I’m Irish. I migrated to Vancouver, BC, in May 2006. I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the imperialist and colonial history of Canada, mostly because I felt I had a responsibility to understand where I was living. I’m a citizen of both Ireland and Canada, the former by being born there, the latter as my mum was born here.
Over the years, I learned that Canada, like the US, UK and any other country really, is both a nation of immigrants and anti-immigrant. The group that rose to the top were those descended from the British settler group, the White Anglo Saxon Protestants. And while anti-immigrant racism certainly isn’t unique to the British, anti-Irish sentiment seems to be. That came too.
Let me be clear: there is no comparison to be drawn between what happened to the Natives of Canada and the US, nor to Black people. How the Irish (and Italians) are treated in North America is, frankly, cordial when compared to these other groups. That said, anti-Irish racism and bigotry is a thing.
It’s ‘a thing’ when people talk about their ‘Irish temper’, or that they have good tolerance for alcohol because of their Irish ancestry, or that they’ve made their OJ “Irish” by putting some alcohol in it, or the general pervasiveness of alcoholic drink “a Black and Tan” (because serving named a drink after a group of people who committed war crimes against a particular ethnic group is just *awesome*).
I, like any immigrant I’m sure, have been told to ‘go back to’ Ireland on at least one occasion, in response to political criticism. The anti-Irish bigotry exists in the form of microaggressions rather than the explicitly racist policies being instituted against Natives. It’s largely low-level, infrequent, and ignorable.
So that’s the context set. And into this context blunders a bunch of ignorant Irish assholes, who clearly think that invoking bigotry and racism is *hilarious*.
Here’s a bunch of, frankly, assholes, who are primarily concerned with lining their own pockets, and hiring people who have left Ireland, by invoking the bigoted tone of Canadian anti-Irish sentiment. Who thought this was a good idea? No doubt the same kind of asshole who thinks that racism isn’t a thing, and that people should just grow thicker skins. Their website is merely a redirect to their blog, upon which a post filling with marketing drivel may be found explaining (and I use the word loosely) why they posted this message.
Of course, they don’t explain *why* they think that buying into a racist and bigoted narrative is acceptable, just that they’re looking for “brilliant misfits”. They don’t seem to have paused to think that maybe, just maybe, we left Ireland because we didn’t fit in?
“Go home Irish!” ?
Go fuck yourselves, you ignorant dipshits.
One response to ““Go Home Irish” is just Bigotry”
Sorry I’m late to the party, my RSS reader (feedly) wasn’t tracking your blog for some reason. I just got the last three months worth of posts tonight.
I have to say that an outside perspective comes in handy with noticing any sort of bigotry. I never noticed anti-irish bigotry until I started watching Top Gear, a reprehensible program for myriad reasons but at least a solid education on what sorts of bigotry you can find in the UK.
One thing that really jumped out at me was the otherwise inexplicable contempt for the name “Kevin”. The reasons for this become a lot more clear when you see it bracketed by jokes about drunkards and Pikeys. It’s common enough as a joke in North America, but I had no idea what it was based on until I heard it in that context.