February 22, 2018

Having to speak to republicans like they're a child

James Stephens said:
"It is too generally conceived among Nationalists that the attitude of Ulster towards Ireland is rooted in ignorance and bigotry."
John Hume said that being pro-Union does not make you a bigot. He wrote in his famous 1964 letters for the Irish Times:
"Another positive step towards easing community tensions and towards removing what bigotry exists among Catholics would be to recognize that the Protestant tradition in the North is as strong and as legitimate as our own. Such recognition is our first step towards better relations. We must be prepared to accept this and to realize that the fact that a man wishes Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom does not necessarily make him a bigot or a discriminator. Which leads me to the constitutional question."
It is quite extraordinary that such a simple concept has to be explained. Pete Shirlow had to say the very same thing in 2017. He said to the annual Sinn Fein Ard Fheis:
"My forebears were anti-sectarian, but they were pro-union. The idea that being pro-union is inherently sectarian is not only wrong it is inherently sectarian."
Cardinal O'Fiaich famously said:
"The Protestant people are 90 per cent religious bigots and the Catholic population are 90 per cent political bigots."
Ruth Dudley Edwards wrote in 1998:
"I've often discussed bigotry with Ulster Protestants and I've never met one that insisted he was free of it. Almost all Ulster Catholics, however, even if they dislike Protestants intensely, will tell you bigotry is a uniquely Protestant condition. Every week the pages of An Phoblacht/ Republican News spew out hatred of Protestants but cloak it in impeccable non-sectarian rhetoric. Republicans do not hate Protestants, you understand, they hate the bigotry of Orange triumphalists. They do not hate David Trimble. They hate his bigotry."
Regular moderate nationalists still and always have considered Northern Ireland a "contrivance" and a colony. But following the first World War the whole of Europe was divided up into new nation states according to ethnic grouping.

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