January 29, 2016

Being a planter, Ctd


'White People' is a documentary by MTV looking at the position and place of white people in modern America
Hubert Butler wrote in his 1954 essay, 'Portrait of a Minority':
"We protestants of the Irish Republic... a generation ago we were regarded dramatically as imperialistic blood-suckers, or, by our admirers, as the last champion of civilisation in an abandoned island... Our brothers in the north are still discussed in such colourful terms."
James McGeever wrote to the Irish Times in 2013:
"The Protestant communities… must be given the opportunity to realise that they are being cherished, unequivocally, despite any “sins” of their colonist, planter or settled ancestors."
Irish-American Niall O'Dowd who has been party to the dispossession of natives and plantation of America excoriated the Ulster plantation in the Irish Voice.

Robert Fisk wrote in the Independent:
"Israel's settlements on Palestinian Arab land in the occupied territories were as illegal as the Protestant settlements and the dispossession of the Catholics in 16th-century Ireland. A closer historical symbol was Fallujah."
Phil Flanagan tweeted:
"Unionists didn't have a problem with immigration when their ancestors descended on Ireland to grab land from the native population..."
Newton Emerson wrote in the Irish Times of Saturday November 16 2013:
"The supposed republican principles of the anti-agreement 1916 Societies are somewhat undermined by the language of their latest recruitment drive, which is replete with sectarian references to "planters", "colonialism" and "occupation"."
Newton Emerson continued, and asked a critical question:
"One of the mysteries of Irish politics is why, unlike in the rest of Europe, people who speak like this are not immediately recognised as ethnic fascists." 
Conor McGregor said:
"I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood."
Kevin Myers wrote in the Sunday Times:
"In Irish history, John Bull trampled across the syllabus like a horde of Visigoths, Tartars and Huns. Not merely did many people internalise the perceptions of their country’s many wrongs, they did much the same in reverse. When I arrived in University College Dublin, I found myself variously held responsible for the Black and Tans, the Famine, and the Boundary Commission, plus the partitions of India and Palestine. Having Irish parents and Irish-born siblings conferred absolutely no mitigation for my many antenatal delinquencies..."
John Stuart Mill wrote in ‘Chapters and speeches on the Irish land question’ that while Britain ruled cruelly in Ireland, today's generation cannot be held responsible or atone for past misconduct. He wrote in his publication from 1870:
"The Irish were taught that feeling [disaffection] by Englishmen. England has only even professed to treat the Irish people as part of the same nation with ourselves, since 1800. How did we treat them before that time? I will not go into the subject of the penal laws, because it may be said that those laws affected the Irish not as Irish but as Catholics. I will only mention the manner in which they were treated merely as Irish. I grant that, for these things, no man now living has any share of the blame; we are all ashamed of them; but “the evil that men do lives after them”."
George Bernard Shaw said:
"It is surely expedient to point out that most distressful country [Ireland] that she has borne no more than her share of the growing pains of human society, and that the mass of the English people are not only guiltless of her wrongs, but have themselves borne a heavier yoke."
Commenting on the MTV documentary, 'White People', Ed Moloney wrote:
"American Whites are like the Prods in the North [Northern Ireland]. The Blacks and Hispanics are the Catholics. Well, almost."
Richard Jones wrote:
"[In a review of Brian Inglis’s WEST BRITON, a book he did not much admire, Butler stressed the role of small Protestant minorities in creating the idea of both American and Irish independence. He cites the unorthodox Anglicans from Virginia and the unorthodox non-conformists from Massachusetts who were at the head of the American campaign for independence, and then recalls that when the War of Independence broke out, “Belfast Protestants lit bonfires and sent congratulations to George Washington while Dublin Catholics sent loyal messages to George III. Ireland might not be the dull, divided little island which it is today if those groups, north and south, to whom the idea of independence is chiefly due, had played a greater part in its realization."
Niall Ferguson wrote in the FT:
"I have written with irony about the way Americans misremember the second British civil war, which they prefer to call their war of independence."
John Nichols wrote in the Nation Magazine:
"The American experiment began with its promise constricted by the narrow vision of Virginia plantation owners who saw an African-American as three-fifths of a human being–and that scant measure only for the purpose of granting the South a greater share of the seats in a Congressthat would for the better part of a century be all white, all male andall of the propertied class. 
America was founded on the original sins of human bondage and violent discrimination."
Andrew Sullivan wrote:
"Was I tone-deaf with respect to this very dark and very American history as a young, English, Tory immigrant? I’m afraid I was. I’ve learned a lot since then, some of it because of Ta-Nehisi’s own work, which I championed from the moment I came upon it."
Ed Moloney also reminded us that at one stage 'Catholics were America's Muslims'. These are America’s present heresies— its past misdeeds: torture, theft, enslavement. Minorities were burdened and battered and beat by the ruling establishment. Ta Nehisi Coates wrote:
"Barack Obama is the president of a congenitally racist country, erected upon the plunder of life, liberty, labor, and land."
Black civil rights lawyer Bryan Steven said:
"Older black Americans get angry when they hear people on TV talking about how we’re dealing with terrorists for the first time in the United States after 9/11. They grew up in terror."
He also said:
"You don’t have to be a white supremacist to be responsible for sustaining this narrative of racial difference, sustaining this narrative of white supremacy."
He also said:
"I really do believe that this country never committed itself to a conversation about the legacy of slavery."
Then said:
"There are very few people who have an awareness of how widespread this terrorism and violence was, and the way it now shapes the geography of the United States."
Denis Donoghue described living in the early years of the protestant state, Northern Ireland:
"I could spot a protestant at a hundred yards… In the north a protestant walks with an air of possession and authority, regardless of his social class. He walks as if he owned the place, which he does. A catholic walks as if he were there on sufferance."
The black in America, the Catholic in Ulster, both heavily discriminated against. Yet when the Catholic Irish arrived in America they inverted the empathy hypothesis - there was no solidarity in suffering or kindship, making the point that there is no necessary relationship between communal suffering and broadened human sympathies, as Liam Kennedy explained.

Gerry Adams said:
"Last week Edwin Poots told viewers watching the BBC that he had to hold his nose when doing business with Sinn Féin. 
All of this has its roots in our colonial history and the partition of the island."
He also said on another occasion:
"Because of our experience of colonialism and oppression nationalists have largely rejected Britishness in its entirety, whilst unionists have embraced every British symbol and gesture. 
At the same time the story of colonisation and conflict has run parallel with many positive and shared experiences over the centuries. 
Irish people have settled in Britain for generations. 
Irish artists have contributed enormously to English literature, music and the arts."
Ian Paisley said in his interview with Mark Carruthers for Alternative Ulsters:
"I’m an Ulsterman. People ask me, ‘Who are you?’ I say, ‘I’m an Ulsterman’. To the ignorant, then, you have to explain what that means, but when I came into the world, the term Ulster was what you were. You were part of the original Queen Elizabeth settlement."
Niall Ferguson wrote:
"The Irish were on the receiving end of a policy of expropriation and `ethnic cleansing’ every bit as ruthless as that which would be attempted in North America. The difference between Northern Ireland and Massachusetts was this: because the Irish were resistant to British diseases, they survived. The native Americans were less lucky."
And added:
"Even today, four centuries after the first plantations, the `Brits’ are a long way from being forgiven for their sins."
Niall Ferguson also wrote:
"I think it’s hard to make the case, which implicitly the left makes, that somehow the world would have been better off if the Europeans had stayed home. It certainly doesn’t work for north America, that’s for sure. I mean, I’m sure the Apache and the Navajo had all sorts of admirable traits. In the absence of literacy we don’t know what they were because they didn’t write them down. We do know they killed a hell of a lot of bison. But had they been left to their own devices, I don’t think we’d have anything remotely resembling the civilisation we’ve had in north America."
Peter Hitchens wrote:
"If the Irish Unionists aren’t entitled to live in Ireland, because they are relatively new arrivals installed by force, then most Americans, likewise, aren’t proper Americans."
Conor Cruise O'Brien echoed this. He said in a speech delivered at New York University, November 30 1978, 'Ireland, Britain and America':
"The dark and atavistic forces that caused the death of Christopher Ewart-Biggs are still at work and it is right for Irish people who seek to combat that baneful influence to continue to reflect in the significance of that event [the Dublin Rising of 1916]. Contemporary Britain is not to blame for the troubles of contemporary Ireland, North or South, nor can she solve those troubles, nor can pressure on her to solve them do anything but make them worse. American aid, which in the past transformed the social and political landscape of Ireland, should not be invoked to solve a problem it cannot solve: a problem of relations between two historic communities in Ireland itself, deriving from a movement of population contemporaneous with European settlement in North America. 
There are those who seek the solution of the problem in the enforced emigration o the contemporary descendants of the seventeenth-century settlers. Americans of European descent may well discern certain flaws in such a solution. Americans of Irish descent might reflect that they are not as long established in this country as is, in Ireland, that community which has sometimes been called alien: the community of Ulster Protestants."
In the ‘The Framework of Home Rule’ (1911), by Erskine Childers, the Irish nationalist compared the plantations of Ireland and America. He wrote:
"Ireland, for four hundred years the only British Colony, is now drawn into the mighty stream of British colonial expansion. Adventurous and ambitious Englishmen began to regard her fertile acres as Raleigh regarded America, and, in point of time, the systematic and State-aided colonization of Ireland is approximately contemporaneous with that of America. 
It is true that until the first years of the sixteenth century no permanent British settlement had been made in America, while in Ireland the plantation of King’s and Queen’s Counties was begun as early as 1556, and under Elizabeth further vast confiscations were carried out in Munster within the same century. But from the reign of James I onward, the two processes advance pari passu. 
Virginia, first founded by Raleigh in 1585, is firmly settled in 1607, just before the confiscation of Ulster and its plantation by 30,000 Scots; and in 1620, just after that huge measure of expropriation, the Pilgrim Fathers landed in New Plymouth. Puritan Massachusetts - with its offshoots, Connecticut, New Haven and Rhode Island–as well as Catholic Maryland, were formally established between 1629 and 1638, and Maine in 1639, at a period when the politically inspired proscription of the Catholic religion, succeeding the robbery of the soil, was goading the unhappy Irish to the rebellion of 1641. While that rebellion, with its fierce excesses and pitiless reprisals, was convulsing Ireland, the united Colonies of New England banded themselves together for mutual defence. 
A few years later Cromwell, aiming, through massacre and rapine, at the extermination of the Irish race, with the savage watchword "To Hell or Connaught,” planted Ulster, Munster, and Leinster with men of the same stock, stamp, and ideas as the colonists of New England, and in the first years of the Restoration Charles II confirmed these confiscations, at the same time that he granted Carolina to Lord Clarendon, New Netherlands to the Duke of York, and New Jersey to Lord Berkeley, and issued fresh Charters for Connecticut and Maryland. 
Finally, Quaker Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1682, and in 1691 William III, after the hopeless Jacobite insurrections in favour of the last of the Stuarts, wrung the last million acres of good Irish land from the old Catholic proprietors, planted them with Protestant Englishmen, and completed the colonization of Ireland. 
Forty years passed (1733) before Georgia, the last of the “Old Thirteen Colonies,” was planted, as Ulster had been planted, mainly by Scotch Presbyterians."
He then contrasted the Irish and American settlements:
"Let us note, first, that both in America and Ireland the Colonies were bi-racial, with this all-important distinction, that in America the native race was coloured, savage, heathen, nomadic, incapable of fusion with the whites, and, in relation to the almost illimitable territory colonized, not numerous; while in Ireland the native race was white, civilized, Christian, numerous, and confined within the limits of a small island to which it was passionately attached by treasured national traditions, and whose soil it cultivated under an ancient and revered system of tribal tenure. The parallel, then, in this respect, is slight, and becomes insignificant, except in regard to the similarity of the mental attitude of the colonists towards Indians and Irish respectively."
He continued:
"In natural humanity the colonists of Ireland and the colonists of America differed in no appreciable degree. They were the same men, with the same inherent virtues and defects, acting according to the pressure of environment. Danger, in proportionate degree, made both classes brutal and perfidious; but in America, though there were moments of sharp crisis, as in 1675 on the borders of Massachusetts, the degree was comparatively small, and through the defeat and extrusion of the Indians diminished steadily. In Ireland, because complete expulsion and extermination were impossible, the degree was originally great, and, long after it had actually disappeared, haunted the imagination and distorted the policy of the invading nation.
He also wrote:
"The English policy towards Ireland was similar to Spain's policy towards her South American colonies, minus the grosser forms of physical cruelty and oppression."
Mr. James Bryce wrote in his Introduction to 'Two Centuries of Irish History':
"England acted as conquering nations do act, and better than some nations of that age."
Carson wrote in an 1918 open letter to Woodrow Wilson: 
"There is, however, one matter to which reference must be made, in order to make clear the position of the Irish minority whom we represent. The Nationalist Party have based their claim to American sympathy on the historic appeal addressed to Irishmen by the British colonists who fought for independence in America a hundred and fifty years ago. By no Irishmen was that appeal received with a more lively sympathy than by the Protestants of Ulster, the ancestors of those for whom we speak to-day—a fact that was not surprising in view of the circumstance that more than one-sixth part of the entire colonial population in America at the time of the Declaration of Independence consisted of emigrants from Ulster. 
The Ulstermen of to-day, forming as they do the chief industrial community in Ireland, are as devoted adherents to the cause of democratic freedom as were their forefathers in the eighteenth century. But the experience of a century of social and economic progress under the legislative Union with Great Britain has convinced them that under no other system of government could more complete liberty be enjoyed by the Irish people."
Carson had said in 1913:
"It was the Ulster-men who, when driven by bad trade to leave Ulster, and go to the United States, and being unfairly treated there, drew up the Declaration of Independence." 
Roy Foster wrote in ‘Modern Ireland: 1600-1972’:
"Nationalism as such has not been part of the original United irish package. They were internationalist liberals, anti-government rather than anti-English. Even when anti-Englishness took over, they had little time for “ethnic” considerations; recent fashions for traditional music and poetry, and archeological divinations of the ‘Celtic’ past, seemed to middle-class radicals at best silly and at worst savage. The United Irishmen were modernisers: they appealed, as they themselves put it, to posterity, not ancestors. (Given the way that the ancestors of Belfast radicals had treated the Gaelic Irish, this was just as well.) They looked to Hutcheson, to Locke, to America, and most of all to France."
He also wrote:
"The halting and contentious nature of government-planned colonisation adds weight to the argument that the "real" Ulster plantation was that carried out "invisibly" by the Scots, both before the initiatives of 1609-10 and later in the century. This would later provide an argument used by the unionists: that Ulster's different nature is immemorial and uncontrollable and stems from something more basic than English government policy. None the less, what must be grasped from the early seventeenth century is the importance of the plantation idea, with its emphasis on segregation and on native unreliability. These attitudes helped Ulster solidify into a different mould... 
Intellectually, this insecurity was expressed in the mentality of settler radicalism... 
Ulster people believed they lived permanently on the edge of persecution."
V.S. Pritchett wrote:
"The snobberies of the Ascendancy were very colonial—as I now see—though not as loud as the Anglo-Indian, nor as prim as the Bostonian: they came closer to those of the American southern states. (There is a bond between Anglo-Irish writing and the literature of the American south.)"
Paul Muldoon said in his interview with the Paris Review (talking about his economic poem 'Meeting the British' which gets to the core of America and that continental project:)
"I was indeed to some extent taking the Native American situation for an instance or two, fleetingly, to find connections between the Native American experience and, without overstating it, the Native Irish experience
The fact is that there is a connection. Take Charlemont Fort, which I mentioned earlier on as the subject of one of my first poems. I was in Jamestown the other day, and was intrigued to find that the fort there was built on the model of Charlemont. The fact of the matter is there’d been a certain amount of experience in “dealing with the natives” that had been gained in the Irish situation, that stood the English in rather good stead when it came to dealing with the natives over here. I wouldn’t want to get involved in a political rant here, but I could."
Ironically, the Pope authorised the English invasion of Ireland (1177). James Joyce wrote in his 1907 essay, 'The Last Fenian':
"Pope Adrian IV… made a gift of the island [of Ireland] to the English King Henry II about 800 years ago, in moment of generosity."
In an essay, 'Labour, Nationalist and Religion', James Connolly wrote:
"Every Irish man and woman, most enlightened Englishmen, and practically every foreign nation to-day wish that the Irish had succeeded in preserving their independence against the English king, Henry II, but at a Synod of the Catholic Church, held in Dublin in 1177, according to Rev. P.J. Carew, Professor of Divinity in Maynooth, in his Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, the Legate of Pope Alexander III “set forth Henry’s right to the sovereignty of Ireland in virtue of the Pope’s authority, and inculcated the necessity of obeying him under pain of excommunication”. The English were not yet eight years in Ireland, the greater part of the country was still closed to them, but already the Irish were being excommunicated for refusing to become slaves. 
In Ireland, as in all Catholic countries, a church was a sanctuary in which even the greatest criminal could take refuge and be free from arrest, as the civil authority could not follow upon the consecrated ground. At the Synod of 1177, the Pope, in order to help the English monarch against the Irish, abolished the right of sanctuary in Ireland, and empowered the English to strip the Irish churches, and to hunt the Irish refugees who sought shelter there. The greatest criminals of Europe were safe once they reached the walls of the church, but not an Irish patriot."
The Catholic Church backed and underwrote with a Papal Bull the conquest and plantation of South America, including the extermination of the great majority of the indigenous peoples.

In the age of exploration the Vatican issued papal bulls which inspired the “doctrine of discovery”. In a speech at the Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopate, mid-May 2007 in Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI said that native populations had been “silently longing” for the faith colonizers had brought to South America. He said that the Roman Catholic Church purified indigenous people of the Americas and that an effort to revive local religions would be a step backward. He said in the speech:
"The proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture."
These comments triggered outrage, he responded with a moderated message, conceding that “unjustifiable crimes” were committed in the conquest of the continent 500 years ago. He said:
"It is not possible to forget the suffering and the injustices inflicted by colonizers against the indigenous population, whose fundamental human rights were often trampled."
But Benedict’s response repeated his contention that Catholicism in South America had favorably “shaped their culture for 500 years.” He said:
"While we do not overlook the various injustices and sufferings that accompanied colonization, the Gospel has expressed and continues to express the identity of the peoples in this region and provides inspiration to address the challenges of our globalized era."
In Ireland people like to cite the practice of “taking the soup.” A egregious tactic used by the Anglican Church in Ireland to force Catholics to convert to the reformed church. But of course, this tactic was also deployed by Catholics where they held power and majority (as exampled in south America above). And of course this horrible practice was mandated by the Vatican. That is what you call hypocrisy.

Richard Jones wrote an essay on Hubert Butler, the latter had written about the forced conversion of Eastern Orthodox Christians by Catholics during the second world war. The overseer of this policy, a war criminal, was then given safe harbour in Ireland. Jones explained how Butler brought this sordid episode to light:
"Butler’s most spectacular falling-out with the powers of Irish bigotry was in 1952. It arose from his horrified interest in what had taken place in Croatia during the Nazi occupation, when the puppet Croatian government – staunchly Roman Catholic and anti-Semitic – started its campaign against the Serb Orthodox minority and the Jews. 
The Croatian Minister of the Interior, Artukovitch, was the master-mind behind the campaign in which 750,000 Orthodox and 30,000 Jews were massacred, and 240,000 Orthodox forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. Because of the cruelty of this operation, Artukovitch was later known as the Himmler of Yugoslavia. 
After the war Artukovitch escaped to Austria and Switzerland, and then, in 1947, took up residence in Ireland, with the connivance of the Roman Catholic Church and the Irish Government. A year later, armed with an Irish identity card, he left for the United States. Shortly before that date, while visiting old friends in Zagreb, Butler had been to a city library to read local newspaper accounts of life in wartime Croatia. He came back to Ireland determined to expose those people in his own country who had aided the war criminal to escape justice. A long essay, “The Artukovitch File,” gives Butler’s account of his detective work in tracing Artukovitch’s life in Ireland. 
In 1952, at a lecture in Dublin about the persecution of the Roman Catholic Church by the Yugoslav communist regime, Butler rose to remind the audience about the Roman Catholic treatment of the Orthodox in Croatia, and the Papal Nuncio, who was in the hall, walked out. There was a press campaign against Butler. So powerful was local feeling against him that he felt obliged to resign from the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, and only a handful of people were prepared to come to his defence. Butler’s stand was courageous and right."
Robert Greacen in ‘Brief Encounters’ (Belfast: Lagan Press 1991) commented on this episode:
"Hubert Butler, An outspoken speech in Dublin in 1952 was considered by some to be an affront to Catholicism and, worse still, an insult to the Papal Nuncio who was present on the occasion… This was when Hubert shocked the predominantly Catholic audience by speaking frankly of the forced conversion to Catholicism and the eventual massacre of thousands of Orthodox Serbs by the Croatian regime that collaborated with the Nazis. (Sean O’Casey refers to this incident in his autobiography.) The furore split the Kilkenny Arch. Society and forced Hubert to withdraw from it the life of a scholarly squire. He set about writing a book - as Patricia had prescribed years earlier - and this turned out to be Ten Thousand Saints. It meant further controversy, this time with the scholars rather than the saints of Holy Ireland."
Fintan O'Toole wrote about the reverse imperialism and oppression of Arthur Griffith and John Mitchell:
"Griffith strongest antecedent in Irish nationalism is not O'Connell's democratic populism, but John Mitchell's peculiar brand of reverse imperialism which could encompass both a passionate denunciation of English savagery in Ireland and a passionate support for slavery in America. The mind-set is not one which challenges the assumptions of Victorian and racial imperialism but merely one which wants the Irish to be given their rightful places among the master races."
Hitchens wrote in a 1992 essay in the Nation Magazine in defence of Christopher Columbus and the conquest of native America:
"The absurdity of founding a claim of right or justice on the idea of the indigenous. The Arawaks who were done in by Columbus's sailors, the Inca, the Comanche and the rest were not the original but only the most recent inhabitants."
Scientists from Belfast and Dublin found that the earliest hunter gatherer population of Ireland was successively overwhelmed by new arrivals, a migrant community that did not compete with the original Irish but became the Irish. During the last Ice Age 18,000 years ago Britain and Ireland were once one island (see here). He also wrote:
"But it is sometimes unambiguously the case that a certain coincidence of ideas, technologies, population movements and politico-military victories leaves humanity on a slightly higher plane than it knew before. The transformation of part of the northern part of this continent into “America” inaugurated a nearly boundless epoch of opportunity and innovation, and thus deserves to be celebrated with great vim and gusto, with or without the participation of those who wish they had never been born."
Christopher Hitchens wrote in 1992 in the Nation Magazine:
"The Roman conquest and subjugation of Britain was, I think, a huge advance because it brought the savage English tribes within reach of Mediterranean (including Ptolemaic and Phoenician as well as Greek and Latin) civilization, whereas the Norman Conquest looks like just another random triumph of might."
Kevin Myers wrote in the Sunday Times, March 30 2014:
"What really brought the two islands [a still-nameless archipelago] so tragically together was Norman rule. In Ireland this was relatively light, but in England it was perfectly savage: a proto-apartheid state in which the native population was effectively excluded from land ownership for 300 years and all professions, not just in the royal court, but also in the law, the church and even trade. Thus all those French job-words in English such as grocer, butcher, mason and plumber. The Irish penal laws, much cherished in the annals of Irish victimhood, didn’t last a century. The English out-suffering the Irish — now there’s a thought."
ATQ Stewart wrote:
"Violence would appear to be endemic in Irish society… as far back as history is recorded."
Ta-Nehisi Coates echoed Liam Kennedy, he wrote:
"For instance, people say: Irish immigrants came to this country and they turned out to be just as racist as everybody else or Italian immigrants came to this country and it seems somehow natural that they would’ve made common cause with black people, because they faced some of the same discrimination. But that’s not how power works, regrettably. It’s very unfortunate. Those folks are doing exactly what groups have done throughout history: They identified a place in which they can empower themselves and they’ve done exactly that."
Fanny Kemble, who journaled her time on her husband’s Georgia plantation wrote:
"Now you must not suppose that these same Irish free labourers and negro slaves will be permitted to work together at this Brunswick Canal. They say that this would be utterly impossible; for why?–there would be tumults, and risings, and broken heads, and bloody bones, and all the natural results of Irish intercommunion with their fellow creatures, no doubt–perhaps even a little more riot and violence than merely comports with their usual habits of Milesian good fellowship; for, say the masters, the Irish hate the negroes more even than the Americans do, and there would be no bound to their murderous animosity if they were brought in contact with them on the same portion of the works of the Brunswick Canal."
Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote:
"The first place I heard the word “Irish” and “oppressed” was in my U.S. History survey class. It blew my mind. Here I am this quasi-nationalist, thinking I’ve got the monopoly on all suffering, for all time, and then one of my professors (Joseph Reidy, if I remember correctly) started showing us images like those above. Blew my mind."
In another essay Coates looked at how Ireland embraced Fredrick Douglas, yet many Irish-Americans and their leaders opposed Douglass’s fight to gain rights for African-Americans. In the article in Atlantic Magazine, ‘Talk to Me Like I’m Stupid, Revolutionary Ireland’, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote:
"I know very little about the roots of the Irish struggle against the British, save some vague outlines around "colonialism” and some oft-repeated references about them being “the niggers of Europe.” (I believe my friend Jelani Cobb would say the Russians have the crown.) I have some knowledge of the Irish-American experience, but not much more. And frequently people of Irish descent are quick to note the parallels of history. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve often nodded along as though I understood, even though I clearly did not."
He then quoted Tom Chaffin in the New York Times:
"For Frederick Douglass, his warm reception in Ireland also served as an ironic contrast to difficulties he would soon face in his native land. Even as he toured Ireland, a blight was destroying the potato crop on which the island depended. In the coming years, the disaster transmogrified into a full-fledged famine, sending millions of Irish to North America. 
During that period and through the Civil War years, many – but not all – Irish-Americans and their leaders opposed Douglass’s fight to gain rights for African-Americans. They opposed his efforts to win rights for enslaved blacks in the South and for blacks in the North, free but denied U.S. citizenship and subject to widespread discrimination – including, in many cases, both de facto and de jure segregation. 
Even so, Douglass, during his four months in Ireland, found in many Irish nationalists he met a kindred spirit of resistance against an oppressor – in his case, the slave-owning South; in theirs, the United Kingdom."
My previous post on my planter provenance here. Read here my blog post, ‘If we have Columbus Day and Australia Day, why not Henry II Day?’ And my blog post on the Anti-Columbus Movement herehere and here. My post on there being no link between American and irish independence here. And my post on Irish America featuring comments from Bernadette Devlin, here:
"‘My people’—the people who knew about oppression, discrimination, prejudice, poverty and the frustration and despair that they produce– were not Irish Americans. They were black, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos. And those who were supposed to be ‘my people’, the Irish Americans who knew about English misrule and the Famine and supported the civil rights movement at home, and knew that Partition and England were the cause of the problem, looked and sounded to me like Orangemen. They said exactly the same things about blacks that the loyalists said about us at home. In New York I was given the key to the city by the mayor, an honor not to be sneezed at. I gave it to the Black Panthers."
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