meant. Seriously, most black folks knew the truth of the matter, and , oddly enough, I believe Irish, Jews, and other ethnics were clued in as well. Truth to tell: check out the chickens 8 years later!

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